Sunday, August 28, 2011

Tool: Google earth

"Google Earth lets you fly anywhere on Earth to view satellite imagery, maps, terrain, 3D buildings, from galaxies in outer space to the canyons of the ocean."
Google Earth is a virtual globe, map and geographical information program that was originally called EarthViewer 3D, and was created by Keyhole, Inc, a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) funded company acquired by Google in 2004.

Google Earth uses digital elevation model (DEM) data collected by NASA's Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM). This means one can view the whole earth in three dimensions.

Input data set - KML files.

Google Earth is also able to show all kinds of images overlaid on the surface of the earth and is also a Web Map Service client. It supports managing three-dimensional Geospatial data through Keyhole Markup Language (KML).

The KML file specifies a set of features (place marks, images, polygons, 3D models, textual descriptions, etc.) for display in Google Earth, Maps and Mobile, or any other 3D Earth browser (geobrowser) implementing the KML encoding. Each place always has a longitude and a latitude. Other data can make the view more specific, such as tilt, heading, altitude, which together define a "camera view".

Example KML document:

Since the XML file can be generated by importing data from any source, simple text visualizations can be converted to appealing visualizations mapped on the earth. Data can be parsed from web sites, excel sheets or even from tags in images on facebook.

Link of the tool -

Google earth is used by millions of people around the globe. Many use it for checking out their favorite places, creating visualizations and exploring the solar system.

a) Google earth Wikipedia,
b) KeyHole Markup Language Wikipedia,
c) Earth API Demos,
d) Sample KML files,