How to use Google Earth to define your Points of Interest

 

Once the model area has been defined, it is time to add some features to the model.  A common feature to add is a Point of Interest (POI).  Often times we come across POIs that have not been previously mapped.  This is very easy to accomplish in Google Earth, and will aid in the design of the model tremendously.

This initial design step will help to define location of your POIs, which can later be stylized and/or labeled as you see fit.  At this stage it is more important to accurately locate the POI then it is to get the look just right in Google Earth.

After opening Google Earth, locate the “Places” menu bar on the left side of the screen.

Places

Right Click on “My Places”, hoover over “Add”, then click “Folder”. Name your project folder.

PlacesSave

You can then add subfolders for different categories of POIs (i.e. “Schools”, “Hospitals”, Shopping”).  It is good to keep your POIs very organized, as it will make adding style to them easier if they are in there appropriate groups.

Places_Location

Once you have located your subject area we can begin to add our POIs.  There are a couple of methods of locating the POI; you can search for the point in the search bar, or if you are familiar with the area you can visually locate it on screen by zooming in.

Search

Once you have located where the POI is, click on the “Add Placemark” button located at the top of the screen (it looks like a yellow thumbtack).  You can also right click on the folder it is to be placed in,  then “Add”, then “Placemark”.

AddPlaceMark

By default the thumbtack is placed at the center of the screen, and the crosshairs should be flashing.  To more accurately place the POI, click and drag the flashing placemark to its exact location.

Placemark

When you click on the “Add Placemark” button, a dialog box will pop up.  This is where you can name your POI, add any description of the POI.

SavePlaceMark

Once you are satisfied with the location and name of the POI, click “OK” in the dialog box.  Notice that your shape was added to the “Places” menu, under whichever folder you placed it in.  Next, right click on the project folder, or category folder, and click “Save Place As”.  Save as a KMZ, in a location easy to find.

Send the KMZ, or multiple KMZs to us here at Solid Terrain Modeling, and we will be well on our way to making your project a reality.

How to use Google Earth to define your model scene

by: GIS / Cartographer: Jeff Klittich

 

One of the most important decisions to be made when designing a Solid Terrain Model is determining the scene or the Area of Interest (AOI).  When choosing your AOI you will definitely want to include your subject area, be it a park, land development, or city boundary.  You will also want to include any surrounding areas which provide context for the story you telling with the model.

Google Earth is an excellent tool to visualize and define your model extents.  This preliminary step will help to define the size shape and scale of the model to be produced.

For this example I will use YosemiteNational Park as my subject area.

After opening Google Earth, search for the area to be modeled.

GE-AOI-Search  GE-AOI-Yosemite

 

Once you have located your subject area click on the “Add Polygon” button located at the top of the screen. GE-AOI-Polygon

 

This tool will allow you to draw any shape you please by clicking where you want to place corner points.

When you click on the “Add Polygon” button, a dialog box will pop up.  This is where you can name your project, add any description of the project, and define the appearance of the polygon.

GE-AOI-Polygon_Properties

 

The next step is to draw the polygon, to define the AOI.  Simply click at the four corners of the approximate location of where you would want the AOI to be placed.

GE-AOI-Yosemite-AOI

 

Don’t worry if the shape isn’t exactly even, this is only a preliminary sketch.  If you are not satisfied with the placement of the points, right clicking on them will delete the last point added.

Once you are satisfied with your sketch, click “OK” in the dialog box.  Notice that your shape was added to the “Places” menu, under “My Places”.

GE-AOI-My_Places

 

Next, right click on the shape name in the “Places” menu, and click “Save Place As”.  Save the shape as a KMZ, in a location easy to find.

GE-AOI-Save_As

 

Send the KMZ to us here at Solid Terrain Modeling, and we will be well on our way to making your project a reality.