Google Earth Community Forum Posts

The heuristic process followed in this discussion was documented in a series of posts to the Google Earth Community, hosted in the Earth and Geography (moderated) forum. A copy of the thread is included here for reference.

March 8, 2012 UPDATE: The Keyhole forum has been migrated into a Google Groups venue. The PDF links below display the topic as it was originally posted.

Download a PDF copy of Forum Posts Page 1

Download a PDF copy of
Forum Posts Page 2

Download a PDF copy of
Forum Posts Page 3

Download a PDF copy of
Forum Posts Page 4

Download a PDF copy of
Forum Posts Page 5

In addition, please reference the following additional posts to the forum:

Of Sand Dunes and Carolina Bays

Blythe Bay in Wilmington, NC

The mystery of the Carolina Bays

Embedded Google Earth Viewer Widgets

Link to learn about >>>

The Google Earth facility is a powerful GIS tool which is very "approachable" and intuitive to casual users. Google Earth (GE) can be obtained at We have an interesting discussion of the Pleistocene - Holocene Boundary and how Google Earth was leveraged in the Inferred Alignment section of the Saginaw Manifold chapter.

The identification of Saginaw ejecta and crater landforms can be accomplished easily using GE. Annotation of each location with structural characteristics and linking information are all easily accomplished. The resulting database can be managed as a structured medadata text file, which is easily distributed to other collaborative users. As we build the database of these elements, we will offer our viewers access to the "Keyhole Markup Language", or KML file. A zipped version , KMZ, of these files are also available. A benefit of the zipped file is that the relevant overlay images can be imbedded in the structure.

Our overlays are quite small and limited in number. The KMZ version reference internet connections to load the overlays from our central site. We offer our collection of KMZ files on our Keyhole Downloads page.

LiDAR Viewer Link that we originally offered here no longer functions because Google had discontinued the support the 3D Java API. While awaiting a new way to imbed the virtual globe in a web page, I am doing the closest thing to it - a geospatial map of all the Carolina bays rendered by the Google Fusion Table Mapping Facility.

This interactive plug-in map is a hybrid, showing all 48,000 + bays surveyed to date (the small round placemark dots). Clicking on those placemarks will bring up a popup with a link to the relevant KMZ file for downloading into the Google Earth application. Fusion Tables has the ability to sub-set the displays icons to a maximum of 500, keeping the viewer from overloading with too many placemarks. As the viewer zooms in or out, the field of view (FOV) will be updated with a maximum of 500 elements, eventually dropping off as the number of bays in that FOV drops below 500 - at which point all the bays within that FOV will be displayed. The icons are color-coded to indicate the elevation above sea level of that bay’s “floor”, as reported by the USGS’s elevation server at the time of encoding of the metrics.

Note that the plug-in window here does not function like the full Google Earth application would, as you can not load the bay planform overlays from the pop-up links into this window. Instead, the KMZ file will be downloaded to your system for use directly in Google Earth.