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Now you can add new placemarks much more easily

Filed under: Software Updates — by at 10:07 am on Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I built the EasyLatLon tool a while ago as a simple way for you to grab the lat/lon of any location.  It’s worked quite well for that, and it’s been rather popular, but now I’ve added some additional features to make it much more useful.

Starting now, you can add a few location to our site with just a few clicks.  Watch the video below to see how it works, and then head over to the EasyLatLon page to try it for yourself!

New commenting system for files

Filed under: Software Updates — by at 9:33 am on Thursday, September 2, 2010

The system we have been using for file comment was hand-built years ago, and really it was rather crude.  To simplify things, we’ve just implemented the Comment system using the Facebook JavaScript SDK.  This system looks nicer, and should be much easier to use.  When viewing any file on the site, just scroll down and you’ll see the comment box.

Here are a few examples of it on the site.

Some test comments, so you can see how they look:

When you post, you have the option to have the comment appear on your profile.  While we certainly encourage this, you can turn it off if you’ll be leaving a lot of comments on files so that you don’t clutter up your Facebook stream:

If comments had been left for a file using the previous system, we’ve included a link to those so you can still view them:

Lastly, we know that some of you don’t use Facebook and have no desire to, and that’s perfectly fine.  If you’re not logged in to Facebook, you can still leave a comment without any problems.

So there you have it.  If you have any thoughts, questions or problems, please let us know.



New tool for you to use: Easy LatLon

Filed under: Software Updates — by at 6:37 pm on Thursday, October 29, 2009

This is a pretty simple one.  I often find myself quickly needing to get the latitude/longitude for a particular point, and there’s not a simple way to get it.  There’s some easy ways, but none that are just simple and quick.  That’s what this fills.

Fire up Easy LatLon and browse around using the Google Earth Plug-in.  You can use the search box to find a location at the top by name or by address.  Every time the camera stops moving, the lat/lon on the left side of the page are updated.

Suppose you wanted to know the location of Yankee Stadium.  Go to Easy LatLon, type in “Yankee Stadium” at the top, and the results are there on the side.  Copy/paste them to whatever you need.

Like I said, it’s very simple.  I hope it’s helpful for you from time to time.

Over a million downloads for user ‘SpiderX22’!

Filed under: Software Updates — by at 7:14 pm on Sunday, October 25, 2009

We’ve just reached a cool milestone.  One our most prolific file submitters, SpiderX22, has now had his files downloaded over a million times! He’s submitted more than 1200 files to the site over the years, and the total downloads for those files has just passed 1,000,000.  Great work, Spider!

I also want to recognize two other big submitters — McMaster_de and sladys.  They’ve both submitted more files than Spider has, though neither has reach a million downloads yet.  McMaster is well over 900,000 and will probably reach a million pretty soon.

You can see the full list of our Top 50 Submitters on this page.

It’s worth mentioning that sladys has also been an animal with our StreetView area, adding more than 3300 locations to that database!  He’s the main reason that section of the site has grown as large as it has.  There are a lot of neat things to find in there, so be sure to check it out.

100,000 members

Filed under: Software Updates — by at 7:52 am on Saturday, July 25, 2009

Just a quick, fun note — the number of registered users in our forums has crossed the 100,000 mark.  Wow!

Thanks to all of you who have contributed over the years, and we look forward to many more!

Track new forum discussions via Twitter

Filed under: Software Updates — by at 5:26 am on Thursday, April 16, 2009

Those those of you that use our forums and use Twitter, here’s a new account for you to follow — @GEHforums.  This Twitter account simply takes any new threads in the forums and tweets out the title of the thread and a link.  It’s a good way to keep up with new discussions without having to wade through the forums each day.  If you participate in a thread, then you can just “subscribe” to the thread when you’re posting to automatically receive e-mail updates of new posts.

Also, don’t forget about the main @gearthhacks Twitter account.  It currently posts items from the blog, but soon we’ll be pushing new file uploads to it as well.



Amazing Race 13 in Google Maps

Filed under: Software Updates — by at 9:03 pm on Sunday, September 28, 2008

My wife and I have been big fans of The Amazing Race for a few years now, so I thought it’d be fun to track their route throughout the season.  Below is their map after the first leg, from Los Angeles, CA to Salvador, Brazil.  I’ll be updating the map each week with more information, photos, etc, so check back each week to see the latest updates.

The red lines/icons are areas that have already been completed (as shown on TV), the green pushpin is their current location, and the yellow lines are the future destinations for the contestants.

Be sure to zoom in on each area of the map for more details and information.

View Larger Map

GEH: Mobile launched

Filed under: Software Updates — by at 10:16 am on Sunday, September 28, 2008

If you’re away from home and looking for something to kill some time, we’ve got your answer — GEH: Mobile.  It’s thousands of files from our database in the palm of your hand, in the format of a simple mobile website.  It’s designed with the iPhone in mind, but should work well with any recent smartphone.  Having only been able to test on an iPhone, I’d love to get some feedback from other smartphone users (N95, etc).

The mobile site gives you quick access to about 80% of our file library (no 3D models or image overlays).  You can view the newest files, most popular file, or view them by category.  Every file has a thumbnail, and will link you to the real location on Google Maps — on the iPhone it will launch the “Maps” application and take you there.  In addition, you can sort items by date/popularity, read full descriptions and view comments made by other users.

Visit the site on your phone by going to  If you save a bookmark to your home screen on your iPhone, you’ll get a custom GEH icon as shown above.  Below are a few screenshots.

Have fun!

Over 2,000 locations in our StreetView database

Filed under: Software Updates — by at 10:40 am on Thursday, September 18, 2008

Exactly five months after it first launched, our StreetView section received its 2000th file — not bad!

File # 2000 was a good find — a clear shot of the streetview car in a mirror on the side of the road.

Of the 2000 files, the most popular (by votes) is the “burning car“, which is pretty self-explanatory.  The most-viewed file is “girl changing clothes at car“, with over 24,000 views.

We’ve got some big plans to improve our StreetView section even further, so keep sending us your great finds!


Some useful tools for Hurricane Gustav (and Hanna, Ike, Josephine, etc)

Filed under: Software Updates — by at 1:51 pm on Friday, August 29, 2008

Tropical Atlantic has built some useful tools for Google Earth, showing a variety of possible storm tracks for all of the major storms.  Being able to side a wide variety of computer models in Google Earth gives you a great way to see where the storms might land.  Check it out!

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