Google Earth Hacks blog

Everything you need to know about Google Earth
(return to Google Earth Hacks)

France gets a lot more StreetView imagery

Filed under: Site News — by at 6:23 pm on Tuesday, October 14, 2008

As reported by Google Maps Mania and the Digital Earth Blog, Google Maps StreetView has just gotten a lot more imagery in France.  In particular, they now have:

  • Lille
  • Lyon
  • Marseille
  • Nice
  • Paris
  • Toulouse

If you find any cool stuff out there, be sure to submit it to our StreetView database.

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 big updates to Google Earth

Filed under: Site News — by at 6:29 pm on Friday, September 5, 2008

It appears there are some major imagery updates that have just been released for Google Earth.  Google Earth Blog has a growing list, which includes locations from all over the world (US, Switzerland, Turkey, Italy, etc).

It seems to be quite a huge update!  Keep your eyes on Google Earth Blog or Digital Earth Blog as more locations are found.

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!

EarthSwoop: Another great way to use the Google Earth plugin

Filed under: Software Updates — by at 5:30 am on Tuesday, June 24, 2008

As I revealed on the Digital Earth Blog last night, EarthSwoop has launched.  What is it?  EarthSwoop is a tool you can use to easily create collections of locations around the globe.  Some examples:

It’s very easy to create a collection, and the result is a nice interface with lots of tools to enhance your data.  Here is a short video that shows you how to create a collection, or you can get a little more info over on the Digital Earth Blog.

Here is an example of an embedded collection, the 30 Major League Baseball stadiums:

Powered by EarthSwoop | More info about this collection

Google Earth plug-in updated to support Firefox 3

Filed under: Site News — by at 4:08 pm on Sunday, June 22, 2008

As reported by the Digital Earth Blog and Google Earth Blog, the Google Earth plug-in now works in Firefox 3!  This was a silent update, as you don’t even need to update your plug-in — it simply works.  Presumably some code on the backend has been updated.

Updating browser plug-ins can be a pain, and I was worried that we’d be seeing a lot of them from Google as they get the plug-in fixed up.  However, this will be quite nice if they can do most of the updating remotely and not require users to update the plugin themselves.

It’s still a Windows-only program, but they’re making progress.  Now you Firefox 3 users can play with ShareIt, or embed our other files, or play games such as Monster Milktruck.

An even easier way to share Google Earth content

Filed under: Software Updates — by at 8:32 am on Friday, June 20, 2008

We’ve already showed you how you can embed any of our files and collections on your own site, but what if you just want to show someone your house, school, or some other location in Google Earth?

Up until now, you had to:

  • Open up Google Earth
  • Find your location
  • Create a placemark
  • Title the placemark
  • Save the placemark to your PC
  • E-mail to a friend

While those steps are worthwhile if you have a complex creation to share, they’re kind of overwhelming for just sharing a single location.  Welcome, ShareIt!

Using the Google Earth plug-in, ShareIt makes it very simple to share locations with your friends, and/or embed them on your own site.

  • Give your location a title
  • Find it in Google Earth (using the plug-in)
  • Submit!

The script will automatically create a new page for the item, a KML for Google Earth, and embed code for your own site, so you can do whatever you want with it.  You don’t even need to log-in to create an item — just do it!

I’m going to the Georgia Aquarium tomorrow, so here’s a quick look at that amazing building:

Try it out for yourself and let us know what you think.

Note: The plug-in doesn’t current work with Firefox 3, but according to the comments on this post at Google Earth Blog, we should see an update for it any day now.

More plug-in goodness

Filed under: Software Updates — by at 7:51 pm on Monday, June 16, 2008

We’ve just added support for the Google Earth plug-in to another area of our site — the collections.

Now, when viewing a collection you will see a link that says “View this entire collection using the Google Earth plug-in”.  This will bring up a page with the plug-in on the left and the collected files on the right.  Click a thumbnail to fire it in the main window.  It makes browsing collections much easier!  Here is an example using the NASCAR collection.

But we’ve taken it a step further.  If you see a collection that you like, you can grab the embed code and embed it on your site!  The script will build a smaller, more lightweight version of the collection designed to run on your site.  Here is the NASCAR collection using the embed code:

Since we’ve already built support for you to view our entire collection of 20,000+ placemarks using the plug-in, it only makes sense that we give you the power to embed those, too.  If you view ANY of our files on their Google Earth Plug-in page (like this page for the Hoover Dam), there is some embed code on there now, too!  Here is the Hoover dam using the embed code:

If you have any questions or problems, please let us know.

« Previous PageNext Page »