Sunday, September 30, 2007

Mashing maps in Google Earth

As I've already been asked a couple of times to show how I combined maps and RSS feeds in Google Earth during my presentation at web2forDev it seems sensible to write a short note on it here.

Overlaying charts
This really is very simple. For those who like to experiment then all that needs to be said is - select the menu item Image Overlay... from the Add menu. There's even a keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+O. For those who would like more detailed instructions these can be found in the Google Earth user guide
Tip - for global charts like those I was showing it's easier to use the Location tab and enter 90N, 90S, 179E, 180W in the appropriate boxes.

Overlaying RSS feeds
As most feeds don't have geo-location information for each item, some processing is required. Fortunately there are at least two free services that can do this work for us. The easiest to use is the GeoNames RSS to GeoRSS Converter. Here's an example, showing the form of the URL required to present the Web2forDev blog on Google Earth

Clicking on that URL might not launch Google Earth, so instead use the Network link... option in the Add menu of Google Earth. It may also be necessary to "ignore errors" when the feed is read. So it's easy, but not yet ready for prime time, so I prefer to use Yahoo! Pipes, and I'll write about that in a future post.

1 comment:

Luigi said...

Thanks for that, Michael. Have you checked out the "Map" feature in our blog at We found a nice wordpress plug-in to geo-reference blog posts.