Google Earth Outreach

Google Earth Outreach was announced at the NY Googleplex today. Relevant links:

The press release.

Google Earth Outreach, the website, including a by-now really meaty showcase of existing layers, and in-depth case studies of how best-of-breed layers were made.

A Google Earth Outreach discussion group has been set up, but so far I think by far the most useful part of the site is the new tutorials page, where you can download ready-made KML templates for placemark descriptions and instructions for turning spreadsheets into KML. Another find is instructions for using JEdit, a text editor that can be made to validate KML as you type (and it runs on OS X). (The placemarks templates are going to be a fantastic timesaver.)

Are you a “public benefit, US-based non profit with current 501(c)(3) status”? Then you are eligible for a free Google Earth Pro license. (It is restricted to US-only non-profits, but Google “reserve the right to make some exceptions.” I think it’s because there is no recognized global authenticating body for non-profits. So let your reputation do the talking.)

In tandem with this announcement, there are new default layers in Google Earth from the Global Heritage Fund, EarthWatch and from TransFair USA (fair trade co-ops).

Search Engine Watch provides color from the event, as does AP and IDG News.

One thought on “Google Earth Outreach”

  1. The GE Earth Pro grant program is great news for humanitarian aid organizations. They will finally have a GIS tool in their pocket that they can use without restriction. I am sure we will see a lot of new and useful layers surface. Thankfully, many international organizations have 501c3 status.

    Now, if we could only have ‘clickable’ countries for low bandwidth environments…

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