Activist layers: Greenpeace, UNICEF, World is Witness

A couple of new layers are up on Google Earth today.

Greenpeace: One is a new Greenpeace layer showing those places that environmental organization is active. Google Earth Blog has this one covered. [Update: Official announcement by Greenpeace]

UNICEF: Another is a new UNICEF layer showing off its projects. It comes with an innovate new hack: tab functionality inside the placemark popup. Okay, it just looks like a tab — I think what is going on is that there are two placemarks at the same location, and that the “tab” links refer to each placemark’s popup in turn. The hack is that one placemark has no visible icon, so you don’t have choose between closely spaced placemarks when you click on an icon. Check it out — you’ll see what I mean. Very clever.


World is Witness: And then there is a layer for World is Witness, a major new effort by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The Google Earth layer accompanies the geoblog of the same name, and which tells georeferenced stories of people facing the threat of genocide and other crimes against humanity, primarily in Africa.


Inspiration definitely came from the Gombe Chimp Blog, but Michael Graham, one of the driving forces behind the USHMM Darfur Crisis layer, pushed World is Witness to become something that can aggregate all sort of media into a georeferenced post: text, photos, podcasts, video and even KML files attached to posts, pinpointing places or routes mentioned in an article. This makes the blog a very versatile tool for getting news out quickly about changing events on the ground, using every media that a modern-day field reporter might have at their disposal to make reportage much more immediate and nuanced for the reader — not just on the web but automatically for Google Earth too. No tropes here. (Disclosure: I was marginally involved in the discussions that produced this geoblog.) (Update 2008-04-07: Official announcement)

The official announcements should have more info. I will link to them as they appear.

5 thoughts on “Activist layers: Greenpeace, UNICEF, World is Witness”

  1. So, how do we learn how Unicef created their tabbed placemarks? I can’t copy the link from the Layeers menu. I can’t copy the placemark from the viewer. Unicef’s website doesn’t offer a downloadable placemark set.

    Too bad. I like studying the KML code to see what I can apply to my placemarks.


  2. Sure you can. Just right click on the place mark and select “copy”, then paste in a text editor. I just did it.

  3. Well, I’ll be! You’re right. I don’t know how I missed that. I’m sure I right-clicked the placemarks in the viewer.

    I see now that I can do a copy, as you said, or I can choose “save to my places”. Either one gives me the code to peruse.


  4. How can I turn this layer off? Check/un-check the box in layers doesn’t work. If I’m using GE for a class presentation, I don’t want these icons distracting the class.

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