Category Archives: Content

Mapping US population densities, median ages, by county

When it rains, it pours. Juice Analytics publishes a glorious example of the kind of stuff spatial analysis does best — overlays for Google Earth with colors denoting population densities or median ages, county-by-county. Here is NY population densities (I love this):


Collect all 50 states.

[Update 23:28 UTC: Forgot to mention that male/female ratios are also available.]

Shorter news

>Via Google Maps Mania, I am here!, a web app that lets you send an email with a dynamically produced KML placemark for any given latitude and longitude. Great if you’re travelling and don’t have Google Earth handy. And wouldn’t it be cool if positioning-enabled mobile phones had the ability to do this?

>Juice Analytics launches Absolutely Google Earth: “Our goal is to make this a great resource for anyone interested in looking for ways to make Google Earth Mash-ups and analytical tools.”

>Tim Beerman has an interesting read on his blog Interactive Earth about using Google Earth as an emergency response viewer. He’s also got plans for more complicated projects involving Google Earth, and promises to blog soon about “some work I have been involved with at the US Air Force Academy with automated vehicle location (AVL) and and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) with streaming video into ArcMap and Google Earth.”

>An article from a recent issue of India’s RealPolitik magazine berates India’s leadership for their response to Google Earth. Most of the ground has been covered, but the following was new to me:

Continue reading Shorter news

Today’s shorter news

>Brammeleman’s original center of gravity calculator now has the coordinate fix and also can take KMZ files as well.

>One thing that often stumps people the first time they dabble in serving KML and KMZ files from their own servers is setting things up correctly so that the browser knows what to do with the files. Google offers a hint here, but Welshman Barry Hunter spells it out for users of Apache. It turns out Barry keeps a very useful page with links to network links and overlays for Google Earth, many of them UK-centric.

>Alex of Ark’s Tech Blog wanted to go the other way, converting KML to GPX, and he explains how he did it.

>Slow news day at the UK’s Times Online: An article on how some travel agencies are incorporating images from Google Earth to show that beachside resort really means beachside.

Global Biodiversity data in Google Earth

Another week, another amazing application for Google Earth.

Declan actually reported on this in his article in Nature a few weeks ago, but the passing reference, well, passed me by: The Global Biodiversity Information Facility is a prototype data portal that gives you access to an exhaustive database of taxonomies and where on Earth specimens of these species have been found. You can query the database for your favorite plant or animal and then you can plot the returned geographic “occurence data” on Google Earth, like so. The screenshot below is from a search for White Mustard and Bighorn sheep (for the record, not my favorite plant and animal):

divata.jpgBut that’s not all: There is an easy-to-use tool to add your own coordinate data to Google Earth, links to detailed and dynamic topographic overlays for different regions around the world, and tools for creating 3D objects in Google Earth. The method used is quite nifty, involving dynamically created llinks inside Google Earth that take you to a web page where you can tweak away.

China’s secret nuclear sub tunnel, now on Google Earth

Imaging Notes magazine has published high-resolution satellite pictures taken by commercial operator Digital Globe of a “secret” tunnel for China’s nuclear submarines. The tunnel is easily located on Google Earth with a bit of sleuthing.

Here is a Washington Times story about the image, here is the actual image by Imaging Notes, and here is the page documenting the site by the Nuclear Information Project, which includes an account of how the tunnel was built.


I’ve turned the images into overlays at the correct location on Google Earth. Here is the KMZ file, posted to Google Earth Community.

Suddenly, last month’s thought experiment is no longer so abstract.