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Google Earth Project

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    Key Contributor

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With the all the fanfare around Google Earth (GE), I convinced some clients to start using GE instead of the more traditional print maps. These clients tend to have ever changing map requirements, tend to call at the last minute and want a map of a new area. In an attempt to quell the late nites, I have suggested using GE.

This project is for a land development company that owns about 20 railroads throughout the US and Canada (only 1 railroad included). Their concerns are on who owns what around their railroads and potential business opportunities. Traditionally, this would require creating a map or series of maps to illustrate who owns property, these maps would be updated whenever property changes. Potential business opportunities are another layer which would require a new map overlaying the locations of these opportunities in relation to the railroads.

The OmniTRAX - KNC Railroad file is a relatively simple file with counties (GE does not have counties for some reason, railroad right-of-way and trackage rights, all sections within one mile of the railroad, and some parcel information (it is being added as it is created)).

The Ethanol Plants file is the location of various existing, under-construction, and proposed ethanol plants. This is a business opportunity for them. The nice thing with providing a base layer then separate layers for opportunities is not in recreating maps. They have a base file and can call and say I need this. All you send is what they need and they can overlay it with their existing information.

Keeping in mind the limitations of GE (font selection, line symbology, lack of level of details, etc.), I curious to get other cartographers opinions on design, information presentation, usefulness, etc. of this new medium for cartography.

To manage the information, sections and parcels are set to display when you mouse over the centers of the polygons. If you click on a parcel, section, or ethanol plant more information is displayed.. Counties are in grey, sections in red, parcels in white. This is not a finished product. Please note that line widths (which are used in these files) are only visible in OpenGL mode, not in DirectX mode.

Look forward to your comments,

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