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Using Google Earth





Google Earth has fantastic facilities for viewing data and we do everything we can to utilized those facilities. This help topic goes over some of the basic usage of Google Earth. Google Earth allows you to create geometry and save geometry to KML and KMZ files. We'll also talk about how to import Google Earth geometry into Traverse PC. Most important though, we'll be explaining the basics of KML/KMZ files exported by Traverse PC.


KML Sneak Peek (1:09)

Creating geometry in Google Earth

There are three basic types of geometry that Google Earth can create, Placemarks, Polygons, and Paths (Polylines). Google Earth gives us the ability to export those basic types of geometry as a KML or KMZ file. The tool bar located at the top of Google Earth has three buttons for adding placemarks, polygons and paths, you can also add them from a menu item named "Add" location on the top left of Google Earth.

When you create a placemark, polygon, or path via the toolbar or menu item, you'll get a dialog that pops up that lets you edit the name, description, style, color, etc. Once you're done editing the name, description, etc you need to place the geometry and/or add vertices (if you've added a polygon or path) then click OK to close the dialog.

When that dialog closes you'll have a new item listed under "My Places" (The big panel on the left). It will be listed under the name you gave it when you first had the dialog open to create the geometry.

Saving geometry in Google Earth

Created geometry listed under "My Places" can be saved to a KML or KMZ file from Google Earth. Simply find the geometry in "My Places" that you want to save out to a file and right click it and choose "Save Place As...". You'll be prompted with a save as dialog, which will want a location to save the file in and filename. To choose what file type you want to save it as (KML or KMZ), look at the bottom of that dialog and you'll see "Save as type:", this gives you two choices, either KML or KMZ. Once you're ready click "Save" to create the file, the dialog will close.

Opening and viewing geometry in Google Earth

You can get KML/KMZ files into Google Earth two ways. The main method of opening files in Google Earth is through the "File" menu under the "Open..." command. When you click "Open..." a dialog will appear waiting for you to choose a KML or KMZ file to open. Google Earth can open a variety of file types, but we're concerned with KML and KMZ. The second way is directly through TPC. When you export any file in TPC you can click the "Preview" button in the export dialog and TPC will launch the application associated to the file type exported. In this case we're dealing with KML / KMZ files so when preview is pressed, Google Earth launches with the exported file loaded and displayed.

Traverse PC and Google Earth

How to export and import data with Traverse PC is covered in other help topics. This help topic is covering only the stuff you'll see and deal with in Google Earth when working with a KML/KMZ file exported by TPC. The KML file TPC exports has a variety of folders and extra data packaged with it to make importing the KML back into Traverse PC very simple.

TPC includes modules for both KML and KMZ.  You can choose which option to use based on the file type you want to use.

See Exporting KML/KMZ and Importing KML/KMZ.

TPC Default KML / KMZ Folders

Every KML file exported by Traverse PC will have the following default folders:

Drawing - This folder contains Quick View entities exported by TPC. Arcs, circles, rectangles, lines and polylines. When you export an entire drawing via the whatlist, the survey space entities you manually added to the drawing will be placed under a sub-folder named the same as the layer that the entity came from. Only entities in user layers will be exported from the drawing.

Traverses - This folder contains all the traverses exported by TPC. Border and source traverses from an exported surface will also be placed in this folder. Each traverse exported will have a named folder placed under the "Traverses" folder. Each traverse folder has one piece of KML geometry representing the traverse being drawn and of course a sub-folder with a list of all points used in the traverse.

Sub-folders - Each Traverse folder has a "SideShots", "TraverseInfo", and a "Midpoint Placemarks" sub-folder. The "SideShots" folder will contain any sideshot points in the traverse. When labels like Lot Area and Lot name are being displayed for a traverse, that data will be exported and placed into the "TraverseInfo" sub-folder. There is a "Points" folder as well. It contains a list of points used by the traverse. You can click each point label in the points folder to display some information on that point.

Surfaces - This folder contains the surfaces exported by TPC. Each surface exported has a named folder placed under the "Surfaces" folder. Each surface folder has four sub-folders, major contours, minor contours, TIN lines and break lines. The major and minor contours sub-folders hold all the geometry related to the contours. The TIN and break line sub-folders hold geometry related to their respective names.

Points - This folder contains points exported from selected traverses points, selected points from the Points Manager and if a surface uses all TOPO points in a survey as its source then those points will be placed in this folder when you export that surface.

Inside of Google Earth

Expanding a folder:

To expand a folder in Google Earth just click the 'plus' sign at the left of the checkbox. You can only expand a folder if it's currently collapsed.

Collapsing a folder:

To collapse a folder in Google Earth just click the 'minus' sign at the left of the checkbox. You can only collapse a folder if it's currently expanded.

Tagging and un-tagging items:

A tagged item will be rendered in Google Earth. Untagged items will not be rendered in Google Earth. To tag / untag items simply click the check box to the left of the name of the folder, placemark, or etc. As you're looking at your exported KML file, remember you can tag / untag traverses, drawing entities, etc when you want to hide / unhide things to make the KML file in Google Earth less cluttered.

EPSG 3857 and 4326

Google Earth, Open Street Maps, etc. generally use these coordinate reference systems which TPC provides as .prj files.

EPSG: 4326 ground coordinates

EPSG: 3857 grid coordinates

See EPSG 3857 & 4326

Related Topics

Importing KML
Exporting KML
KML / KMZ Import Settings
KML / KMZ Export Settings
EPSG 3857 & 4326


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