In The Desert
Content including photographs are Copyright © 2011 - Don & Linda Gilmore
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Google Earth Help Series
Google Earth Options
Google Earth is one of the best satellite map systems available for finding and locating anything you can imagine on this earth or in the desert. Roads, buildings, trails, geological features, or a lack of them. Finding your way in the desert will be greatly enhanced with it's use if you learn how to use all the features available to you. We have endeavored to explain the use of 7 features in the latest version (5.3) as of 9/12/2010. These seven options are going to enhance your experience with the program. If you are using an older version then by all means upgrade now! If you don't have Google Earth on your computer then I'd suggest you download it if you plan on spending any time in the desert. Some of the features we have here you may be familiar with, some you may not. There are more features then what we have written up and some of them will be useful, especially in the Layers part of the window. Google Earth has their own User's guide which will help, but here we've tried to explain the use of the features with wording and through screen captures to make it easy to learn. At the bottom of each page is a link to the Google Earth User's Guide.
Google Earth User's Guide can be found HERE
A great way to enhance your view of the prominent features of the landscape. Mountains, cliffs, hills of sufficient height will all look more 3D like when you know how to set the 3D view options in the program. Easy to do with just a couple clicks.
If you own a GPS and a don't have a topo program then this is definitely worth looking into. Even if you have a topo program, this is a great way to view your GPS topo tracks on a satellite view map and see the surrounding terrain you've been traveling in.
This could be really helpful when trying to find a latitude and longitude given to you by a friend or one you found on your GPS unit. Good for directions for others to follow.Great for reference points for later when looking for an area you haven't been to yet.
Roads are important for locating areas and being able to get to them. In the desert a lot of the old roads (wagon & stage coach trails) are shown on the satellite view if it's enabled in the Layers panel. It can also easily be turned off for more detail in the terrain.
In the desert everything looks different at different times of the day. Shadows have a real effect on your preception of the terrain around you. You can change the time of day in Google Earth and even cycle slowly through a day to see the differences, Learn how...
Of course the weather is important, so why not have it right on the satellite view? It's easy to turn on and off in the Layers panel. This is not meant to be a replacement for a good weather site but will help to give you an idea of what going on weather wise in the area your visiting.
There will be times when you'll want to send a location, placemark, or GPS topo track on Google Earth to some one else so they can find you, a treasure site, or just show where you have been in the desert. Easy to do if you know how.