Web-based Exercise #1

Mapping the Earth

 

Estimated time: 4 hour

Grading:  8 points total (ONE point for each question).

 

Due Day: Feb 7 at the beginning of lecture (before 11:00am).  

You should upload your lab answers to the Blackboard (http://blackboard.sdsu.edu) before the lectureand submit a paper print-out version in the class.  We will use the Timestamp on your documents in the Blackboard to check if your assignment is late or not.

(In your upload file, please use this title: GEOG104-LAB-1-[Your name].doc (or txt or pdf).  Please write down your answers in MS Word or WordPAD or other word processing software.  Please always save a local backup copy of your own answers.)

 

If you don't have Internet access, you can use our SAL lab (Storm Hall 338, third floor) on every Friday morning from 11:00am to 12:00pm.

 

1. Installing Google Earth

Estimated time: 8 minutes (Note: you need to have the writing privilege for installing new software in a local personal computers, if you can not install Google Earth, please use our SAL lab machine.  Each machine in the SAL lab has pre-installed Google Earth.)

Go to http://earth.google.com.

There are three versions of Google Earth: Google Earth, Google Earth Plus and Google Earth Pro. We will use the free version of Google Earth in this exercise.

Figure 1. Google Earth Webpage

Figure 1: Google Earth Webpage

 

Try to download the version 6 at http://earth.google.com/download-earth.html (Figure 2)

(uncheck the box in the middle of the page if you don't want to install Google Chrome web brower)

Figure 2. Google Earth Download Webpage A

Figure 2. Google Earth Download Webpage

 

Click “Agree and Download” and you will see the web page like Figure 3.

Figure 3. Google Earth Download Webpage B

 

If you cannot see the file download message, click "click here" hyper-link on the top of the Figure 3.

Check your computer system configurations to make sure your computer can run Google Earth. For most PC Windows system users, the download file, GoogleEarth.exe is around 7.3Mb. Given typical high speed Internet connections (e.g. Cable Modem), the estimated download time would be 1-2 minutes. 

The Google Updater starts automatically. If it doesn’t, Click “Run”

Figure 4. Google Earth Download Window through Google Updater

 

Click “Run Google Earth”

If  you are using Norton Internet Security tool, please make sure the firewall allow Google Earth to access the Internet.

When installation is finished, launch the Google Earth program. The interface of Google Earth looks like Figure 5.

google_earth

Figure 5: The Google Earth Interface
(1:Search Panel; 2:Places Panel; 3:Layers Panel; 4:Navigation Controls; 5:Map View)

 

2. Simple User Guide of Google Earth

Estimated time: 20 minutes

 

2.1   Interface and Functions

There are three operational panels (1-3), Navigation Control(4), and a map view (5) in the interface (Figure 5). The three panels are: Search Panel (Panel 1), Place Panel (Panel 2), Layer Panel (Panel 3). For detailed information, please go to http://earth.google.com/support/bin/static.py?page=guide_toc.cs

 

2.1.1 Search Panel (Figure 6)

Figure 6: Fly to Field of the Search Panel

Type the keyword San Diego in the Fly To address field and then press the enter key.  This will fly you to the center of the City of San Diego, California (Figure 7).

Figure 7: Flying to San Diego

You can also try your home address to take a look at your house from the sky.

Given current view, you can try the “Find Businesses”,  as shown in Figure 8:

Figure 8: Local Search Field

Similarly, the “Directions” field can give driving directions if provided with starting and ending addresses (Figure 9).

Figure 9: Directions Field

The directions (Figure 9) can be linked to the Google map to produce a printable view (Figure 11) (by clicking on the “Printable view” link).

 Figure 10: Directions from New York to San Diego

Figure 11: Printable Google Map

 

 2.1.2 Place Panel

Figure 12: Place Panel

In the place panel (Figure 12), Google Earth provides a virtual tour. You can click on the “Play” button Play Tour button. Many famous sightseeing places have been included.

You can also create your own sightseeing tour by right clicking on the “My Place”à “Add”à “Placemark”. You can add a placemark in the map to make a virtual tour (Figure 13).

Figure 13: Create a New Placemark

 

2.1.3 Layer Panel

Figure 14: Layer Panel

You can manipulate the layers in the layer panel (Figure 14). Select the layers you are interested to display in the map view.

 

2.1.4 Navigation Controls

Go to the “View” pull-down menu and toggle on the “Overview Map” by clicking on the option from the pop-down list.  If it is already selected, leave it alone.

Here is a list of some of the basic controls and their functions:

The “Look Joystick” control   : Use the Look joystick to look around as if you were turning your head. Click an arrow to look in that direction or continue to press down on the mouse button to change your view. After clicking an arrow, move the mouse around on the joystick to change the direction of motion.

The “Move Joystick” control : Use the Move joystick to move your position from one place to another. Click an arrow to look in that direction or continue to press down on the mouse button to change your view. After clicking an arrow, move the mouse around on the joystick to change the direction of motion.

The "Zoom Slider" : To get closer to the ground to see more detail but in a smaller geographic area. Try to clicking and dragging the slider toward the plus/minus sign; try double-clicking on any part of the image.

The "Hider/Show Sidebar"   : To conceal or the display the side bar (Search, Places and Layers panels).

The “Add Placemark” control   : To add a placemark for a location.

The “Measure” control   : To measure a distance or area size.

The “Add Overlay” controls   : To create and add your own overlay features onto Google Earth.  You can draw a polygon, a line, or add a graphic image to the map which Google Earth will “drape” over the terrain.

The "Email"   : To send the current view to a user with Google Earth or send an image of the current view to an email recipient.

The "View in Google Maps": To show the current view in Google Maps in your web browser.

The "Switch between Sky and Earth":  A switch press between sky and earth. Click it to view stars, constellations, galaxies, planets and the Earth's moon.

 

 

2.2  Google Earth Orientation Exercises

Be sure to open the Google Earth software application on your desktop. Practice using the buttons described above and observing their functions after opening Google Earth on your desktop as described below.

The next step is to type the keyword San Diego in the Fly To address field and then press the enter key (Figure 15). This will fly you to the center of the city of San Diego, California.

Figure 15: Flying to San Diego

Now we are going to introduce an important concept in GIS called, “Map layers.” Map layers are layers of map features, data, or imagery that can be overlaid or stacked together like layers on a cake or toppings on a burger.  Now turn on the "Places", "Roads,"  and "3D Buildings" features in the "List of Layers (Figure 16).

Figure 16: Map Features

You can now add more feature layers to Google Earth by clicking on the check boxes in the Layers Panel at the left of the screen (left side of Figure 17 below).  Click on several.  You may want to select More àPlace CategoriesàDining, Shopping Malls, More àTransportation à Rail etc.  Even though you have turned on some layers, their associated features may not be visible until you sufficiently Zoom In or go to the geographic areas where they occur.  This is called “scale-dependent features.”  It would not make sense to show all buildings on the map when you are zoomed out all the way to the point where you can see the entire planet!  In real life, you would not see all of these features from outer space.  Google Earth and other Virtual Earth-type applications make features like roads, buildings, parks, etc. visible only when they would be visible in real life.

Figure 17: Feature Layers (Left) and Features (Right)

 

Try some examples of 3D View.

a) The Grand Canyon in Arizona (dramatic terrain):

Fly to the Grand Canyon by Entering “Grand Canyon” in the “Fly To” Address Field, choose terrain, and press enter. (See Figure 18)

Click on the “Look Joystick” control until you see the terrain (See Figure 19).

Exploring the local area by moving around (panning) and zooming in and out.

Figure 18 the Grand Canyon in Arizona

Figure 19 a 3D perspective of  Grand Canyon in Arizona

 

b) Downtown San Diego:

Try the same way as above. Choose Roads, 3D buildings, borders, and free to zoom in, zoom out and tilt (Figure 20).You just need to enter “San Diego, CA” in the “Fly to” Address Field. The focus of Google Earth is the downtown San Diego area.

Figure 20 Downtown San Diego

Now you are free to use the Google Earth navigation tools (Figure 20) like Zoom In, Zoom Out, Tilt, etc. Please try the different functions to see what happens.

 

2.3  The Google 3D Warehouse Example

Computer-aided design (CAD) is the use of computer technology to aid in the design of 3D models and/or 2D drawings of physical components. CAD has become an especially important technology within the scope of computer-aided technologies.  Google has developed its own CAD software “Google Sketchup”. You can use it to create, modify and share 3D models. It's easier to learn than other 3D modeling programs, which is why so many people are already using it.

The Google 3D Warehouse is an online repository of 3D models. Anyone can search for and download models, but to publish your own, you'll need to sign in using your Google account.  If you model 3D buildings and would like to share them with the world, you can do so through the "Best of the 3D Warehouse" layer in Google Earth. Only the very best models are selected for inclusion in this layer.

Navigate to the website http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse and click anything under the catalog of “3D Building Collection” (Figure 21).

Figure 21: Google 3D Warehouse

 

Choose any collection you interest in and click on it.

Click on “View in Google Earth”

Click any model you interested in and see the 3D module in Google Earth (Figure 22). (Note: not all 3D models are available to see in Google Earth.)

Figure 22: Navigation Tools

You can also try other cities or famous sightseeing places to get familiar with Google Earth.

 

 

3.     Class Exercises

Estimated time: 3 hour

 

3.1  Direction Exercise

Use the “Directions” field to find out the directions from your home to the school.

First, go to the menu, select “Add”à “Placemark”, move the placemark to the Storm Hall where you take the class.

 Figure 23: Creating a New Placemark

Right click the new placemark, and select “Directions to here”. In the “Directions” field, input your home address. Click on “Search” button Search button.  You can get the directions from your home to the class (Figure 24).

Figure 24: Driving Route to the School

You can also click on the “Play Tour” button Play Tour buttonto display a flying over the route. Right click the “Route” and save to “My Place”.

Please go to  http://support.google.com/earth/bin/answer.py?hl=en&
answer=148081&topic=2376017&ctx=topic
 for more information about address searching rules.

 

Please try to answer the following questions.

(Q1) What is the Latitude and Longitude of the SDSU LOVE LIBRARY?  (Hint: First locate the Library DOME; then, find out the latitude and longitude coordinate values by moving your mouse cursor over the image of your school.  Coordinates will appear on the bottom).

(Q2) Use the Measuring tool (located in the Tools pull-down menu) to measure the direct straight line distance between your home and the Library. Use Miles as the measuring unit. Compare the distance with you obtain in the driving directions in Figure 24. Are you happy with the route Google Earth calculates for you?

(Please write down these answers in your notes, you will need to type them again later)

 

 

3.2  The Bird Flu Example

We will try the bird flu example introduced in the class.

Bird flu is a contagious viral infection that can affect all species of birds. The contagious virus lives primarily in the respiratory system in the infected birds, and human infection occurs when people come into contact with infected birds or contaminated surfaces.  There are thought to be millions of migratory ducks and wildfowl which carry the disease. Worldwide, according to the World Health Organization, more than 135 humans’ infections of the virus have been recorded.

On November 16, 2005, Nature Magazine's Senior Reporter Declan Butler has thoroughly researched the Avian Flu outbreak information and has published the confirmed cases of Avian Flu in a Google Earth file. His avian outbreak map includes Human cases, and a time series of placemarks showing the progression of the flu over the last 18 months.

Click the link   http://www.nature.com/nature/googleearth/avianflu1.kml to open the KML file. Then Google Earth will be automatically launched (Figure 25). If you see alert message window, click “continue”.  (If you cannot see the maps, in the "Places" panel, double-click on "H5N1 distribution maps" under the category of "Temporary Places".)

Figure 25: Bird Flu Example

In the “Places" panel, select the layer of “Additional datasets”.
If you see the alert message window such as “Unsupported image format, go_Russia.png”, click “ok” and  remove the Russia layer( “Additional Datasets à Gridded density of poultry worldwideàRussia”)
This way you can view the poultry density for any continent you are interested in. You can focus on the human cases or animal breaks by selecting the respective layers. For example, you may notice that there were quite a few human cases happened in the first several months of 2006 in the Middle East (Figure 26). For each case, you can make an inquiry to learn more information by directly clicking on the symbol. Please keep track of the spread of the flu virus based on the maps.

Figure 26: Bird Flu Human Cases in the Middle East

Based on the bird flu maps, please answer the following questions.

(Q3) Describe the geographic patterns of the bird flu for both bird and human cases in the Middle East by viewing the bird flu maps. Explain the spatial relationship between human cases and bird cases.

(Q4) Try to identify how many human cases happened in Turkey and report their Latitudes and Longitudes (Hint: in the place panel, only select the “Map of human cases”). Make sure to click on each icon to see the detailed information of each case.

(Q5) According to the maps, how can you predict the potential areas that can be impacted by the bird flu (Hint: Use poultry density map and if possible try to search for bird migration information)?

(Please write down these answers in your notes, you will need to type them again later)

 

 

3.4  The Flight Example

Go to http://www.fboweb.com/antest/ge/intro.aspx?old=1. This website provides flight tracking services which are visualized by Google Earth. For example, we can take a look at inbound flight traffics for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Click on the “(LAX) Los Angeles Int” under the "Flight Tracking" panel on the left hand side(Figure 27). You may not be able to open the kml file becuase the filename has a problem. You should change the file name from geNLAX.kml' to geNLAX.kml (delete the ' from the original filename). Then, you will able to see the inbound traffics toward LAX in Google Earth (Figure 28). (If you cannot see the LA on the Google Earth, double-click on "Flightwise/LAX Inbound Flights" under the Places Panel)

Flightwise

Figure 27: View Live Inbound Traffic for LAX

Figure 28: LAX Real-time Inbound Traffic

Open another KMZ file by clicking  http://support.google.com/earth/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=

148092&topic=2376993&ctx=topic . This will display all active flights in the last hour (caution: may be slow) (Figure 29).

Figure 29: All Active Flights for US-based Airports

 

Please answer the following questions.

(Q6) For LAX inbound flight traffics at the time you are viewing the map, how many planes are below the altitude of 1,000 feet? Please select TWO examples. (Do not this exercise at night because you may not be able to see any flight). List their flight numbers and their altitudes (Hint: use the “Tilt” tool to have a better perspective). Include TWO screen shots from your flight simulator experience into the report (Check the next Section 4. Flight Simulatior).

(Q7) Open http://www.fboweb.com/antest/ge/geALLFLIGHTS.kmz, zoom to San Diego Airport and report the flight numbers of the planes which are about to take off or land. (Do not this exercise at night because you may not be able to see any flight)

(Please write down these answers in your notes, you will need to type them again later)

 

 

4.    Flight Simulator

Google Earth has a built-in flight simulator that allows you to 'fly' a simulated aircraft. For detailed instructions visit the help pages,http://earth.google.com/userguide/v4/ug_flightsim.html. We will take a simplified flight using the simulator leaving from Los Angeles International Airport. Make sure to capture a screen shot of your flightyou will need it later in the questions section.

To capture a screen shot using Windows press 'Print Screen' on the keyboard (if you are using a laptop you may have to press 'Function' and 'Print Screen'). For a Mac press Command-Shift-3 on the keyboard. Using either Mac or Windows to capture a screen shot will put a copy of your screen onto you clipboard, which can then be pasted into a document.  When you open a new Word document, press "Ctrl-V" (to Paste) the screen shot into your report.

The first thing to do is click Tools > Enter Flight Simulator. This will open the flight simulator start window.

Open Flight Simulator
Figure 30. Enter Flight Simulator


Flight Simulator Start Window
Figure 31. Flight Simulator Start Window


In the flight simulator start window select the aircraft that you would like to fly and select Los Angeles (KLAX) from the Aiport drop-down menu. Google Earth will begin you flight by placing you on the LAX runway (figure 32), so we should go over some of the flight controls before you take off.

 

LAX Runway
Figure 32. Takeoff From LAX Runway

 

Google provides a nice explanation of the head-up display (HUD) features on their help pages, http://earth.google.com/userguide/v4/ug_flightsim.html#flying, Figure 33 highlights the main features.

Google Earth Flight Simulator HUDHUD features
Figure 33. Flight Simulator Head-up Display

 

*** Google has a full description of all of the keyboard controls on their help page, http://earth.google.com/support/bin/static.py?page=guide.cs&guide=22385&topic=23746&answer=148092. Make sure to look at the controls before flight or you may end up very frustrated. Also, don't forget to raise the landing gear after you take off.



5.    Keyhole Markup Language (KML) and Google Earth Customization

Estimated time: 30 minutes

 

5.1  Introduction to KML

The previous two examples use KML to encode geographic information and display them in Google Earth. KML stands for Keyhole Markup Language. KML is XML-based document with tags describing names and attributes for locations, symbolization styles, and image overlaying.

Anyone can create a KML file and display the geographic features with Google Earth. However, KML has to be used as a HTML link (e.g.http://services.google.com/earth/kmz/google_earth_tutorial_files.kml).

For a more detailed introduction, see http://earth.google.com/kml/whatiskml.html. For the tutorial, see http://earth.google.com/kml/kml_tut.html.

  

5.2  Creating KML-based Applications (Optional)

Use the KML tutorial sample as an example (http://services.google.com/earth/kmz/google_earth_tutorial_files.kml), download it and open with a text editor.

The document includes:

An XML Header,

A KML namespace declaration,

“Folder” XML-like Structures with multiple tag types,

  Descriptions,

  Names, 

  Placemarks,

As we can see, a placemark typically has “description”, “name”, “look at (or camera view)”, “visibility”, “styleUrl”, “extrude”, “altitudeMode” and “coordinates” tags.

In addition to placemarks, KML also supports “Ground Overplays”, “Paths”, “Polygons”, and “Screen Overlays”.

You can either use a text editor to create a KML document or simple use Google Earth to do it. Start Google Earth, open “My Place” folder in the “Place Panel”, find the previous home-to-school route. Then right click to save the route as a KML file. Now you can publish it as a HTML link to share with others. You can also edit the KML document and try adding new tags into it.

 

5.3  The Google Earth Community

Try to register at the Google Earth Community (http://bbs.keyhole.com/) (Figure 34). In particular, you can go to KML discussion forum (http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/postlist.php/Cat/0/Board/SupportKML). Post your questions if you have.

Figure 34:  Google Earth Community

(Q8) Visit to the Google Earth Community (http://bbs.keyhole.com/).  Pick up ONE active topic forum from the topic list and write a short paragraph to introduce this topic and related discussion issues (for example, in the National Geographic Contents, some users discuss about watching the NGM cam. In the Travel Information topic, some users discuss various hotels and restaurant locations).

 

 

5.4 Google Earth Blogs and Related Websites

Also, there have been many Google Earth Blogs and hacking websites available online. Here is a list. Go check them out!

 

Absolutely Google Earth http://www.juiceanalytics.com/writing/2005/10/absolutely-google-earth-complete-tool-collection/

Google’s Earth http://www.googlesearth.com/

Google Earth Blog http://www.gearthblog.com/

Google Earth @ Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Earth

Google Sightseeing http://www.googlesightseeing.com/

OGLE Earth http://www.ogleearth.com/

How Google Earth Works http://computer.howstuffworks.com/google-earth.htm;

 

 

 


 

Please Answer the Following Questions (Exercise#1)

 

Due Day: Feb 7 at the beginning of lecture (before 11:00am).  You should upload your lab answers to the Blackboard (http://blackboard.sdsu.edu) before the lectureand submit a paper print-out version in the class.  We will use the Timestamp on your documents in the Blackboard to check if your assignment is late or not.

(In your upload file, please use this title: GEOG104-LAB-1-[Your name].doc (or txt or pdf).  Please write down your answers in MS Word or WordPAD or other word processing software.  Please always save a local backup copy of your own answers.)

 

(Q1) What is the Latitude and Longitude of the SDSU LOVE Library?  (Hint: First locate the Library DOME first; then, find out the latitude and longitude coordinate values by moving your mouse cursor over the image of your school.  Coordinates will appear on the bottom).

 

(Q2) Use the Measuring tool (located in the Tools pull-down menu) to measure the direct straight line distance between your home and the Library. Use Miles as the measuring unit. Compare the distance with you obtain in the driving directions in Figure 24.

 

(Q3) Describe the geographic patterns of the bird flu for both bird and human cases in the Middle East by viewing the bird flu maps. Explain the spatial relationship between human cases and bird cases.

 

(Q4) Try to identify how many human cases happened in Turkey and report their Latitudes and Longitudes (Hint: in the place panel, only select the “Map of human cases”). Make sure to click on each icon to see the detailed information of each case.

 

(Q5) According to the maps, how can you predict the potential areas that can be impacted by the bird flu (Hint: Use poultry density map and if possible try to search for bird migration information)?

 

(Q6) For LAX inbound flight traffics at the time you are viewing the map, how many planes are below the altitude of 1,000 feet? Please select TWO examples.  List their flight numbers and their altitudes (Hint: use the “Tilt” tool to have a better perspective). Include TWO screen shots from you flight simulator experience into the report.

 

(Q7) Open http://www.fboweb.com/antest/ge/geALLFLIGHTS.kmz, zoom to San Diego Airport and report ONE flight number of the planes which are about to take off or land. Write down the date/time, flight numbers, and cities.

 

(Q8) Visit to the Google Earth Community (http://bbs.keyhole.com/).  Pick up ONE active topic forum from the topic list and write a short paragraph to introduce this topic and related discussion issues (for example, in the National Geographic Contents, some users discuss about watching the NGM cam. In the Travel Information topic, some users discuss various hotels and restaurant locations).

 

!! Important Note:

You should upload your lab answers to the Blackboard (http://blackboard.sdsu.edu) before the lecture and also submit a paper print-out version in the class.  We will use the Timestamp on your documents in the Blackboard to check if your assignment is late or not.