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Creating Topo Maps using Google Earth

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Creating Topo Maps using Google Earth

Postby Osterizer » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:45 pm

Does anyone know if there is a way to create a topo map using Google Earth? :roll:
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Re: Creating Topo Maps using Google Earth

Postby Trawinski » Wed Jun 15, 2011 7:54 pm

Since nobody else has answered you, I'm going to go out on a limb and say no, not easily. Google Earth has to be using some kind of Digital Elevation Model (DEM) onto which they project the satellite imagery. DEM's are created by satellites and last time I checked, were readily available for many areas through USGS websites. Not sure they still are. If you can use DEM's, like in a program like ARC View, then you can make a topo map that way, but I think there are easier ways to get a free topo map, like this site:

http://www.mappingsupport.com/p/gmap4.php

The closest you can get to doing what you asked that I'm aware of is to use GE in your browser, zoom into the area of interest, then switch it to map mode and turn on the terrain.
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Re: Creating Topo Maps using Google Earth

Postby Iron Hiker » Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:47 am

I've used this topo overlay for several years now, it's been pretty good:

www.gearthblog.com/kmfiles/topomaps.kmz
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Re: Creating Topo Maps using Google Earth

Postby Josh Lewis » Thu Jun 16, 2011 8:32 pm

Mapping support uses similar software to what I use. So in case your interested here is my map generator:
http://www.acemaps.com

At the bottom of the screen there are two buttons for generating the map. The quality is best when zoomed into fully to the location you want. It takes about 30 seconds to generate the map. Once the map is generated be sure to right click for the image source and copy the url to get an even bigger map.

And then if you want to get even fancier I used picasa 3 with the I'm feeling lucky button for the map to make the contrast a little better. Then I used paint to draw out the map.

Image

Perhaps some day I may figure it out, but I have topo display, and google earth display for browsing. Some day I would like to have it topo while in 3-d earth mode. :)
Last edited by Josh Lewis on Tue Sep 17, 2013 7:24 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Creating Topo Maps using Google Earth

Postby Iron Hiker » Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:14 am

The USGS topo overlay I use does work with the Google Earth 3D terrain, you can see how it shapes up on the mountain peaks when you tilt the satellite map.

The overlay does seem to be of an older USGS edition as compared with what's on www.mytopo.com, etc, but I've still found it adequate for my needs.

Hope this is along the lines of what you're looking for.
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Re: Creating Topo Maps using Google Earth

Postby Josh Lewis » Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:23 am

I think Mytopo should some day have a google earth feature. :) I suppose for now we will have to live with USGS.
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Re: Creating Topo Maps using Google Earth

Postby Iron Hiker » Fri Jun 17, 2011 1:31 am

Just did some more hunting around. There is another way to download topo map overlays onto Google Earth, a quadrangle at a time. This website gives the details:

http://www.gelib.com/usgs-topographic-maps-2.htm

It is apparently not the same as the mytopo.com interface (which has newer maps with more up to date trails) but it does present a way to load full quadrangles, and also you don't have to worry about the map refreshing every time you move GE. The amount of 3D space you have on the topo is bigger too.

It takes about 30 seconds with a good connection for each quadrangle to load, so just give it time.

Yes, I think mytopo.com should have a GE interface too, Josh.
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