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23 de Agosto 2005

Google Earth Community Layer

(The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly)

[EDIT January 31, 2006: changed the story to reflect the current name of this layer: Google Earth Community Layer, and to reflect some of the improvements to the clutter problem.]

Layers are the links to Google Earth's databases of place marks including dining locations, roads, railroad tracks, etc. Right now, many of the layers of data are pretty much confined to the US (although many countries have the Roads layer and Airports layer). Over time they will add other countries to the different layer types.

Some beginning users are slow to notice the Google Earth Community (GEC) layers. These layers simply a database of placemarks which were posted by people in the forums with a link back to the post if you open the placemark. As people discover things, they post a placemark about it at the Google Earth Community. Then a month or so later, Google processes these placemarks and adds them to the GEC layers.

When you select the Google Earth Community layer, and start zooming in to areas, you will see these blue "i" icons appear and labels naming the place mark. They mark points of interest to people who have posted in the forums. You can click on the "i" icon and see a link to the post (usually it says "more"). This links you to the post and possibly more details about that placemark.

The GEC layer can be a truly unique and interesting way to learn things about places all over the Earth. I highly recommend you try it out. You will learn things you never knew about places all over the world, or just find interesting things captured by the satellite photos and aerial photography used in Google Earth (like military jets in flight).

Since Google Earth was released, the Keyhole/Google Earth Community has grown by leaps and bounds. When this layer was first created there were probably a few hundred place place marks. Right now, there are probably over several hundred thousand, and it's only going to grow. There are several threads of discussion about the growing clutter of the GEC Layer (see this one for example). Many people are making posts in the database pointing out the same thing (I think there are 10 posts about the US National Monument already). Some ambitious people are creating place marks of every building in their town or city. Several cities already appear very cluttered when you turn on this layer.

[EDIT: 6-November-2005 - Google has added a new layer called "Google Earth Community (unranked)" which stores a lot of the less-effective placemarks. And has added some sub-folders to the main GEC layer to help give you more control over what placemarks you see.]

The Google Earth database people have posted that they are working on the issue. It's safe assume that the masters of a huge database like Google will come up with some good solutions to the growing problem. Perhaps they will break down the layer according to topic types in the forums [yes, they did this], or maybe they will use the ranking system. I hope they do something before they update the next database. In the last 30 days there were about 40,000 new posts on the web site.

But, even with the clutter, I highly recommend you use the GEC layer and learn more about the world and use it to find interesting or exciting new places.

Enviado por FrankTaylor at 23 de Agosto 2005 a las 07:21 AM

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  • Comentarios

    my google earth is not displaying a keyhole BBS in the layers, any suggestions?

    Enviado por: gregor at 5 de Noviembre 2005 a las 07:42 PM

    The Keyhole Community BBS Layer was renamed on November 4, 2005 to "Google Earth Community", since Keyhole is the old name of the application.

    Enviado por: Frank Taylor at 5 de Noviembre 2005 a las 08:56 PM

    I'm interested in making the buidings for a town in Spain, but first its necesery to take the detailed picture of the town. The town is called "San Pedro de Alcantara" in Marbella, in the provice of Malaga.

    How can we get the detailed map of Marbella and San Pedro so I can start.

    I'm also interested in having a layer, How can this be achieved.

    Enviado por: John Hurleston at 28 de Febrero 2006 a las 10:09 AM

    Does anyone know of the existance of a uk cellphone basestation location layer for Google Earth ?

    Enviado por: glen at 3 de Marzo 2006 a las 09:08 AM

    can i get detailed map of my home town kulti,india.

    Enviado por: arbind at 4 de Abril 2006 a las 10:00 AM

    I am a relative beginner to Google Earth. When I first started a couple of months ago, a particular site in my neighbourhood showed a building site in the process of becoming the block of flats it now is.
    However, it now shows the site as it was - complete with the old building that was demolished to create the building site seen previously.
    I do not understand the process where backward steps such as this occur, and will really appreciate enlightenment!

    Enviado por: mickeyo at 17 de Noviembre 2006 a las 09:40 AM

    Well I was wondering if the Google Earth Team would be able to make a whole Aerial Image of all of Cyprus, I see aerial images in the U.S.A of entire states and Cyprus is not too big, I was wondering if that would be possible, Google Earth already has alot of the Island on Aerial Imagery, maybe it would be possible to have one big image of the whole island.

    Enviado por: Constantine Koumenides at 20 de Diciembre 2006 a las 07:57 AM

    I have a problem with Google Earth Community Layer in my downlode there is no community showcase & google earth community(rankerd)

    Enviado por: dprosad at 7 de Febrero 2007 a las 02:40 AM

    How I can save a entire layer to my places, for example I will travel to new york and I want to export in KML all MTA stations that appears in google earth but I don´t know how to do it.
    I know one by one but I would like to know if there are any other way, save all only with a few clicks.


    Enviado por: Xhen at 20 de Abril 2007 a las 06:30 AM

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