Managing Data in Google Earth (Beginner)

Managing Data in GE

Data downloads and resources

Data downloads

Image overlay: 1974 Coast Salish historical map

GPS file: Elder Ray Harris's GPS track

GIS files:

Aboriginal Lands of Canada Legislative Boundaries (BC only)

Pipeline Segments (BC)

  • Attributed to BC Oil & Gas Commission (see here)

Exporting and sharing

Textmate 2.0 for Mac download

Using Network Links effectively

Convert Google Drive sharable link to direct link:

Sharing with KMZ files

Hands-on activity #1

  1. Download 1974 Coast Salish historical map.
  2. Open Google Earth Pro and using the search bar to fly to Salt Spring Island, BC.
  3. Click the Image Overlay button in the toolbar, or using the menu Add > Image Overlay.
  4. A New Image Overlay dialog box appears, and a green outline is placed on the Earth.
  5. In the New Image Overlay dialog box, type in a name for the image overlay in the Name field.
  6. Click on Browse to select the map you’ve just downloaded.
  7. Use the green guides to reshape, rotate and move your map to align it with the underlying satellite imagery. You can adjust the Transparency slider (from Opaque to Clear) so that you can better see the satellite imagery.
  8. Click OK when you are happy with the alignment.

Hands-on activity #2

  1. Download Elder Ray Harris's GPS track.
  2. In Google Earth, click File > Open and browse to select the GPX file you downloaded.
  3. In the GPS Data Import pop up, select "Create KML Tracks" and make sure "Create KML LineStrings" is not selected. Click "OK".
  4. Now, play the GPS track using the Play button in the time slider at the upper lefthand corner of the Google Earth viewport.
  5. Import the GPX file again, this time selecting "Create KML LineStrings" instead of "Create KML Tracks" (Steps 2 & 3).
  6. In the My Places panel, click on the carrots next to the folder to expand the folders and see the points and lines.

Hands-on activity #3

  1. Download Aboriginal Lands of Canada Legislative Boundaries (BC only)
  2. Download Pipeline Segments (BC)
  3. Unzip both files.
  4. In Google Earth, go to File > Open and select the Aboriginal Lands file (you'll need to open the folder and select the file ending in .shp).
  5. Click "Yes" when asked if you want to apply a style template.
  6. Select "Create new template" and click "OK".
  7. Using the drop-down box, set "Select Name Field" to "NAME1".
  8. Click the "Color" tab, then select single color. Choose a color and click "OK".
  9. Save your template on your laptop.
  10. You should see the new GIS layer appear in your Places Panel, unchecked. Click the box in the Panel to turn on the layer.
  11. Now import the Pipelines file, using Steps 4-10 above (you can select name and style based on your choosing).

Moving between tools/platforms


Special characters for Aboriginal languages:

Unified Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics

East Cree language resources

Network links

If you want to create a network link for content you created using Google Earth you can house the KML/KMZ file in Google Drive and use it to create a network link

Google Drive does not give you a direct link to your files so you have to create one:

  • Save a KML or KMZ file from Google Earth
  • Upload it to Google Drive
  • Right click (Control click Mac) and Get Sharable Link
  • Make sure it is set to Anyone with the link can view
  • Open your text editor and paste the link, it should be in this format:

The file ID will be a long string of numbers and letters in the URL, copy just the file ID and paste it into the link below in your text editor (delete the “File_ID” in red and paste it there)

Your URL should look something like this

Use this as your network link