BROCK UNIVERSITY MAP LIBRARY
Instructions for Google Earth
A. Google Earth Basics & Primary Database
1. Enter “Toronto ” in the Fly to… box and hit enter to search Google’s database. You can also search by lat/long,
street address, postal code, feature name, geographic location, etc.
2. With Toronto in our view, let’s explore the basic Navigation tools found at the top right of the screen:
Click and hold this ‘up’ arrow to TILT
Click and drag the outer ring to
the view until you see the horizon.
change the orientation of the view.
Click once on the “N” to return to a Click and hold the side arrows to
North oriented view. ‘look’ right or left.
Use the PAN tools to ‘walk’
Zoom in and out by using the along the Earth’s surface.
slider or plus and minus buttons.
3. Navigate to the Toronto waterfront area and tilt the view until you see the horizon over the city.
4. From the LAYERS panel to the left of the viewer, check the boxes beside 3D buildings & Streetview.
5. Explore these layers by clicking a building to find more information about the building OR double-clicking a
Streetview camera to enter the virtual streets of Toronto.
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B. Exploring Custom Layers – My Places
1. Enter “St.Catharines, ON” in the Fly-to search box and hit ENTER on the keyboard.
2. To add a prepared set of layers, select File > Open. Navigate to a saved KMZ file, select it and click OPEN. The
file appears in “Temporary Places”.
NOTE: A set of sample layers is available at http://www.brocku.ca/maplibrary/Instruction/Sample-layers.kmz
3. Expand the KMZ and folders by clicking the plus sign to the left of the layer name.
4. Check the box beside a layer to view features on the Google Earth imagery.
Turn layers off and on by checking and un-checking the box beside each layer.
C. Adding Custom Features
1. Right-click My Places and select Add > Folder. Give the folder an appropriate name and click OK. We will
create custom features and store them in this folder.
2. The mapping tools at the top of the viewer offer custom feature creation
such as points, lines & polygons.
Placemark | Polygon | Path | Image Overlay
Adding a Placemark
1. Select the Add Placemark tool. The properties dialogue box opens and a flashing pushpin appears on the
map. (You may need to move the dialogue box to the side to see the pushpin.)
2. Click and drag the pushpin to an appropriate location.
3. To change the pushpin icon, click the yellow pin to the right of the Name field. Make a selection and click OK.
4. Enter a Name for the placemark.
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Adding a Description
5. Using basic HTML code, a professional
description may be added to the
features information window.
6. Enter the text seen in the Description
field to the right.
Understanding the HTML code
<b>1871</b> bolds the word “1871”
<p> adds a paragraph return
<img src=http://...> inserts an image from
a web location
<a href=http://...>View some historical
maps of Niagara</a> makes a hyperlink
with the text between the tags
7. Click OK to return to the map viewer.
8. Click the placemark to explore the description window.
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Adding a Path or Polygon
1. To add a line, click the “Add Path” tool . The ‘New Path’ dialogue box appears and the cursor has changed
to a path drawing tool.
2. Click along the path on the imagery to create a line, double-clicking when complete.
3. Enter a Name and Description.
4. To change the colour, select the “Style, Color” tab, click the colour box and select a new colour. Click OK.
5. The width of the line can also be changed at this point by entering a new line thickness.
6. When satisfied with your changes, click OK to return to the map viewer.
7. To add a polygon shape, click the polygon drawing tool then click at the corners of the polygon, double-
clicking to finish the shape.
8. Again, colour and line thickness may be customized and a name or description added to the information
D. Sharing your work
To save the current view in Google Earth Pro as a JPEG, select File > Save > Save Image. You will be prompted
to select a resolution.
Give the JPEG a name and click Save. This process may take a while depending on the chosen resolution.
NOTE: The higher the resolution, the better the quality and the larger the file size.
Any features or layers that were added to your custom folder can be saved in KML or KMZ (zip) format (native to
Google) and shared with the world.
To create a KMZ file, right-click on the project folder and select Save Place as…
Give the file an appropriate name and click Save.
To view a KMZ /KML file, run Google Earth and select File > Open. Navigate to the KMZ/KML file and open. The
layers will appear under Places > Temporary Places.
NOTE: Some features created in Google Earth Pro version may not appear the same in Google Earth (free
version). At Brock University users can access Google Earth Pro in the Map Library and Classroom A of the
Matheson Learning Commons.