Tuesday, November 27, 2007

New Mapping Tool--Enforced Involvement?

View Larger Map

Google maps just introduced a terrain mode which is a nice way to visualize the regional setting of a map. More importantly, they also just introduced:

1. Collaborative mapping
2. kml file importation capability.

Improvement 1 allows for multiple users to edit a common, online map. The one I have included shows some key photos along the river that are useful in developing the geologic map in the office. Now that a map can be collaboratively shared, any invited mapper can post photos that they think are particularly useful for visualizing geology. In the Owyhee example, I am interested in a set of photos spread out along the entire length of the study reach (and beyond, if appropriate). All it requires is a very short amount of time to become familiar with the interface and a set of photos available somewhere online. I use Picasa Online Albums, but any program should work.

Improvement 2 allows for direct integration of data generated using Google Earth into a collaborative map. It has been possible to export kmls for some time from Google Maps, but importing has been missing. This is a huge leap.

Eventually, I will be inviting all Yeehows to post some photos that they think will help me compile the map. Please try to participate.


  1. Kyle,

    What's the difference between the camera icons and the blue pin icons? (Note, too, that some pictures don't display completely in the window.) This is very cool. But what's the advantage of using Google Maps instead of Google Earth as a vehicle for tagging locations, posting photos, etc.?

  2. Liz,

    The map is currently a draft and is missing a lot of explanatory material. The camera icon is meant to indicate a broad view from the location of the icon,whereas the point is meant to show the point/area on which the photo is centered.

    Google Earth trumps Google Maps for serious data manipulation and visualization for sure, but the Google Map approach ensures that everyone has immediate access to the exact same map...that is, no shuffling (e-mailing) of kml files. Thus, anyone who adds to the map is doing it in real time and it is immediately updated. Moreover, all of the data is stored online and can be accessed and edited from any computer.

    I suppose that there is a way in GE to do a similar thing, but GM is simple, simple, simple. Once you have what you want, you can export it to GE with a push of a button.

  3. Does anyone have a good photo from Hole in the Ground of Bogus Rim lava inset against disrupted (i.e., landslid) tertiary material? I'd like to use one in my AGU talk in order to show the longevity of mass movement in the H.I.G. area.

  4. I forgot to mention that I resized the photos so that they would look better when opened. Doing that, however, creates an issue with the blog-embedded map space. Overall, the best bet is to click on 'view larger map' in the lower right of the map screen to open the thing in a new window.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.