Making a VFE of the Niagara Whirlpool Part 3 — Putting Panoramas into Google Earth (You are here!)
What’s in this post?
- How to embed pictures and other media in Google Earth (GE)
- Making “zoomable” pictures using the ZoomImage Creator (and embedding those images)
- I created some icons for Google Earth and posted them to photobucket.com.
- The current version of the Google Earth VFE of the Niagara Whirlpool
When I want to place a picture in Google Earth, here’s what I do:
- Post the picture to the web using a photo sharing website or, if I want to make a photo I can zoom in on, use the ZoomImage Creator. More on the ZoomImage Creator below. It’s cool!
Some of the big photo sharing sites (in alphabetical order):
- Create the placemark in Google Earth at the desired location.
- The placemark’s information window will open when you place the placemark. If you close it, you can reopen the placemark window in GE by holding down the ‘command’ and the ‘i’ keys together.
- Copy the link from the picture’s website, preferably along with appropriate html code.
- Paste the html into the placemark window. If you only have the URL without the code, look at another placemark formatted the way you want, open the placemark’s information window and copy it. Replace the URL of the photo from the copied placemark text with the URL of the new photo. The URL may be included twice. If it is, replace both occurrences. One may be a thumbnail image and the other a link to the full sized image on the web.
- Verify the location of the placemark. You can drag it whenever the placemark window is open.
Some New Icons for Google Earth:
I wanted to be able to look at the lay of the land within Google Earth (GE) from the standard aerial view and be able to tell where one looks when bringing up embedded photos. You can add custom icons to GE, and if you post them to a website, they’ll work for any user.
So, I made a bunch and posted them to Photobucket. I’ve been exploring the various photosharing websites and chose Photobucket for this task as they make it really easy to link to your images and accept things in some formats that other sites don’t.
Picasa also facilitates copying html code fairly well. You can see that in the video above. Flickr allow you to write blog posts to your blog from a photo’s page — click on the “blog this” button. That creates a blog post in your blog, which is kind of cool, but they don’t offer up the html code to cut and paste in a conspicuous way.
When you look at my icons album in Photobucket, you can see the html code in a couple of different formats that make for easy inclusion in either a website or GE. Both Google Earth and websites rely on html for formatting.
Putting Icons on the Map
D’oh! The description below has been simplified greatly by the combination of Google Earth and Picassa. Here’s my Picassa photos mapped.
- Upload your pictures to Picassa.
- Click on the individual photo you wish to map.
- Click on ‘add location’ on the right side of the individual picture’s page.
- Add the location.
- Click on ‘View Album.’
- Click on the ‘View Map’ button. This brings up the map view (“No duh!” as some might say).
- Click on ‘View in Google Earth.’
This should be a remarkable time saver for VFE creation. The placemarks appear as tiny thumbnails of the photos. The placemark pop up boxes are still editable — you can add text or links by clicking on the placemark and hitting the ‘control’ and ‘i’ keys.
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Here’s the complicated procedure I used previously. It might be useful for thinking about how to do certain things, but not embedding photos.
In Google Earth, it works largely the same way for putting in icons as it does for putting in pictures. So, here’s the code for one icon using HTML:
<a href=”http://s517.photobucket.com/albums/u335/dugganhaas/Google%20Earth%20Panorama%20Icons/?action=view¤t=PanoramaIconNW.gif” target=”_blank”><img src=”http://i517.photobucket.com/albums/u335/dugganhaas/Google%20Earth%20Panorama%20Icons/PanoramaIconNW.gif” border=”0″ alt=”PanoramaIconNW”></a>
Most of the time when I’m writing my blog, I’m using the visual editor which makes writing the blog pretty much like writing in a word processor. When I want do certain kinds of things, like put in a Youtube video or add an image from somewhere else on the web, I can edit in html, though I’m certainly a novice at that. Sites that make the code obvious like Youtube, Photobucket and the National Academy Press make it a whole lot easier. Since the html code is provided, all I need to do is:
- copy the code for embedding,
- switch back to the blog,
- switch from visual to html editing,
- paste the html code into the desired location (the text will still be readable to clue you into the right location),
- switch back to visible editing, and,
- there it is!
Or, here it is:
Unfortunately, I don’t know how to make the icons rotate with the map, so they only face the correct direction if north is at the top of the page.
Making Zoomable Images with ZoomImage:
Two cool websites I learned about today:
- The Gigapxl Project at http://gigapxl.org/. This has panoramas of a growing number of places (not yet including anything in the Niagara region of New York State) that are of a billion pixels. High resolution digital cameras are now taking pictures with about 10 million pixels (that is, 10 megapixels). These are whopping big images and the way they show up in Google Earth is way cool — turn on the Gigapixl Layer in Google Earth and then fly into those pictures. This really does allow you to take a closer look at whatever they happen to take pictures of, but that’s a pretty small set right now. A couple of pictures that might somehow connect to VFEs are of Angel’s Window in the Grand Canyon and Newspaper Rock in Utah. There are quite a few more of interest, too. It’s cool to look at on these websites, but it’s cooler to fly around through them in Google Earth.
- The ZoomImage Creator at http://vigh.org/zoomimage/. This site allows you to upload a high resolution photo and convert it into a Quicktime VR image which allows you to zoom within the picture. The picture is posted to the web and available for download. It’s worth noting that this didn’t work in Firefox on my Mac but it did work in Safari. I’ll add a note if I figure out the problem.
Images from the Gigapixl are already in Google Earth, so you’ve already got them. If you’re making a VFE of one of the locations where Gigapixl pictures are available, you’ve got a nifty resource.
It’s a little more complicated for getting the ZoomImage pictures into Google Earth, but it’s doable. It is a movie, so this means you can put movies of other things into your VFEs as well, using the same formatting. Posting Youtube videos is doable as well, but requires some different coding.
I found the code for embedding Quicktime Movies on a presentation sharing site called Slideshare.net. Here’s the link to the presentation with the code. The presentation is from Mike Bryant at Discovery Education. In the same presentation are code snippets for other kinds of media. Note that scrolling down gives you the presentation text in a format where you can cut and paste. But, I can easily embed it right here:
Here is the text and the code for a Quicktime Movie in the Google Earth VFE of the Niagara Gorge. It should work for web pages too.
This outcrop is near the top of the Whirlpool Rapids Trail. Note that the image is zoomable.
<object width=”189″ height=”360″ classid=”clsid:02BF25D5-8C17-4B23-BC80-D3488ABDDC6B” codebase=”http://www.apple.com/qtactivex/qtplugin.cab”> <param name=”src” value=”sample.mov”> <param name=”autoplay” value=”true”> <param name=”controller” value=”false”> <embed src=”http://vigh.org/zoomimage/sessions/mov/546024494/UpperTrailWall1.mov” width=”189″ height=”380″ autoplay=”true” controller=”true” pluginspage=”http://www.apple.com/quicktime/download/”> </embed> </object>
The image can be downloaded here:
Click on the arrow icons to open thumbnails of photographs taken from the marked location. Clicking on the thumbnail will take you to a higher resolution copy of the photograph in your browser.
And, when I switch to the HTML editor and paste in just the code (the stuff between the <br> <br>s), it looks like this on the blog:
Use the shift key to zoom and the mouse to pan.
Here’s the direct link to the ZoomImage.
Cool, huh? And, again, you can create your own with The ZoomImage Creator at http://vigh.org/zoomimage/. After you make them you can link to the image on the web and/or download it.
Here’s the current draft of the Google Earth piece of the VFE. A website is under development, too. More will be added to the Google Earth piece as well. I’ll like head back to the gorge next week. If you’re in the area and want to come along, let me know.
Click on the image below to download the file.
Note that servers need to allow kmz (Google Earth) files to work properly. Edublogs apparently allows Google Earth files. Colgate did not.