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Google Earth and the SWMP

 
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frankmcvey



Joined: 16 Apr 2015
Posts: 8
Location: Cottesmore and Thornhill, United Kingdom

PostPosted: Mon Feb 22, 2016 6:15 pm    Post subject: Google Earth and the SWMP Reply with quote

I am a moderator/admin on the Google Earth Community Forums. Some time ago, a good friend embarked on the colossal task of collecting together ALL of the UK War Memorials and recording them on Google Earth. As a Scot, in a moment of madness, I volunteered to collect and record the Scottish War memorials to help her out.

Very soon into my task, I stumbled across the Scottish War Memorials Project and realised that a group of very dedicated men and women had already done all the hard work for me; all I had to do was to collate their information and translate it into .kml files that the Google Earth Software would understand.

Note: KML stands for Keyhole Mark-up Language - it's akin to HTML. Keyhole were the small company that invented the Keyhole Viewer. They were bought out by Google in 2005; they became rich and well-respected and the Keyhole Viewer became Google Earth.

Nearly a year later, the first part of the task is complete - the Civic War Memorials are done. This is what Scotland looks like from 800 miles up in space.



Each poppy, of course, represents a civic war memorial and is positioned about 6-10 feet from the memorial it placemarks.

By zooming in on Google Earth, this is what a part of Ayrshire looks like from 34 miles up.



We can now click on an individual poppy and a pane will open with further information. In this case, I've clicked on Kirkoswald. (I believe Tam O'Shanter is buried here!)



This pane shows a general photograph of the situation of the memorial. It also provides a link to the relevant SWMP thread for that particular memorial. By clicking on this link, the Google Earth Viewer becomes a browser and takes us to the relevant SWMP page, in this case, Jamie McGinlay's post on Kirkoswald:



It is possible to add any information you wish to the placemark pane, but I thought there was little point in duplicating work that had already been done by members of the SWMP - much better to simply point people at your work.

Around three-quarters of the way through the job, I found that I had missed a trick. While many of your posts include a grid reference for a memorial, many still do not. Having located a memorial to within 10 feet on Google Earth, it would have been a relatively easy matter to copy off the GE Lat/Long and translate it into a five-figure grid reference. I've done this for the last few counties and may at some time go back and add the NGR to those I've missed.

Most war memorials are relatively close to a road, so most of the photographs that I've used have come from Google Street View. In the few placemarks where I've had to use a photograph from the SWMP, I've credited the photographer in each instance. Having said that, when you're handling a lot of placemarks, it's easy to get lost and if you find that I've failed to provide a credit, please let me know and I'll rectify the situation.

The file is fairly simple to use, but you do, of course, need to install the Google Earth software on your computer. It's free to download and use and you'll find it here: https://www.google.com/earth/download/ge/agree.html

I had intended to add the .kml file to this post for easy access to SWMP Members, but I can't see a way to do it.

Meanwhile, you'll find it here, near the bottom of the second page. http://googleearthcommunity.proboards.com/thread/418/war-memorials-uk, but you need to join the GEC Forum to download it.

If you're not a member of the GEC Forum, you'll find the file here:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3Il0aEfAFkpaHFGUjBSTm15R0U/view?usp=sharing

Just click on the little downward-pointing arrow at the top left to download it.

If any member has a problem with installing or using Google Earth, please PM me and I'll be happy to help out.

I hope you find it useful.

Cheers,

Frank
_________________
Some hae meat and canna eat,
Some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.


Last edited by frankmcvey on Sat Feb 27, 2016 12:38 pm; edited 4 times in total
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Adam Brown
Curator


Joined: 14 Dec 2006
Posts: 7353
Location: Edinburgh (From Sutherland)

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frank

What an outstanding piece of work. Many thanks for sharing this. I am going to have a good look at this later.

Thank you for your preseverance in updating Google Earth with our details.

Kind regards

Adam
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dhubthaigh
Our first ever 1000-poster


Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 5154
Location: Blairgowrie, Perthshire

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

An excellent and very impressive piece of work indeed. Well done Frank.

Mark
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spoons



Joined: 09 Jan 2007
Posts: 4816
Location: St John's Town of Dalry

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Frank

It looks like a great piece of work from my reading of it but, although I use google earth, I cannot download the .kmz file. Can it not be made freely available without registering?

Regards

Paul (Spoons)
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apanderson
Administrator


Joined: 21 Dec 2006
Posts: 2568
Location: Stirlingshire

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fantastic Frank.

Thanks very much for letting us know about your work.

I'm sure it will be of enormous help.

Anne Very Happy
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DerekR
Moderator


Joined: 19 Dec 2006
Posts: 2964
Location: Hawick, Scotland

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Magic!
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frankmcvey



Joined: 16 Apr 2015
Posts: 8
Location: Cottesmore and Thornhill, United Kingdom

PostPosted: Tue Feb 23, 2016 7:02 pm    Post subject: SWMP File on Google Earth Reply with quote

Thanks very much for your kind comments!

I'd forgotten that although non-members can view the GE Community Forums, they can't download attachments.

I've put the file on Google Drive and made it public. You should be able to access it by using this link:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3Il0aEfAFkpaHFGUjBSTm15R0U/view?usp=sharing

Google Drive automatically assigns the file to Google Maps and opens it, but it isn't very elegant, so you're best to click on the little arrow at the top left to download it to your computer and then open it with Google Earth. If your file associations are right all you should have to do is double click the file.

Is there any way I can upload to the SWMP Forum? That would be the best solution if the forum software allows it.

Cheers,

Frank

Edit - Hah! Not so complete as I thought I was. Just noticed that I haven't added the photos to the Perth and Kinross placemarks. I'll add them when I'm back at home on my own computer next week...
_________________
Some hae meat and canna eat,
Some wad eat that want it,
But we hae meat and we can eat,
And sae the Lord be thankit.
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