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Google Earth: Walk-Through / Guide.

116 posts in this topic

Win, Linux, Mac.

Google Earth Download: ht tp://www.google.co.uk/intl/en_uk/earth/download/ge/agree.html

Other Places.kmz (Plug-in): ht tp://myfreefilehosting.com/f/caf21b4434_0.41MB

This guide will show you how to install, configure and use Google Earth, with some hints how it might be useful for outdoor growing. Feel free to add or ask.

I'v tried to keep it simple for the non geeks, relying more on pics than words, you can see at each step what your screen should look like.

The relevant parts of the pic are circled in red and/or labelled A,B,C ..iow the A in the pic refers to the A in the text.

Guide to the Guide


Open pic,

Read and follow the directions under the thumbnail,

Make your GE the same as the pic,

Close pic,

Repeat until end.

1. Download Page



Go to: ht tp://earth.google.co.uk/intl/en_uk/download-earth.html

Untick Include Google Chrome.

Click Agree and Download.

2. Save and Install



Depending on your operating system and firewall, the boxes in the pic might be slightly different from yours, or

may not appear at all, a general rule at this stage is to click yes/allow to everything.

( A ) A few seconds after clicking Agree and Download, a small download box might appear ..click save file.

( B ) Once downloaded, double-click GooglEarthSetup.exe ..say yes/allow/run to any permission boxes.

( C ) GE need internet access, you might get a firewall box or two from your security software ...say yes/allow.

3. First Start



( A ) The margin on the left is split into 2 sections, Places and Layers each with a separate menu of tick boxes.

4. Untick All



Untick all boxes in Places and Layers

5. Desktop



Download: Other Places.kmz (Plug-in): ht tp://myfreefilehosting.com/f/caf21b4434_0.41MB

In step 6 we will drag the downloaded file into My Places(see red arrow), but first..

Place file Other Places.kmz on your desktop.

Arrange desktop so it looks roughly the same as the pic.

6. Drag/Import Plug-In File



Left-Click_Hold Other Places.kmz and drag the file along the route shown in pic, until mouse pointer is directly over My Places ..then release left mouse button.

7. Right/Wrong



Make sure Other Places.kmz is in the right section.

If not, use Left-Click_Hold and drag it..into where it should be.

8. Grabber/Pointer



Notice when the mouse pointer is over the map, it becomes a hand.

Left Click to open and close the hand.

Left Click_Hold to grab and hold.

Grab and hold the outer edge of Earth then move the mouse.

9. UK



Using only the left mouse button...

Turn the UK upside down and make it dead centre.

10. Zoom



Lets put things back the right way up, and zoom in a little.

Roll the mouse-wheel to zoom in/out, if no mouse wheel then use keys - +

Hint: bottom right corner of pic shows a point-of-view altitude.

Edited by Mr Mullen
OP request link change
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11. Borders and Roads



Ok, now GE is ready to use, lets see how we can go from here to a specific location on the ground.

( A ) To make navigation/zooming easier, tick the boxes shown, notice the effect on the map.

( B ) Place hand/grab on the same spot as the pic and double-click.

The location we're looking for is near a small village called Luss.

12. Zoom to Ground



If all went well in the last step, it should now be zoomed-in more than before, check bottom right to see the change in altitude.

Again place hand/grab in the same spot as the pic and double-click.

Notice: each time you double-click a point on the map, that point then becomes the centre of the map.


Again place hand/grab in the same spot as the pic and double-click.

Notice the altitude changing as we descend.


As Borders and Labels is ticked, the name of the village we're looking for is circled on the left,

but our prospective grow spot is on an island nearby,

as before put the hand/grab in the spot shown and double-click.

13. Saving Ground Locations to Favourites



Zoom-in and adjust the Map View until it looks the same as the pic ...for fine tuning use keys - +

Favourite locations are saved by adding pins, notice the new pin-icon in the middle of the map.

Pins are always added to the centre of the map, so make sure the last place you double-click..is the place you want the pin.

( A ) Left Click to highlight My Places in the menu.

( B ) Left Click on Pin Icon to add a new favourite location.

( C ) Give the location a name, probably best to make it something not related to growing.

( D ) Click OK when done.

If your new pin appears in the wrong place, it's easier to delete and start again than trying to move it.

To delete a pin, left-click to highlight the pin in menu, then right-click it and select delete.

##When saving locations of an actual grow, it might be safer not to put the pin at the exact location....nearby will be fine.

14. 3D Landscape View



You should now see the pin added to the map along with a new favourite in the Places Menu,

Take a moment and check altitude, tick boxes and map view are the same as the pic.


Hold down shift-key.. then tap/hold down-arrow-key until your Map View matches the pic.

Notice the Compass has N at the top which means we're looking directly north.

Have a play with the other controls circled in red.

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15. Location Specific: Sun/Date/Time



Note: The Sun/Time effect uses the local time of your pc when activated, ..so bear this in mind if your view looks different from the pic( taken at sunset )

( A ) Left Click_Hold on the N in the compass and pull down to position shown, until the Map View is looking directly West

( B ) Left Click both the Sun and Clock icons, notice they turn blue in the tool-bar when activated

( C ) Shows the scope of the time scale, Sep, 2 2010 -- Sep, 3 2010 ..in other words 24hrs

( D ) Slider for time/date, in the pic the slider is set to Sep, 2 7:37pm, try moving the slider up and down the scale, note the effect on the Sun and shadows in the Map View

Setting The Time Scale



Now our time scale is set to Mar 31, 2010 -- Apr 1, 2010.

( A ) Setting the scale can be a little tricky at first, I find the easiest method is: click the - icon until the scale is 2009 - 2010 (1 year), then move the slider to 1 Apr, 2010 and finally click the + icon until the scale drops from 1 year to 1 day or whatever you find easier to work with ...notice the slider stays at 1st April, only the length of the scale changes.

16. Sunrise, Sunset, Daylight Hours, Direct Sun hours, Length Of Grow Season ..etc


Lets say the grow season for this location runs: 1 April -- 1 Sept, Ideally you want your plants to be in direct sun from sunrise to sunset for the entire grow, you don't want the sun disappearing behind a hill at 5pm in the middle of summer leaving your plants in shadow. Sometimes when visiting sites it can be difficult to tell exactly what path the sun takes, especially if its cloudy. In general a south facing grow is the way to go.

Play with the Sun/Time effect to see..

Plant April 1:



What time after sunrise does the grow receive direct Sun


What time before Sunset does the grow stop receiving direct Sun

Harvest Sept 1:



What time after sunrise does the grow receive direct Sun.


What time before Sunset does the grow stop receiving direct Sun.

For good measure do the same for a day in the middle of the grow season

18. Planning/Monitoring: Rain, UV, Wind, Temps, Humidity, Frost, Clouds etc



You should now be more familiar with navigation, hold down Shift and tap/hold Up-Arrow key to return to a birds-eye view ..then zoom-out and adjust your Map View until it looks like the pic.

Most of the UK weather that matters to growers, comes in from the Atlantic : West --> East (see arrows in pic)


Which might be worth remembering when choosing a site, for example shrubs/bushes West of your grow could provide some protection from wind/rain.


Rain and moisture over the Atlantic are a pretty good indicator for the week ahead, which can be helpful when planning a visit or deciding the best time to plant/harvest.

The orange stuff in the pic are rain clouds ...the more intense the rain the deeper the colour ...for example spin round to south east Asia(some of the world's heaviest rain)..the rain clouds are red and purple ...each weather section shows at the bottom the time it was last updated.

(A) Tick the weather box shown, the menu can be expanded to untick areas of no interest.


UV Rating/Sun Strength ..note: the UV stats in the pic are all zero as it was late in the day and cloudy

Be sure to check out the other weather features ..frost, dew point, humidity etc..


Cloud Cover.

note: I find it best to use menu features one at a time ..otherwise they start to obscure each other in the Map View.

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19. Ordinance Survey



ok, clear all tick boxes except the site1 pin ...and adjust the Map View to match the pic.

Now double-click site1 on the spot shown.


If all goes well, GE should zoom down to our grow spot ..saves all that double-clicking.


Tick the OS box shown,

Ordinance Survey maps are a handy way to see what's going on around your grow(potential people traffic)...amongst other things. I've circled what looks like a building of some kind on our island that might be worth checking out, as well as some kind of shipping lane ..if there's a boatload of tourists passing the grow 6 times a day it might be worth choosing somewhere else.

note: this feature contains the different map scales, like the OS maps you buy in the shops, eg 1:25 000 ..so when you zoom out with this feature activated ..you are changing the scale ...wait 5-10 seconds for the software to adjust ...it's faster to go to the location you want..at the altitude you want, and then turn on the OS feature

20. The Tour



Make sure 3d-buildings is ticked in Layers Menu

Double-click where shown, the tour pauses in certain places to give you a chance to see, and allow your graphics card time to construct the 3d lanscape ...give it 5-10 secs to do its thing ..if the tour stops completely the pause button will turn into a play button. ...clicking play will fly you to the next stop on the tour.

If the tour is moving faster than your graphics card can draw, or it doesn't look right ..you can change settings in Tools/Options ..although before changing anything probably best to use GE for a few days, as well as playing the tour at least twice to allow caching.

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great posting sir .........

................ :thumsup:

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Thanks for that mate


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I doth my cap,

doth doth :B):


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Excellent post weed G. That's my afternoon sorted getting to grips with google earth,, nice one.

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let me know if you get stuck or if any parts seem vague, pointless or wrong

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nice post weed :stoned:

ss :B):

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Comprehensive to say the least dude. Excellent work.

Been waiting for this and it rocks!

Where's that pin OG lol

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Thanks weed_G........I really do appreciate the time and effort you've put into this. :spliff:

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This is sick mate , i normallly just use google maps and put my man there so i can walk on the road and even see litter on the floor.

This looks alot more easier to get a clear view on it though , its annoying when u gotta move everythink

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That is some piece of work Weed G :wink:

Thanks very much dude, that is going to be a massive help to me ( and loads of others ) for next year, top banana :cool:

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Much better picture, nice work Weed G, Thanks m8

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