Google Earth mapping software Guide

This page is the GEOSAP Guide to the Google Earth mapping software. This page will outline how to use Google Earth to generate ski area maps for GEOSAP.

Finding a Ski Area


Most ski areas give their physical address on their website. Simply copy and paste this address into the Google Earth Fly to box and the software will take you directly to that physical location. For ski areas which do not post a physical address, check the directions page on the area site. Usually these directions can be used to navigate to an area in much the same way one would navigate while driving. For areas that are more difficult to find, try searching for the area name in the Fly to box. Usually the user-generated content features the most accurate locations for various areas.

Creating a GEOSAP File

As outlined in the GEOSAP Standards, each GEOSAP download file should contain a folder titled with the name of the mapped ski area. This folder should contain additional folders for the lifts, trail centerlines, and trail boundaries of the area.

Creating a Folder


To create a folder in Google Earth, click the Add menu, and then click Folder. This will create a folder inside the My Places pane. Upon creation of the folder, a Get Info pane will appear. Change the name of the folder from Untitled Folder to the name of the ski area you are mapping. Follow this process to create additional folders for the lifts and trails of the area, remembering to move the folders (by clicking and dragging) so the trail and lift folders are contained inside of the ski area folder.

Setting the Default View of a Folder


In order to make it so that Google Earth will automatically zoom into the ski area with the correct orientation and altitude when the folder is opened, the default view of the ski area folder must be set. In order to do this, make sure the entire ski area is visible within the Google Earth window and that an appropriate orientation (the tilt of the window) is set. For information on navigating inside of Google Earth and controlling the view of the imagery, visit the Google Earth User Guide. When you have the correct view set, right-click on the folder within the My Places pane and click Snapshot View. This will set the default view for the folder to the current view in Google Earth. The same process can be followed for creating the default view for lifts, trails, and boundaries. Click the thumbnail to the left for a screenshot of creating a default view in Google Earth.

Creating Lifts and Trail Centerlines


To create a lift or a trail centerline in Google Earth, use a path. Paths are made up of points. A point is created each time a location is clicked on, and by clicking and dragging over a route, points are created. Refer to the GEOSAP Standards for information on the particulars for creating lifts and trail centerlines in Google Earth for use in GEOSAP.

Creating Area and Trail Boundaries

To create an area or trail boundary in Google Earth, use a polygon. Polygons are made up of points which define their borders. Similarly to paths, a point is created each time a location is clicked on, and clicking and dragging will automatically create points along a route.

Additional Questions

Please post additional questions on the Chat page. Answers to questions will either be posted on this page or on the FAQ page. If further help is required, send an email to GEOSAP via the Contact page.

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