Learner-Shaped Technology

December 29, 2006

Great Google Earth Feature – Time Animation

On the Google Earth Blog, Frank Taylor lists the top ten Google Earth time animations for 2006. Time animations were added in Google Earth 4 and are a great way to view data that changes over time, for example animal and human cases of avian flu (Declan Butler’s blog). Authors simply add a time span element to data in kml files, like so, and Google Earth renders a time slider bar in the user interface.

<TimeSpan id=”ID”>
<begin>begin date here </begin>
<end>end date here</end>
</TimeSpan>

The time slider is highlighted in a screen shot of the avian flu map below.

google earth

There are some Google Earth software limitations that were apparent when viewing Hurricane Katrina data. I wished I could have incremented the “animation” in hours rather than days. There are some great suggestions for improvement on Stefan Geens’ Ogle Earth Blog, so I won’t rehash them here. This functionality is a great addition to GE!

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