Google earth / mapsVideoVirtual Earth

Google Earth will improve its DTM and more ...

Google launches campaign in search of more data, orthophotos, digital models of land, 3D models of buildings ... this could change the conception that Google Earth data they are not useful for serious jobs.


The fact that Google is behind this data is due not only to the competition against Virtual Eath, but that the data can give greater precision to existing information and greater coverage ... we assume, and since we are assuming;

What is Google Earth looking for and for what purposes?

image 1. Digital Terrain Models (DTM or MDT)

Whatever we call it, we know that the possibility that digital terrain models with local accuracies could bring the utility of Google Earth to very interesting purposes, among them the possibility of improvement in the absolute accuracy of orthophotos or satellite images if it can be linked with the few control points that current Google models can have.

For this, Google asks that you fill out a form where you specify what type of images with the capacity to store terrain data you have. Mention some popularly used formats, including: Gtiff, tif, aig (ArcInfo Binary Grid), asc (ArcInfo ASCII Grid), img (Erdas Imagine Images), ddf (SDTS Raster), dem (USGS ASCII Dem)

It also requests the pixel size, projection and Datum.

image2. Satellite images and Orthophotos

MMM, this gets more interesting, because Google wants to complete its coverage with images not only of sub-meter resolution but of greater absolute precision. For this, it asks for the same pixel size, coloration, projection and Datum, as well as the image format among which it mentions: GeoTIFF, JPEG2000, TIFF with worldfile (tfw), MrSID, strangely it does not mention ecw.

image3. 3D building data

These can be in the formats .shp, .csv or .kmz in case of restitution of roofs with elevation. In the case of being 3D building models, the formats go up to .dae (collada), .3ds, and .max and make the separation in case they are with or without textures.

The bad thing about Google is that nothing wants to pay, although it gives us many of its free services, in this case asks:

Do you have orthophotos that you want to share? tell us what you have and we tell you when you can upload them ... while we make money with them and we return a few cents in AdSense clicks !!!

Although it mentions some of the advantages that there will be if people share their data, it seems that everything is behind positioning Sketchup! and that the 350 millions of Google Earth users end up in a love / hate relationship ... at least the video looks cool.

Golgi Alvarez

Writer, researcher, specialist in Land Management Models. He has participated in the conceptualization and implementation of models such as: National Property Administration System SINAP in Honduras, Management Model of Joint Municipalities in Honduras, Integrated Cadastre-Registry Management Model in Nicaragua, Territory Administration System SAT in Colombia . Editor of the Geofumadas knowledge blog since 2007 and creator of the AulaGEO Academy that includes more than 100 courses on GIS - CAD - BIM - Digital Twins topics.

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  1. Regarding the error committed in the street designated as Maestro Soriano, it has not yet been corrected to Maestro Solano, as published by you. In March of the 2009.
    The transport agencies would be grateful, as Google sends them to a street with the same name to a town in the province of Malaga
    I would be grateful, for my part, to take into account the mistake made. Thank you very much for your attention.

  2. The street that you point out as Maestro Soriano, in Malaga, is actually Maestro Solano. DP 29018. Thank you very much. My phone number is 952295445

  3. Thanks, I have several to report
    Greetings to you

  4. Galvarezhn,

    Be careful, I am not referring to differences of 15 meters, which seem super acceptable. I'm talking about cases like the photo from 04-11-2006 Catalog ID: 10100100054C4603 Difference of 130 m at 34 ° 50'34.04 ″ S 58 ° 24'52.95 ″ W.
    It would save me explanations.

    I also say THANK YOU to GOOGLE!

  5. Well, we must appreciate that Google Earth is useful to be able to display data from almost anywhere in the world and in some town halls or municipalities it is the only image data they have. What will always be criticized is the level of precision, it is clear that you cannot ask for high precision capabilities from a tool that is designed for "geographical web" and that, to top it off, is almost free.

    The bad thing about what Google wants to do is control a monopoly on technologies in which it does not have the best software (talking about SketchUp!)

    To date there is no way to notify Google of inconsistencies in your data, it is assumed that this openness to others sharing data will make many things better ...


  6. I use a lot of Google earth to plan my GPS survey and then deliver the geodata. I always wanted to report some errors in the satellite photos with coordinates to be able to georeference, but I never found the communication channel. Is there any way to collaborate for these errors?
    Very interesting your post
    Greetings to you

  7. I respect the buildings (of the rest I control nothing)
    If what you want is to position sketchup, the first thing you should do is do it a little more ... ahem ... decent?
    The program itself (the free version and the free version) is a little painful, really. OK they want to make it easy to use, but I see it very very limited.
    At most, they will get people to model in their preferred software and yet make their sketchup extension the standard for “low poly” 3D models.
    I would personally send only low quality models to them, and if I want to teach something of high quality I would send it directly to the customer.

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