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Friday, November 15, 2013

Accessing Google Earth

Download and install Google Earth for your particular operating system. There are versions for all major systems including those for iPads, iPhones, and other mobile devices. I find that Google Earth works best on a desktop. You can download it here. Follow the installations instructions. It's free and pretty straightforward.

Check out the controls in Google Earth. Note the disappearing controls on the right. You can zoom in using the "+" and zoom out using "-" and also change orientation and "tillt".

On the left pane, you see something like a file structure. In short, you can enable or disable layers of information by clicking in the boxes next to the Placemarks and other items on the "tree."

Google Earth can open up bundles of Placemarks at one time by opening *.kmz files, which are liked zipped files. These could be attachments to email, files on your computer or served from the internet.

I've put up a set of Placemarks here. By clicking on it you will end up launching Google Earth or prompted to save the file. In the latter case, save the file in an easily-remembered place (such as your desktop) and then open it in Google Earth. You can do this under "File" "Open" in while in Google Earth.

You should then be able to see a variety of Placemarks and other items in the left pane in Google Earth. Double clicking on these items will zoom you in to the Placemark.

Among the Placemarks are our anchorage points along the canal by day (Day 1, Day 2, etc.) and also "Paths" (the icon is three small points or waypoints). Double clicking on these should launch a flyover of the route so that you can see the kind of terrain, etc., that you might see.

Once you launch a flyover, you can stop and re-start it by mousing over the controls at the bottom of the screen. It takes a little getting used to, but I think you will find that it is worth it.

By clicking on the "Day" Placemarks, you can zoom from one anchorage point to the next, getting a good sense of how things are oriented with respect to each other in Southern France.

Don't forget to "Save to My Places" the contents of the *.kmz file. That way you will have them available the next time you open Google Earth.

From time to time, click on the "here" in this post to download the most current bundle of  Placemarks and other information. I'll be adding restaurant suggestions, new non tow path rides and more in the coming months.

Click on the image for a "How To" video on getting the most out of Google Earth.

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