Google Earth Layers
By Ian Hall
So you’re on vacation… now what?
There are a ton of layers and tools that Google Earth has to offer that can be very useful during the vacation process. Let’s say your sitting in your hotel room staring at the television because you can’t figure out what to do. By accessing Google Earth, you are able to explore a variety of different locations that are in your vicinity. Here are some examples of different layers that are included with Google Earth and how they can help you boost your traveling experience.
Before your day begins…
Before you leave the comfort of your hotel room, the first thing you probably will want to figure out is what the weather is like outside. This can be figured out one of two ways. For general weather information about your vacation spot, all you have to do is access the weather layer on Google Earth which shows an activate radar along with temperatures and cloud cover. When opened, the layer will look like this….
Once you have figured out what the weather is like outside, the question then raised is will you want to go to an outside or inside location. If you choose to go outside, you are given numerous options.
With the choice of going somewhere outside, you are able to explore these different spots before you visit them. For example, if you’re in the mountains and skiing interests you, there are layers about slopes and their conditions along with different maps and details about the snow. If you are more of a person that prefers warmer vacation spots, there is a layer that allows you to view different trails that can be explored by either foot or bike. The Trimple Outdoors Layer provides a great source for seeing different information about the trails that are provided at parks across the United States. Yellowstone National Park has a trail that is described. Some information that is given details facts about the length of the trail along with the difficulty. To help you even more, if this is of interest, the trail along with the information about it can be sent to your phone by clicking on the link attached to the layer.
If you choose that being inside is more of your thing, then there is no need to worry. Google Earth shows places around that world that provide a safe haven from the outside elements. If a museum is something that brings interest to you, Google Earth can pin point all the local museums around your location. The Prado museum in Madrid is now on Google Earth and allows you to take a quick tour through a video of some of the paintings that are within the museum…
If museums aren’t of interest to you, there are always other places to explore. When the Places layer is turned on, different types of coffee houses are shown and also places like churches or other historic locations.
Depending on your location, there are webcams that are able to be accessed that can show you the exact conditions of a particular place. If you plan to go to somewhere like New York City, there are numerous webcams that can be viewed to show the exact weather and amount of people that are there. This kind of information can come in handy for when you are making your decision.
Making the transition out of the hotel
One of the last things you will probably need to do before you leave is check the traffic conditions. Within Google Earth, there is a traffic layer that is provided. On most of the major roads, there is a live traffic reading that shows the conditions of the traffic that is moving. Exact speeds are shown when the road is clicked upon. This is extremely helpful in aiding with the route you might choose to take.
Where ever your vacation may take you, the Google Earth application will come in great use in supplying you with a great tool for research and fun.