Sunday, March 18, 2012

Topograhic maps in Google Earth

Finally! You can now easily view topo maps in Google Earth, courtesy of the Global Biodiversity Information Council. And not just for the U.S.; Canada, Australia and New Zealand are also included. Be sure you note the listed caveats:

The topographic map layers provide increasingly detailed information as the Google Earth client is zoomed in. It is best not to activate the layers until the client is zoomed close to the area of interest.

  • Some topographic layers will spawn an error when zoomed too far out.
  • Similarily some topographic layers will spawn an error when zoomed too far in.
  • Occasionally errors will occur if the remote server takes too long to respond.
  • It is best to turn off the topographic layers when closing down Google Earth. This will prevent errors being reported when Google Earth is restarted.

Now it’s not the smoothest or clearest way to view topos, but it’s a start. These tools will only get better.

Many, many thanks to Stefan at Ogle Earth for finding this one.

Technorati tags: Google Earth, maps, topo

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.


  1. Hi,
    There is no link for Australian data on the page you reference.

  2. Yeah, I see that. I wonder why they pulled it.

  3. Link broken?

  4. Yep, sorry about that. It may be somewhere at but I couldn’t find it with a quick search.

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