Guide to Viewing Maps in Google Earth

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1 Guide to Viewing Maps in Google Earth The BCT made the decision to provide the GIS (Geographic Information System) resources for Bat Groups in the form of Google Earth maps because they do not require expensive specialist software or expert GIS knowledge, and they are interactive, user friendly and informative. This guide is for using the resource on the free version of Google Earth. Google Earth is free to download from: The BCT is providing four interactive Google Earth maps: 1. NBMP colony count records including location of colonies (based on surveyor requested resolution), list of species recorded in each colony, their overall minimum and maximum count, and dates of survey (first and last year). The records are marked with an orange star symbol (Figure 1a). 2. NBMP field records this map combines all survey records (Field survey, Nathusius survey, Waterways survey, Woodland survey and Bechstein s project) including information on survey grid reference, date of survey, species caught/recorded and survey type. The records are marked with a purple tree symbol (Figure 1b). 3. NBMP Hibernation survey records location of hibernation sites (based on resolution indicated by surveyor for Bat Group records), years of survey (first and last year), list of recorded species and counts (minimum and maximum count). The records are marked with a black cross symbol (Figure 1c). 4. Helpline roost records (for England only) a map of the location of roosts visited by Natural England volunteers following Helpline enquiries between 2008 and 2013, with a list of species recorded in each roost and method of species identification (when available). The records are marked with a red phone symbol (Figure 1d).

2 A B C D Figure 1 overview of the UK wide version of the maps provided as resources for Bat Groups: A) NBMP colony counts; B) NBMP field records; C) NBMP hibernation survey records; and D) Helpline roost records (for England only) 2

3 Accessing the Maps The following instructions are accompanied by screen shots of the Google Earth interface. Features of interest are highlighted with a red box. To access the maps once you have installed Google Earth on your computer, save the KMZ file to your computer (extract the files from the compressed resource pack folder) and double click on the saved file to open the map in Google Earth. Alternatively open Google Earth, go to File at the top menu, select Open and navigate to where you saved the KMZ files on your computer. The name of the maps will be displayed on the left hand side of the screen, under Places. To hide or make a map visible just untick or tick the square to the left of the map name (Figure 2). You can view all maps together or separately. Figure 2 Selecting maps to view from the Places window, marked with a red square. 3

4 You can zoom into each location by double clicking on the icons on the map or by rolling the computer mouse scroll wheel forwards, away from you (to zoom out roll it towards you). You can also use the plus or minus signs at the right hand side of the map display to zoom in or out. You can zoom in to a specific building, waterway or woodland, but please note that the actual survey or colony location will either be within 100 m, 1 km or 10 km of the location, depending on the resolution (record accuracy) that was specified by the surveyor (accuracy or BG_resolution). If you click once on the icon you will get a pop up box with information on the location, resolution, year, species recorded and survey type (Figure 3). Figure 3 Information box appearing after clicking on the purple tree icon. 4

5 If more than one species was recorded in the location, when you place the cursor over the icon you will see cross-shaped arrows instead of the single arrow cursor. When the icon is then clicked, several new icons will appear, connected by lines to the location. Click once on each of the icons to get information on species recorded in the site (Figure 4). Figure 4 Multiple species records in the same location. 5

6 If the map is displayed at an angle (horizontally) rather than giving a birds eye view (vertical display) (see Figure 5) you can reset the tilt of the map by clicking on the View tab in the top menu, hovering with the cursor over the word Reset at the bottom of the dropdown menu, and selecting Tilt from the option. Figure 5 Resetting the tilt of the Earth. Red square indicates the location of the View tab. When you exit Google Earth, select save when asked if you want to save temporary files, so you can access these maps automatically when opening Google Earth (Figure 6). Figure 6 Saving the maps to your Google Earth display. 6

7 Getting more out of the spatial data Searching for locations To get a spatial picture of bat records near a new development, roost record, survey site etc. you can write the postcode, address (street name, town and county) or GPS coordinates (latitude longitude in WGS1984, e.g.: , ) in the Search Bar under the Search window. Google Earth will navigate you to the location, pointing to it with a yellow pin (Figure 7). Make sure all the GIS maps are present in the Place window and ticked so the records are seen on the map. By zooming out from the searched location you will be able to see all the records that fall around that area. Figure 7 Searching for locations in Google Earth. The searched location is marked on the map with a yellow pin. 7

8 Measuring tool To measure the distance between the location record and other records or nearest woodland, waterway or town, select the Ruler symbol from the top menu. The cursor will change from a white hand to a white square. Click on the location record or feature on the map that you want to measure, placing it inside the white square, and move the mouse to the point you want to measure the distance to. A yellow line will appear on the map following the path of the cursor. Click the mouse when you reach the second point, and the distance will appear in the pop-up box entitled Ruler, as Map Length (Figure 8). You can adjust the distance measuring units to meters, kilometres, miles etc. To measure another distance just click again on a location and move the mouse as previously explained. To leave the measuring tool, close the pop-up box, and the cursor will return to look like a hand. Figure 8 Measuring distances between two survey locations using the Ruler measuring tool, marked with a red square. 8

9 Creating a new folder If you want to add your own location records, you can either add them to the relevant BCT Google Earth map, or you may want to create your own folder. If your Bat Group has a large number of records from different surveys you may want to create a different folder for each survey type. To create a new folder inside the Places window, at the left hand side of the screen, right click on My Places and select Add and Folder (Figure 9). Set the name of the folder (e.g.: Bat Group records or 2013 bat survey records ). To save the new folder go to the File tab at the top left menu and select Save and Save My Places. To delete a folder right click on the folder name in the Places window and select Delete. Figure 9 Adding a new folder to My Places on Google Earth. 9

10 Adding new location records First click on the word Temporary Places in the Places window at the left hand side of the screen. This will create a new layer (map) for the added records. To add a new location record, select the Pin symbol (Add Placemark tool) from the top menu. Move the icon that appears on the screen to the correct location by clicking on it with the mouse and dragging. You can fill in the name of the record and description (e.g. species recorded, date of recording) in the pop up box (Figure 10). To delete a location record, right click on the record name in the Places window and select Delete. Alternatively, you can import location records directly from your GPS. Connect the GPS to the computer, open Google Earth, go to the Tools tab at the top of the display and select GPS. A box will appear allowing you to select the type of GPS and locations you want to import and the output format. New location records will be added to your Temporary Places on Google Earth and therefore could be accessed and seen every time you open Google Earth, as long as you save your temporary places when prompted to do so when closing Google Earth. Figure 10 Adding a new location record using the Add Placemark (pin) tool, marked with a red square. 10

11 Unfortunately, large datasets from excel spread sheets cannot be added directly or as a batch using Google Earth. Adding such datasets requires the use of specialist GIS software, such as ArcGIS (ESRI), MapInfo or QGIS. If you want to expand your GIS expertise and learn how to create maps from spreadsheet data, QGIS is a freeware that can be downloaded from: Although the use of specialist GIS software is beyond the scope of this training document, QGIS has excellent online tutorials, for example: Importing records from a spread sheet to QGIS Creating a shapefile from XY coordinate data in QGIS Converting shapefile to KML (to open in Google Earth) The BCT is offering an update of the maps to include large datasets held by Bat Groups, for Bat Groups that submit over 10 records using the Bat Group record sharing excel spread sheet provided in this resource pack by the beginning of October

12 Adding survey trails (transect routes) First click on the word Temporary Places in the Places window at the left hand side of the screen. This will create a new layer (map) for the added survey trails. To add a line representing the trail walked during the survey, zoom close to the survey area. Select the Add Path symbol from the top menu. A pop-up box will appear entitled New Path and the cursor will change into a white square. Click on the start point of the survey. You can either drag the moue following the line of the survey trail, or click on specific locations. A line will appear on the map connecting the locations. To correct a wrong survey location along the trail, right click on the line and the last added location will disappear. To save the trail, give it a name in the New Path box and press OK (Figure 11). To discard the trail press cancel. To leave the path tool close the New Path box. To delete a survey trail, right click on its name in the Places window and select Delete. New survey trails will be added to your Temporary Places on Google Earth and therefore could be accessed and seen every time you open Google Earth, as long as you save your temporary places when prompted to do so when closing Google Earth. Saved places (folders, trails and locations) are not publically accessible to other Google Earth users; they will only be available on your computer. Figure 11 Adding a survey trail using the Add Path tool, marked with a red square. 12

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