RIP-Earth-API-Plugin

On Wednesday, January 11, 2017 Google is finally shutting down the Google Earth API. (please note – This is the web version of Google Earth; Google Earth on a PC will still work) The shutdown is over two years in the making (Google’s 2014 Deprecation Announcement). Geteach.com’s first several versions where based off this API. (History of geteach.com here) As stated many times before, Google Maps API has been a net gain for geteach.com; mainly because Google has engineers working on the service. However, there are a couple of features I will miss from the Earth API.

geteach.com Video Tutorial (Last Google Earth API version) – Published January 14, 2014

What I will first miss most with the plugin is historic imagery. This is where geteach.com could show the same place at two different times. This was great for looking at natural disasters. (See Videos Below)

Moore, OK Tornado – Published June 11, 2013

Historical Imagery-Warsaw – Published August 4, 2012

Second, and similar to the first, most missed feature will be the historic time slider that allowed students and I to create interesting change over time kml files. (See Videos Below)

Comparing Volcanic Ash with Air Traffic – Published March 31, 2013

Hurricane Sandy with Population Density – Published January 8, 2017

There were other ways I used to time slider. For example, the video below shows sea level rise. Every decade equals +/- 10 meters. (See Videos Below)

Sea level rise with Earth at Night – Published January 8, 2017

However, what I will miss the most about the plugin was in its ability to load and share .kml files. Part of the reason why I created geteach.com was to have a platform where I could have a base set of .kml files showing physical and human spatial characteristics. (see previous blog post) A lesser known feature to geteach.com is that students can import their own .kml files and compare their student created maps with each others or one of the base sets of maps.

Climate Regions Layer with student’s quick draw ecosystem layer

This feature is still available in the new “Google Maps” version of geteach.com. However, the Google Earth plugin did a much better job rendering .kml files created in the Google Earth client. This is especially true with image overlays and other raster files; something not easily done with the Maps API and nearly impossible to teach younger students. I am sadden to shut down my first website. Hopefully Google has something up its sleeve for 2017.

#12MapComparisonsOfChristmas

In last week’s post “geteach.com-layers” readers learned how to select and load hundreds of maps curated for geteach.com. Since that post, and in the spirit of the holidays, I have been posting my own Twelve Map Comparisons of Christmas. (#12MapComparisonsOfChristmas) Below is the list and media for these 12 out of thousands of spatial comparisons that can be made with geteach.com.

1. 1492 – Behaim with 2016 Google Maps

2. Connectivity with Human Development Index

3. Seafloor Age with Tsunami events since 2000 B.C.

4. Sea Surface Salinity with Sea Surface Density

5. Lowest with Highest points on Earth’s land (not exact, but close enough)

6. Sea Surface Temperatures January with July (Check out Caspian Sea)

7. Precipitable Water January with August (Check out the monsoons of South Asia)

8. Seasonal Change: Blue Marble with Land Temperature


9. Oil Exports with Petroleum Consumption

10. Cropland Density with Pastureland Density

11. Labor Percent Agriculture with Gross Domestic Product (per capita)

12. Population Density and Earth at Night

Bonus Holiday (Easter) Eggs

geteach.com – layers

In a previous post I wrote about a project that got away from me… the creation of geteach.com. In this post I inferred that I wanted a Google Earth layer package where my students could easily explore and create understandings/connections between physical and human systems. Over the past several months, at many professional development events, I have heard teachers tell me it would be cool if Google Maps/Earth had a layer that visualized this or that spatial distribution. While geteach.com does not have every layer these professionals requested, it does have a foundational set of maps/layers that are easily comparable for k-12 students. These map layers were chosen because thy are either in my own curriculum or discussed often in k – 12 classrooms. There are over 140 maps/layers across 21 categories in geteach.com and I have spent countless hours trying to find a menu system and organization that makes it easier for teachers and students to find what they are looking for. Unfortunately, I feel this is one of the weaknesses of geteach.com. In order to maximize the visual space of two maps, selecting map data sets takes 3 to 5 clicks. Most of this is due to my limited knowledge in design and JavaScript, but hey…I am a high school teacher and not a professional web designer. At any rate, below is a how to select maps and layers in geteach.com along with a list and short (5 – 30 second) video of each map data set. So, in less than 10 minutes you can discover what free data is already out in geteach.com’s cosmos.

**Caution…potential rabbit hole of spatial distributions and comparisons below**

How to select maps and get map information in geteach.com (3 minute video)


Physical Geography Layers

Blue Marble: No clouds/ice, January – December

Physical Maps: Natural Earth, NOAA Physical Map, NOAA DEM, Topographic NASA, World Topo-Bathy

Plate Tectonics: Seafloor Age, NOAA DEM, Tsunami Events from 2000BC, World Topo-Bathy, Volcanoes

Climate: Climate Regions, NOAA DEM, Wind Currents, Ocean Currents, El Nino Sea Temperature Anomaly, La Nina Temperature Anomaly, Summer Impacts El Nino, Winter Impacts El Nino, Summer Impacts La Nina, Winter Impacts La Nina

Precipitable Water: January – December

Land Temperature: January – December

Sea Surface Temperature: January – December

Land Cover: Land Cover

Vegetation Index: January – December

Carbon Dioxide: January – December

Oceans: Average Sea Surface Temp., Sea Surface Salinity, Sea Surface Density, Ocean Currents

Forest Change: Forest Extent, Forest Loss, Forest Gain, Forest Gain/Loss


Human Geography Layers

CIA Factbook (January 2016): CIA Factbook – Quick reference of many indicators

Historic Maps: 1492 – Behaim , 1544 – Agnese, 1570 – Ortelius, 1589 – Jode, 1595 – Hondius, 1630 – Hondius, 1670 – de Wit, 1691 – Sanson, 1720 – de l’Isle, 1744 – Bowen, 1786 – Faden, 1794 – Dunn

Geography-Land: Area, Arable Land, Cropland, Pastureland, Food vs. Feed

Demographics: Total Population, Growth Rate, Total Fertility Rate, Birth Rate, Death Rate, Net Migration, Infant Mortality Rate, Life Expectancy, % Urban, Total Literacy, Predominant Religion by country

Economy: GDP (Per Capita), % Agricultural Labor, Exports, Imports, Oil Exports, Oil Imports, Petroleum Consumption

Earth at Night: Earth at Night 2002, Earth at Night 2012

Anthropocene (Hold “Ctrl” + click to select two layers): Anthropocene (ALL), City Lights Base Maps, Air Traffic, Shipping Traffic, Roads, Transmission lines

Human Development: 2013 HDI, 2000 HDI, 1990 HDI, 1980 HDI

thanksgiving-fun-with-kml

“I borrowed this code from NASA.” That comment received quite a laugh during one of my presentations. The comment was intended to be an acknowledgment that I did not create this code along with crediting the agency that did. Judging from the reaction, that is not how the line hit. At any rate, the irony of the statement is in how simple the code truly is. To me, coding fits well within the definition of geography I was taught…, “observe and analyze anything distributed across Earth’s space.” Learning to read and write KML is observing and analyzing spatial distributions. Granted the distribution is pixels on a screen and not Earth’s space, but the mental task is the same. Therefore, spatial reasoning, Google Earth, and NASA were part of the initial stepping stones in the creation of geteach.com.

imageoverlay

Keyhole Markup language (KML) is an open standard language used to display geographic data. KML is what Google Earth reads to show raster files (collocations of pixel that create an image…common form jpeg, png files. These images are often not geo-referenced with latitude and longitude coordinates) and vector files (points , lines, polygons, and multigeometry that are often geo-referenced). KML is a variant of XML (Extensible Markup Language) that includes geo-spatial language. Sorry for the jargon. that entire paragraph is just a fancy way of saying that kml is based off of a ubiquitous language that is easy to read and write.

The easiest way to write KML is through Google Earth. Whenever you add a placemark, line, polygon, or overlay Google Earth is writing code. However, sometimes you might want more precise control over these points, lines, polygons, and images. This is when you might want to edit your KML via any text editor. As a Windows user, I prefer Notepad++. Mac users can use TextWrangler, but I believe the company is moving users to BBEdit. If you are looking to collaborate on kml in the cloud you can use Google Drive and XML Editey. I taught my 8 year old html and css via Editey.

While KMLs can get extremely complicated, the aforementioned NASA code is about as simple as it gets. NASA Earth Observations is a great site to get environmental data about Earth. If you have visited geteach.com you will notice many of the datasets I use comes from NASA Earth Observations because it is free (make sure to pay your taxes) and open to use. Clicking around in NASA Earth Observations you will find out you can download Google Earth (KML) files of these datasets. Initially, these Google Earth files download as KMZ files. KMZ is a .zip version of a KML. Opening a .kmz in Google Earth and then saving the file as a .kml is equivalent to unzipping a .zip file. Basically, what the user downloads from NASA Earth Observations is a 3600 x 1800 image and a .kml file that wraps the image around the Earth. Fortunately for users, NASA uses the same map projection (WGS84) as Google Earth and Google Maps. Otherwise the locations of the image would not align with Google Earth.

Enough geo-spatial technology talk…it is time to impress your family and friends for 5 minutes after Thanksgiving dinner.
marioearth
Step 1: Take a family picture (If you are using a phone make sure you are shooting in landscape not portrait)
Step 2: Upload image to Google Drive and share “Anyone with a link can view” (This is going to complicate the code, but I prefer hosting images online)
Step 3: Code KML
Step 4: Save

Below is the breakdown of the code. Each snippet is highlighted followed by a brief description of how the code is being read. Feel free to copy/paste this kml code into your text editor of choice

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<kml xmlns="http://www.opengis.net/kml/2.2" xmlns:gx="http://www.google.com/kml/ext/2.2" xmlns:kml="http://www.opengis.net/kml/2.2" xmlns:atom="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom">
	<Document>
		<name>Learning to Use 3D Printer</name>
		<LookAt>
			<longitude>0</longitude>
			<latitude>0</latitude>
			<altitude>0</altitude>
			<heading>0</heading>
			<tilt>0</tilt>
			<range>20770075.42761702</range>
		</LookAt>
		<GroundOverlay>
			<name>Learning to Use 3D Printer</name>
			<Icon>
				<href>https://drive.google.com/uc?view&amp;id=0B1eALoRda8FTdDlfTnVRSWpSclU</href>
			</Icon>
			<LatLonBox>
				<north>90</north>
				<south>-90</south>
				<east>180</east>
				<west>-180</west>
			</LatLonBox>
		</GroundOverlay>
	</Document>
</kml>

Line 1 tells Google Earth that this is an xml file with UTF-8 characters. This is similar to telling your browser which html version to use in reading the file.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<kml xmlns="http://www.opengis.net/kml/2.2" xmlns:gx="http://www.google.com/kml/ext/2.2" xmlns:kml="http://www.opengis.net/kml/2.2" xmlns:atom="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom">
	<Document>
		<name>Learning to Use 3D Printer</name>
		<LookAt>
			<longitude>0</longitude>
			<latitude>0</latitude>
			<altitude>0</altitude>
			<heading>0</heading>
			<tilt>0</tilt>
			<range>20770075.42761702</range>
		</LookAt>
		<GroundOverlay>
			<name>Learning to Use 3D Printer</name>
			<Icon>
				<href>https://drive.google.com/uc?view&amp;id=0B1eALoRda8FTdDlfTnVRSWpSclU</href>
			</Icon>
			<LatLonBox>
				<north>90</north>
				<south>-90</south>
				<east>180</east>
				<west>-180</west>
			</LatLonBox>
		</GroundOverlay>
	</Document>
</kml>

The highlights show an open (line 2) and closed (line 26) tag. Every open tag, with the exception of line 1, has to have a close tag. Notice the indented spacing of the file. Code is written like a Russian nested doll. Google Earth reads this as all tags between lines 2 and 26 will use the kml 2.2 standard.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<kml xmlns="http://www.opengis.net/kml/2.2" xmlns:gx="http://www.google.com/kml/ext/2.2" xmlns:kml="http://www.opengis.net/kml/2.2" xmlns:atom="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom">
	<Document>
		<name>Learning to Use 3D Printer</name>
		<LookAt>
			<longitude>0</longitude>
			<latitude>0</latitude>
			<altitude>0</altitude>
			<heading>0</heading>
			<tilt>0</tilt>
			<range>20770075.42761702</range>
		</LookAt>
		<GroundOverlay>
			<name>Learning to Use 3D Printer</name>
			<Icon>
				<href>https://drive.google.com/uc?view&amp;id=0B1eALoRda8FTdDlfTnVRSWpSclU</href>
			</Icon>
			<LatLonBox>
				<north>90</north>
				<south>-90</south>
				<east>180</east>
				<west>-180</west>
			</LatLonBox>
		</GroundOverlay>
	</Document>
</kml>

Lines 3 and 25 are the start and end of the visualization instructions…The container of the document.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<kml xmlns="http://www.opengis.net/kml/2.2" xmlns:gx="http://www.google.com/kml/ext/2.2" xmlns:kml="http://www.opengis.net/kml/2.2" xmlns:atom="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom">
	<Document>
		<name>Learning to Use 3D Printer</name>
		<LookAt>
			<longitude>0</longitude>
			<latitude>0</latitude>
			<altitude>0</altitude>
			<heading>0</heading>
			<tilt>0</tilt>
			<range>20770075.42761702</range>
		</LookAt>
		<GroundOverlay>
			<name>Learning to Use 3D Printer</name>
			<Icon>
				<href>https://drive.google.com/uc?view&amp;id=0B1eALoRda8FTdDlfTnVRSWpSclU</href>
			</Icon>
			<LatLonBox>
				<north>90</north>
				<south>-90</south>
				<east>180</east>
				<west>-180</west>
			</LatLonBox>
		</GroundOverlay>
	</Document>
</kml>

Line 4 is the name of the Google Earth file.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<kml xmlns="http://www.opengis.net/kml/2.2" xmlns:gx="http://www.google.com/kml/ext/2.2" xmlns:kml="http://www.opengis.net/kml/2.2" xmlns:atom="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom">
	<Document>
		<name>Learning to Use 3D Printer</name>
		<LookAt>
			<longitude>0</longitude>
			<latitude>0</latitude>
			<altitude>0</altitude>
			<heading>0</heading>
			<tilt>0</tilt>
			<range>20770075.42761702</range>
		</LookAt>
		<GroundOverlay>
			<name>Learning to Use 3D Printer</name>
			<Icon>
				<href>https://drive.google.com/uc?view&amp;id=0B1eALoRda8FTdDlfTnVRSWpSclU</href>
			</Icon>
			<LatLonBox>
				<north>90</north>
				<south>-90</south>
				<east>180</east>
				<west>-180</west>
			</LatLonBox>
		</GroundOverlay>
	</Document>
</kml>

Lines 5 through 12 are where the camera (Point of view) is pointed. Camera is pointed at 0° Longitude, 0° Latitude, 0 altitude (looks at the ground and not above ground), heading and tilt are are set to 0 (look straight down to the ground), and a range of 20770075.42761702 (camera’s distance from the ground)

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<kml xmlns="http://www.opengis.net/kml/2.2" xmlns:gx="http://www.google.com/kml/ext/2.2" xmlns:kml="http://www.opengis.net/kml/2.2" xmlns:atom="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom">
	<Document>
		<name>Learning to Use 3D Printer</name>
		<LookAt>
			<longitude>0</longitude>
			<latitude>0</latitude>
			<altitude>0</altitude>
			<heading>0</heading>
			<tilt>0</tilt>
			<range>20770075.42761702</range>
		</LookAt>
		<GroundOverlay>
			<name>Learning to Use 3D Printer</name>
			<Icon>
				<href>https://drive.google.com/uc?view&amp;id=0B1eALoRda8FTdDlfTnVRSWpSclU</href>
			</Icon>
			<LatLonBox>
				<north>90</north>
				<south>-90</south>
				<east>180</east>
				<west>-180</west>
			</LatLonBox>
		</GroundOverlay>
	</Document>
</kml>

Between lines 13 and 24 <GroundOverlay> are the instructions on loading and positioning the image

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<kml xmlns="http://www.opengis.net/kml/2.2" xmlns:gx="http://www.google.com/kml/ext/2.2" xmlns:kml="http://www.opengis.net/kml/2.2" xmlns:atom="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom">
	<Document>
		<name>Learning to Use 3D Printer</name>
		<LookAt>
			<longitude>0</longitude>
			<latitude>0</latitude>
			<altitude>0</altitude>
			<heading>0</heading>
			<tilt>0</tilt>
			<range>20770075.42761702</range>
		</LookAt>
		<GroundOverlay>
			<name>Learning to Use 3D Printer</name>
			<Icon>
				<href>https://drive.google.com/uc?view&amp;id=0B1eALoRda8FTdDlfTnVRSWpSclU</href>
			</Icon>
			<LatLonBox>
				<north>90</north>
				<south>-90</south>
				<east>180</east>
				<west>-180</west>
			</LatLonBox>
		</GroundOverlay>
	</Document>
</kml>

Line 14: The name of the image layer

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<kml xmlns="http://www.opengis.net/kml/2.2" xmlns:gx="http://www.google.com/kml/ext/2.2" xmlns:kml="http://www.opengis.net/kml/2.2" xmlns:atom="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom">
	<Document>
		<name>Learning to Use 3D Printer</name>
		<LookAt>
			<longitude>0</longitude>
			<latitude>0</latitude>
			<altitude>0</altitude>
			<heading>0</heading>
			<tilt>0</tilt>
			<range>20770075.42761702</range>
		</LookAt>
		<GroundOverlay>
			<name>Learning to Use 3D Printer</name>
			<Icon>
				<href>https://drive.google.com/uc?view&amp;id=0B1eALoRda8FTdDlfTnVRSWpSclU</href>
			</Icon>
			<LatLonBox>
				<north>90</north>
				<south>-90</south>
				<east>180</east>
				<west>-180</west>
			</LatLonBox>
		</GroundOverlay>
	</Document>
</kml>

Between lines 15 and 17 <Icon> is the url for the image that you want to wrap around the Earth. <href> translates to file path or in this case…url. Replacing the url between the <href> tag with you own image and save will change your Earth. You can use a local file and save as a kmz later. Again, I am using the direct download link from Google Drive. This is different then the shared link. Explanation to how to get this link will follow.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<kml xmlns="http://www.opengis.net/kml/2.2" xmlns:gx="http://www.google.com/kml/ext/2.2" xmlns:kml="http://www.opengis.net/kml/2.2" xmlns:atom="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom">
	<Document>
		<name>Learning to Use 3D Printer</name>
		<LookAt>
			<longitude>0</longitude>
			<latitude>0</latitude>
			<altitude>0</altitude>
			<heading>0</heading>
			<tilt>0</tilt>
			<range>20770075.42761702</range>
		</LookAt>
		<GroundOverlay>
			<name>Learning to Use 3D Printer</name>
			<Icon>
				<href>https://drive.google.com/uc?view&amp;id=0B1eALoRda8FTdDlfTnVRSWpSclU</href>
			</Icon>
			<LatLonBox>
				<north>90</north>
				<south>-90</south>
				<east>180</east>
				<west>-180</west>
			</LatLonBox>
		</GroundOverlay>
	</Document>
</kml>

<LatLonBox> positions the image. The top of the image will be positioned at 90° north, the bottom 90° south, right side will be 180° east and left side will be positioned -180° west.

Again, if you would like to create your own picture Earth copy and paste the code below into your text editor and replace the name of the Google Earth file (line 4), the name of the images layer (line 14), and the url between <href> tags with your own image (line 16). If your image and kml are in the same folder on your PC you can just enter the file name (ex.image.jpg). Make sure to save as a kml in your text editor then open the file in Google Earth then save as a .kmz file before sharing. This will pack/zip the image and kml together. Uncheck all the layers in the lower left frame in Google Earth to turn off boundaries etc.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<kml xmlns="http://www.opengis.net/kml/2.2" xmlns:gx="http://www.google.com/kml/ext/2.2" xmlns:kml="http://www.opengis.net/kml/2.2" xmlns:atom="http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom">
	<Document>
		<name>Learning to Use 3D Printer</name>
		<LookAt>
			<longitude>0</longitude>
			<latitude>0</latitude>
			<altitude>0</altitude>
			<heading>0</heading>
			<tilt>0</tilt>
			<range>20770075.42761702</range>
		</LookAt>
		<GroundOverlay>
			<name>Learning to Use 3D Printer</name>
			<Icon>
				<href>https://drive.google.com/uc?view&amp;id=0B1eALoRda8FTdDlfTnVRSWpSclU</href>
			</Icon>
			<LatLonBox>
				<north>90</north>
				<south>-90</south>
				<east>180</east>
				<west>-180</west>
			</LatLonBox>
		</GroundOverlay>
	</Document>
</kml>

How to use Google Drive to host your Google Earth images.
I am not sure how long this will work. Google has a habit of changing/discontinuing these things, but for now you can get a direct link to your uploaded files by modifying the shared url. All you do is take the Google Drive’s file ID and add it to this url: https://drive.google.com/uc?view&id=

Example:
Google Drive’s shared url: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1eALoRda8FTYnBGa1NfY1ZQa1E and/or https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1eALoRda8FTYnBGa1NfY1ZQa1E/view?usp=sharing (this depends on which shared url you prefer to use)
Direct link: https://drive.google.com/uc?view&id=0B1eALoRda8FTYnBGa1NfY1ZQa1E

**Important** Because Google Earth uses xml, the “&” sign after “view” needs to be replaced by xml equivalent “&amp;”
Therefore the direct image link when coding kml via text editor is:https://drive.google.com/uc?view&amp;id=0B1eALoRda8FTYnBGa1NfY1ZQa1E (same url as above direct link replacing the “&” with “&amp;”)

Feel free to use this url converter created for my students if you have a number of images to convert (You will still have to manually replace “&” with “&amp;”)
http://geteach.com/staticstreet
Google Chrome Extension here: Link

ROYALTY FREE MUSIC by BENSOUND

mapping elections

I am attempting to stay apolitical here, but the digital “magic” map walls used by the media are totally inadequate and misrepresent the complexity and distribution of American citizens. How was that for an opening statement? There were plenty of lessons to be learned from last Tuesday’s election, but I woke up Wednesday looking at all the finalized digital maps thinking this country is in need for some geography and geo-spatial technology education.

cnnbattle
source: http://www.cnn.com/election/interactive-electoral-college-map/

It was very odd watching the pre-debate news shows on tv; CNN in particular. It was like watching ESPN’s College Game Day with Anderson Cooper and the panel staged outside with political fans holding signs behind them cheering on their favorite team…;I mean candidate. In general, I feel Americans are treated as a dichotomous society incapable of possessing more than two perspectives. However, as the pollsters and prognosticators are figuring out, the American people, and society, are much more complex than a blue and red map would suggest. And that is the point with this introduction: Geography is a perspective…. The geographical perspective provides a broadly applicable interdisciplinary method of observing and analyzing anything distributed across Earth’s space.

Honestly, I believe the news outlets understand this argument. However, it is difficult to tell a complicated narrative in the three to five minute news segment allotted. This is where good maps and geo-spatial technologies come in. Maps can convey an obscene amount of information in seconds. Yes, the pundits are needed to help interpret these data visualizations and critical thinking about reliability of sources and data by the consumers will be a necessity (see the need for geography education?), but it is time to go beyond two color maps and look into the quilt of American society.

Below are some examples of how media is visualizing the election results to the world. There is no way this event is this clear and clean…nothing in life is.

googleus
source: google search – “election results”

googlepenn
source: google search – “Pennsylvania election results”

And below is what a little high school geography teacher with some knowledge about geo-spatial technologies can do with free software and open data. Which map teaches up learners and which map(s) limits learning and critical thinking?

pennvote
Josh Williams – geteach.com (Full Size Image Here: http://geteach.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/PennVote.png)

It really was not that tough to make…granted it took a day, but that is what it takes to clean up data. Below are the data sites and free geo-spatial technologies used to create this more complex tapestry of Pennsylvania. There is more data to pull and visualize, but this was start…a way to figure out my own misconceptions about American identity.

Technologies Used:
Google Earth Pro (Create KML files) – Link
Google’s My Maps (Converts Google Earth Pro KML to a KML file that the Maps API can read…ugly hack, but works) – Link
Qgis (Visualize and Create GIS files used to guide KML styling) – Link
LibreOffice (To clean data) – Link
Notepad++ (Not needed, but used to clean up KML styling: Windows Only / Mac alternative BBEdit) – Link Notepad++ | Link BBEdit

Data Sources:
Pennsylvania Spatial Data Access: http://www.pasda.psu.edu/ (Download County Boundaries – Almost every state has this…Census also has all the state counties https://www.census.gov/cgi-bin/geo/shapefiles/index.php)

Pennsylvania Department of State: http://www.electionreturns.pa.gov/ (Election Data)

KML Files:
If you have Google Earth on your computers you can download the below files from by Google Drive and explore using Google Earth.
If you are on Chromebooks you can import the files using the Google Drive URL into geteach.com and explore. See Video below.

Simple Colors KML (Blue and red based off on county winner): https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1eALoRda8FTY0t6bDRVRkdOTEE
Complex Color KML (Range from blue to red based off of % of republican votes per county): https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B1eALoRda8FTX1p5UDFkRmpQVkU


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