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Confluence Project meets Google Earth
|| 10/13/2005 || 8:24 am || 2 Comments Rendered || ||

After being so impressed by the kind words and excellent recap of my first confluence, I decided on a whim late Thursday night (early this morning) to respond to Joseph’s generosity by geocoding his 86 different confluences using Google Earth.

Already listed on the Confluence website was Joseph’s previous confluences, so all I had to was manually cut & paste each confluence into Google’s search bar and the program would take me to the location. This proved to be somewhat more time consuming because there is a bug in Google Earth which does not allow the ASCII code for degree° to be used when searching. This forced me to paste the coordinates, then go into the search box and delete the degree character.

After being flown to the confluence, I clicked on the icon to add a placemark and within the placemark I cut pasted the confluence URL, the date Jospeh visited, and the location’s approximate location. This way when someone clicks on the placemark, they are given the option of viewing Joseph’s pictures and remarks. With Google Earth’s embedded web browser this hyperlinking works excellently because you can see the on-the-ground photos alongside the overhead aerial & satellite imagery. This works very similar to my “E St. Risk Analysis” flash animation I made at GWU.

My favorite aspect of this little Google Earth project is the ability of this to be used for learning and pedagogical development. Essentially, I’ve wanted to make a learning tool for the program since Google Earth came out, but there hasn’t been an opportunity yet for me to do so. What I’ve created is a fun, inquiry driven, learning module for Google Earth which teaches the basics of thinking spatially about latitudes and longitudes.

Directions: Load the layer I made (link below) in Google Earth and go to the menu, click on View –> Lat/Long Grid, you can see how his travels lineup perfectly with the latitudes and longitudes on the surface of the earth. You can the go one step further by clicking on embedded Confluence URLs to see the temporal aspects of his visit and how they relate to the time when the aerial & satellite image was taken.

If you have Google Earth installed on your PC, click save target as, and download the layer “JKconfluences.kml” Then open it up in Google Earth and have fun!

I’d love feedback!



Post Title: Confluence Project meets Google Earth
Posted in: GIS, Google Earth, Interactive



  1. I didn’t go into Google Earth — but the concept of seeking out and visiting these *confluences* is very intriguing. Trying to understand the full def. of a confluence though. Is it just where a lattitude point meets and longitude point? If so..what is located at 10 degrees LAT and 10 degrees LONG….or 42 degrees LAT and 42 degrees LONG. I have a feeling you already know these answers ;)– can you share? And…when’s the trip to go check these places out? I wanna go! ;)
    ~jayla

    Comment by Anjaylalala — 10/19/2005 @ 12:07 pm

  2. Is it just where a lattitude point meets and longitude point?
    That’s it in a nutshell.

    But more precisely, the confluence of a whole number integer- like you stated 10 Lat & 10 Long — which also equal to 10 N, and 10 E… Counting 10 lines of longitudes west of the prime meridian (0 degrees) will give you 10 W or 10 Long…. and counting 10 lines of latitudes north will give you 10 N or 10 Lat. What you have to remember is there 10 degrees West is also equal to -10 degrees because it is 10 degrees west of the prime meridian….-10 degrees and 10 degrees point to two different locations… is that confusing?

    At work I am trying to setup a field trip at the Annual Meeting in Chicago to visit one, two, or even three confluences in the Chicago area. One of them is on Lake Michigan…. I’d love to go to that one, but it’s gonna be COLD!

    Here is a Google Map of 42N, 42E:
    http://maps.google.com/maps?q=42N,+42E&spn=21.131422,69.468750&iwloc=A&hl=en
    It brings ya to Georgia!! (note that it’s 42 degrees East, not West!)
    Ain’t that a peach :-)

    Comment by admin — 10/19/2005 @ 12:52 pm

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