CIA World FactBook in Google Earth

CIA World Factbook in Google EarthA few months ago I wrote a story on a collection of placemarks which provided all sorts of details on countries, their flag, and links to other sources of information on the countries. This collection does something quite similar except it uses the flags as the placemarks, and uses the CIA World Factbook as the basis of its information. The CIA World Factbook is a nice collection of public information on countries of the world made available by the US government on the Internet for many years now. When you click on the country flags, you will see an excerpt of the background information (usually a historical/political perspective) from the Factbook, a link to the complete information, and links to both Google and Wikipedia information on that country. I recommend you click on “Borders” on the left, in the navigation window of GE, to show country outlines.
This collection was put together by the GEC community member known as ‘Herrminator’ who also published the excellent collection of World Heritage Locations written about earlier. Nice work Herrminator!

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. Relational CIA World Factbook Browser

    For someone that uses the CIA World Factbook regularly, this a pretty neat new way to do it:
    The cool part is that the interface allows for various relations, not just borders. Viewing border connections isn’t actually too usef

  2. excellent information. keep it up.

  3. Raj Chanani says:

    In my openion, the CIA World Factbook is a valuable resource. I have found it to be highly accurate and well organized.
    Can an entry be added for the traditional Middle East and ASEAN?
    Also, can a field for food production and consumption be added to the factook?

  4. Raj Chanani says:

    What’s the secret?
    To be honest with you nothing. I mean do you want that kind of a Knowledge Transfer?
    You will be compelled to stuff that you would otherwise not do. You relationship with many people in your space will change.

  5. To boldly go where no man has gone before…
    Outer Space to the Heavens.

  6. Tsunefumi Watanabe says:

    Fantastic! I’m planning to make Japanese translated version for students….

  7. Thank you! And thanks to the author! Good job! He could just maybe skipped the name of the country along with the flag since that’s available from the beginning if the “borders and labels” layer is on. I’ve been missing the flag layer in Google Earth. The only virtual globe that I know has flag layer by default is NASA World Wind. So I’ve been using the both of them at the same time if I wanted to look up the flag of a specific country. So I’ve been really missing this one. Google should do the same as NASA and implement the flag layer as standard option in Google Earth. Once again, thank you!

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