Google Highlights New Layers

Google has given a big boost to the new layers added over the weekend to Google Earth. In particular, the new layers under “Featured Content->Global Awareness” each get their own write-up at the Official Google Blog.
Dragline mining in Google EarthFirst, the Appalachian Mountain Top Removal layer gets a write-up by Appalachian Voice Executive Director Mary Anne Hitt. This new layer shows the destructive new mining techniques in practice by coal mining companies in West Virginia where they have removed the tops of mountains to get to the coal and minerals. These mountains were off the beaten path from towns and highways, so unless you saw them from above you wouldn’t know about it. By the way, this layer has some hidden features like this 3D model of a piece of mining machinery called a “dragline” which scrapes the top of the mountain off. You can find it under the “Mining Tour” at “Stage 3“.

WWF in Google EarthSecond, the World Wildlife Fund Conservation Project layer gets a write-up on the Google Blog by James Leape, Director General, WWF International. This layer contains placemarks marking the locations of the many WWF projects around the world drawing focus to endangered animals and the environment. Each placemark includes some background information on the project, photos of the endangered species or environmental feature, and links to more information at the WWF web site.
A write-up on the official Google Blog combined with a layer in Google Earth will result in at least several hundred thousand page views, so this will really help these organizations out.

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. Lauren S says:

    The new layers are great — I was checking out the mountaintop removal layer last night and it’s very well done. I remember seeing these mines when I was a geology grad student and I’m glad more people are becoming aware of the real price of coal. I missed the dragline model, though – thanks for pointing it out.

  2. Google earth is one of the best ways to tour the World Wildlife Fund Conservation Projects around the world. Popularity of google earth will bring some more pressure for protecting the endangered species around the world.

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