Roundup: Firefox 3 and Earth plugin, Google I/O, Spam Alert, Google Analytics

  • Firefox 3 and Earth plugin – The Google Earth API plugin does not currently work now works with the new Firefox 3 on Windows. I’m sure Google is working quickly to release a compatible update for Firefox 3. But, if you only use Firefox on Windows, you might want to wait before upgrade to Firefox 3 if you really like the Earth plugin. Otherwise, you may be stuck with using IE when you want to use the Earth plugin. If you’re on the Mac, the plugin doesn’t work on OS X yet, so go ahead and get Firefox 3 now!

  • Google I/O – I’ve been waiting to do a summary post on Google I/O until more videos were available for the talks. There was a talk by Paul Rademacher on the Earth API, but the video of his talk still hasn’t appeared. Anyway, here are Google’s photos from Google I/O, a link to all the available videos of Google I/O talks, and here’s a link to some photos I took. I highly recommend watching Michael Jones’ talk where he introduced the new Earth API plugin during the last half of his talk. Also, see GoogleMapsMania’s excellent summary of the available information from Google I/O.

  • Spam Alert – Stefan Geens at OgleEarth mentioned briefly about the issue of some Google Adsense ads leading to web sites which try to sell you “Google Earth” and deliver you the free version. These sites, if you read the fine print, are trying to sell you “support” that you don’t need for Google Earth. If you see an ad trying to sell you Google Earth, or support for it, you should ignore it. There are premium versions of Google Earth, but you can only buy those through Google’s official site. But, please note that the premium versions do NOT get you better resolution satellite imagery.

  • Google Analytics – Two years ago, Jacob Cord wrote a program to let you process raw data from Google Analytics to generate a KML showing the locations of everywhere people access your web site. Unfortunately, sometime during the last year, this program stopped working because Google removed the raw data option from Analytics (I wish they would re-enable that feature). Now, there is an XML option which at least lets you get the country-level summary of your site visits. Johann Blake has written a web based application which lets you take the XML and generate a KML with placemarks showing the number of visits colorized according to scale. [UPDATE: you can map at the “City” level as well, but you are limited to 500 at a time by Analytics.] Right now, the KML is kind of boring to look at. I’ve suggested he might want to try generating more visually interesting maps with the data using techniques like the Thematic Mapping Engine.

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. We’re hard at work on a fix for Firefox 3. Expect something in the next couple of days.

  2. regarding the Google Analytics KML tool- you can in Google Analytics map click on a country name (from the list below the map) – then you will get all the cities from that country – click XML export button – and then you can generate a map with cities from only that country via the tool.
    a quick and dirty examples from Denmark can be viewed here
    You are totally right “the KML is kind of boring to look at” – a raw KML without fancy layout does not impress people in year 2008 🙂

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