A detailed topographic map of New Zealand

Matt Fox at Google Earth Library has just created a very impressive topographic map overlay for New Zealand. The imagery is lined up perfectly, and amazingly sharp.


Matt grabbed all 455 maps from the Land Information of New Zealand and converted them to a seamless overlay. As he mentions on the site, the images are a bit slow to load because they’re so sharp. After you load the KMZ file, give it a minute or two to get everything loaded in.
Try try it for yourself, just grab the KML file and then fly down to New Zealand.
Matt’s GE Library also has many other collections of large datasets for viewing in Google Earth. He also has topographical overlays for the entire US from the USGS.
Great work Matt!

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.


  1. The big gain over GE and Maps in a hilly country like NZ is contours – otherwise a missing feature for those brought up on conventional cartography – and, one assumes, map information which is in the public domain and can be used without restrictive licences or charges.

  2. Micah Walton says:

    I like topographic maps.
    Does anyone know what the unlabeled contour lines in Google maps topographic map represent. The hundreds are labeled so I’m guessing 50′. Does anyone know if there is a legend for the map?

  3. @Micah Walton – there are contours … and contours, and I for one would not want to cross mountains like Snowdonia in N Wales on the basis of the ‘terrain’ in Google Maps. The contours which appear to be at 40 metre (a guess, no key) intervals are very approximate, and are only labelled at 200 metre intervals in Snowdonia. Yet lots of people set off to climb using such maps on their mobiles.
    The 1:25,000 Ordnance Survey maps available on Bing Maps for the whole of Britain are far superior for walkers and climbers on the ground, but of course GE gives a great complementary overview of the landscape.

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