On Tuesday we had a look at Google Earth Pro’s Movie Maker. Today, we are looking at another Google Earth Pro exclusive feature, the Viewshed tool.
The Viewshed tool shows the line of sight from any given placemark. The Google Earth help page lists some possible uses as:
- Checking the views from a house you plan to build.
- Architects can analyze the views available from a tract of land before designing buildings.
- Real estate agents can evaluate views remotely, and take views into consideration when they set property prices.
- Businesses can make rough estimates of cell tower coverage from a particular location.
- Advertisers can try out different locations for billboards and signs.
We were impressed to discover that it takes into account not only the terrain, but also any 3D models in the scene, including the 3D mesh areas Google has been rolling out, or even models the user has in their ‘my places’.
Using the tool is very simple. Add a placemark where you want the Viewshed to be calculated from, right click on it and select ‘Show Viewshed’. Be patient, as it can take a while before it even lets you know it is calculating, and trying to do other things in Google Earth while it is still calculating the Viewshed may cause it to crash. If your placemark is at ground level, the tool will offer to automatically raise it to a usable height, or allow you to edit the placemarks altitude.
The Viewshed from a tower in Vienna, Austria. You can see the ‘shadows’ cast by tall buildings.
For more, watch this YouTube video created by Google:
About Timothy Whitehead
Timothy has been using Google Earth since 2004 when it was still called Keyhole before it was renamed Google Earth in 2005 and has been a huge fan ever since. He is a programmer working for Red Wing Aerobatx and lives in Cape Town, South Africa.
how can i download this without priveleges
Steven Ho says
This reminds me I have made a “Sight generater” in 2010, “How far you can see Burj Dubai?”. Google Earth Pro viewshed tool calculate a lot of terrain data, accurate to produce the line of sight in ten-kilometer radius of the circle.
My “Sight generater” generates a cone by simple trigonometric calculations and labels the sight distance. They are different way of thinking, for your reference!
Steven Ho says
I forget to set the weblink of How far you can see Burj Dubai?.
The video indicates that your can share the viewshed, but I’m not able to see the results of the viewshed analysis anywhere in the interface after it’s completed. Only the option to ‘Exit viewshed’.
Edgar Medina says
Is there any way to change the radius of the Viewshed that is calculated? It is a bit short for my purposes.
Letho Gaolekwe says
I have been trying to modify the radius but to no avail as well…
Someone out there please help on the modification of the radii