This is part 3 of our Tour Builder series where we try to develop tools to make creating Google Earth Tours easier.
When you create a tour that visits a list of locations, one thing you want to do is display the name of the location to the user. There are a number of possible ways to do this:
Probably the easiest method is to simply create a placemark with the appropriate name and an icon of your choice, or remove the icon altogether. You can adjust the font size and colour in the placemarks style settings, but it is has limited flexibility. In addition, if you are distributing your Google Earth Tour, labels can be affected by the settings in the user’s copy of Google Earth as well as screen shape and size.
A simple customised placemark label.
If you are making your tour into a video, then the best option is probably to add most of your text using video editing tools.
A Screen Overlay is a KML feature that allows you to place an image on screen at the location of your choosing. This is what is typically used for map keys or logos in KML files. PNG files with transparency are allowed, which is a significant advantage over placemark balloons. The main disadvantage of this technique is that it only allows images and not text or HTML so you must put your text into an image prior to creating the KML file.
It is also possible to use Google Earth Tour features to animate the image, sliding it onto the screen at the appropriate point in the Tour. You can try this tour to see it in action.