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Google Earth For Dummies Paperback – 9 Feb 2007
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From the Back Cover
Explore foreign cities or find every ATM in your hometown!
Map historic sites, look for a new home, or analyze traffic patterns
Want to see the world? Forget packing, customs, and airport security ―with Google Earth, simply click and you′re there. And it works just as well to find school districts and shortcuts in your hometown. This guide helps you install and customize the software, create specialized maps, tour almost any city on earth, and more!
Discover how to
- Locate specific businesses in any city
- Create a tour of homes for sale
- Visit historic sites in another country
- Insert your own 3D models
- Find alternate routes to work
About the Author
David A. Crowder has authored or coauthored more than 25 books, including the bestsellers Building a Web Site For Dummies and Cliffs Notes Getting on the Internet. His two most recent books were both listed as essential for all library collections by the magazine Library Journal.
Professor Crowder is equally at home with high technology or with working his way through the backcountry on horseback or in a dugout canoe. When he is not writing, he spends his time with his wife Angela, wandering through villages in the Andes or frolicking in the Caribbean surf.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
As a Google Earth fan from its beta days, I thought a dummies book wouldn't give me enough information to warrant the price of the book, particularly given the abundance of tutorial materials freely available online. This book, while valuable to its base of novice users, offers enough for an intermediate user to justify a thorough reading. For example, while beginners will appreciate the information about geographical terms such as defining latitude and longitude and familiarizing themselves with GPS jargon, other users may find the more comprehensive knowledge about the program's KML file structure and the explanations about the various layers in Google Earth more worth their reading time.
Now again, the addition of the materials on Google Sketchup, a 3D modeling program more likely once intended for CAD and landscape enthusiasts, means that even more accomplished users can use this as a tool to explore Google Earth's more advanced features. I myself had only cursory knowledge of Sketchup before reading this book and was sold on it when I saw how quickly I could get started with 3D modeling and put it to immediate use on Google Earth. Had this book not included the Sketchup section, I would probably have relied on web sites to fill me in on GE's other features. By reading the chapters on Sketchup, I was able to download the program with the confidence that I could begin using the program quickly. I even showed the program to several of my advanced fifth graders who themselves were playing with the program in no time at all.
As a consequence of reading this book, I am a much more capable member of the Google Earth community but I can also now boast some knowledge of 3D modeling. That's not too bad for an Earth dummy.
As with many of my "for Dummies" books it is a great reference manual that is well organized, well thought out, and well researched that makes finding answers to questions a snap. I use it when trying to decide how to do animations for presentations and how to most effectively illustrate points that need to be made through placement of different elements either from the 3D library or custom 3D items from Google SketchUp (there is even a short tutorial on how to use Google SketchUp).
In short it covers all the bases, is very informative, is intuitive and well aid out, and it functions as a great reference. Mr. Crowder deserves a "well done" for his efforts, and a "Thank You". It is well worth it's price and the time to learn what's in it.
After reading through the first 116 pages (it was actually well written and I learned a lot about how to use features of Google Earth I was not getting the most out of), I got to this exciting bit of news at the end of Chapter 7; "If you want to share your tours with other Google Earth users, check out Chapter 8 to see how it's done."
YESSSS!! Finally; the holy grail! I read Chapter 8 ('Mingling With the Community') with great interest, got to the end without a shred of advice on how to "share your tours with other Google Earth users", re-read it and read it again. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
The rest of the book delved deeply into arcane technical subjects and some interesting stuff that I might find useful in personalizing Google Earth, but for my purposes, if I can't share what I've done with others, it's of no use. And nothing in this book explains how to share (unless the author expects me to wade through the archives of Google Earth Community forums to try to figure it out).
So, I'm very disappointed in this book because it did not answer the one question I need to have answered; is there a way to share my custom views of the world with others (other than in a forum)?
It would also help to have a discussion about the difference between Google Maps and Google Earth and how they are related and when to use each.