Using Google Earth for Aerials, Maps & Topography
Jason Dieckhoff, Harrisonville
January 7, 2006

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(Session notes provided by AgEBB staff)

Jason Dieckhoff gave information about using Google Earth.

Using Google EarthlingTM
in Agriculture

What is Google Earth?

Google Earth combines satellite imagery, maps and the power of Google Search to put the world's geographic information at your fingertips.

It has three versions:

  1. Google Earth (free)
  2. Google Earth Plus ($20) - adds GPS Data Import, higher resolution printing, polygon and path formation
  3. Google Earth Pro ($400) - used for professional and commercial uses (plus add on - Movie Making, Premium Printing, GIS Data Import, GDT Traffic Data)

What do I need to run it?

Google Earth is a broadband, 3D application that not all computers can run.

  • Apple Macintosh computers are not supported at this time (working on it).
  • Windows-based desktop PCs older than 4 years old may not be able to run it.
  • Windows-based notebook PCs older than 2 years old may not be able to run it.

Supports Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Server 2003.

It does not run on Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 98SE, Windows ME or older operating systems.

The DirectX version of Google Earth can be selected in the Preferences panel. If there is a problem at startup, you can also change it from the Start Menu item. Use it on older machines and laptop computers that have trouble with the default OpenGL version.

Minimum configuration:

  • Operating system: Windows 2000, Windows XP
  • CPU speed: IntelŪ PentiumŪ PIII 500 MHz
  • System memory (RAM): 128MB
  • 200MB hard-disk space
  • 3D graphics card: 3D-capable video card with 16MB VRAM
  • 1024x768, 32-bit true color screen
  • Network speed: 128 kbps ("Broadband/Cable Internet")

How do I get it?

Website: (or go to and choose the more link)

Google Earth

What are its possible uses in agriculture?

Google Earth - Free
  • Colorized Ariel
    View of Land
  • Road Overlay
  • Determine Distance
    or Perimeter of Farm
  • Determine latitude and longitude of
  • Directions/maps
Google Earth Plus
  • GPS data import - read
    in tracks and waypoints
    from select GPS devices
      Note 1: Verified
      support for Magellan
      and Garmin devices
    • Note 2: Does not support export of tracks or waypoints to a GPS
  • Determining Field Acreage
Google Earth Pro
  • GIS data overlay - yield monitoring, fertilizer applications
  • Develop site plans - plan fields, timber, farmsteads

How can I use Google Earth in my Agricultural Education Classroom?

  • Agribusiness - Determining pasture perimeter to figure how much fence to buy.
  • Agribusiness - business site planning.
  • Agribusiness - finding sections of land.
  • Conservation - Watershed areas - where can I put a pond/lake.
  • Conservation - habitat management, food plots
  • Similar software to what FSA uses to figure land measurements.

Sponsored by:
University of Missouri-Columbia
College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
Department of Agricultural Economics
Farm Credit Services and Format International, Inc.

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