Five Map Layers
Historic Platte River and Missouri River Stream Channel Locations
Click on the checkboxes to display those layers - Scroll down for the procedure - Toggle Link
Display of the Platte River and Missouri River confluence. Historic aerial photographs were purchased and downloaded as .png files. These files were imported into ArcMap 10. The outer margins of the stream channels were digitized as separate layers while working with the editor toolbar. Once the edits were saved, the conversion tool "To KML" in the ArcToolbox menu was selected for exporting the map layer. "Layer to KML" was selected which opens a selection window where the appropriate Layer and destination or "Output" location is selected. One must take note at this point that ArcMap exports the file as a .kmz and not a .kml. A conversion procedure is required.
Converting from .kmz to .kml: Once the KMZ file has been exported from ArcMap 10 it can be opened with Google Earth and viewed for accuracy. Any styling that was done in ArcMap will not be carried over in the KMZ file. There is no need to restyle the layers at this step. The styling will be done later in this process. Once the map has loaded into Google Earth and is displayed, that layer within "Temporary Places" can be highlighted in the left "Places" pane of Google Earth. By selecting "File" and allowing the save option to open gives one the option to "Save Place As...". Select this option and assign a file name and save as a KML from the "Save as type" drop down menu. This is the KML file that will be placed into Google Maps as a Fusion Table so one must remember the location.
Uploading a file into Google Maps Fusion Table: Google Maps Fusion Tables require a free account with Google. Sign in and select “More” then “Even More” from the drop down menu. Scroll to the bottom of the Google products page and select “Fusion Tables”. From the Fusion Tables screen click the blue “SEE MY TABLES” button. Once in the Google Docs page select the red “CREATE” button followed by “TABLE (beta)” from the drop down menu. One must then click “Browse” and locate the appropriate KML file created previously. Several file types can be uploaded at this step. These include spreadsheets, delimited text files (.csv, .tsv, or .txt, as well as the .kml files. Google Maps can interpret this data and Geocode points, lines, and areas as needed. After the filename in the window, “next” can be selected to import the data into Google Docs. An “Import new table window is displayed with the columns from the KML file listed. One can leave all of the checkboxes selected and click “Next”. Click “Finish” and the Fusion Table data will be represented in a spreadsheet format. By selecting “File” from the Google Docs menu followed by “About”, one can view the Numeric ID of the Fusion Table and highlight it. This can be copied to the computer’s clipboard or written down. This will be used to display the Fusion Table on a Google Maps webpage. To display the map while in Google Docs, one must select “Visualize” followed by “Map” from the drop down menu. The default color for all points, lines, and areas is red and can be changed to make the map cartographically pleasing and coherent. These style settings can be changed by clicking “Configure styles”. One should notice that the default opacity for lines and areas is 50%. This value should be changed first if desired followed by any color changes. This eliminates a few unnecessary mouse clicks. One should also write down the hexadecimal color codes as they style their map for future reference. This technique can assist in the making of a legend for the map reader. This process can be repeated to add more Fusion Tables to someone's list. Up to five Fusion Tables can be displayed at one time on a Google Map. This can be beneficial for change detection or to show intersections of different data sets.