What is a Google Earth?

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Google Earth is a "geobrowser." Just as your regular web browser makes it a snap to view regular web pages, geobrowsers make it simple to read map pages. Also just like your web browser, the first step is to download and install the geobrowser program onto your home computer. It is free and easy to get Google Earth. (Here's a link to the official website.)

Of course, as you probably know, you can already look at maps on your regular web browser using Google Maps (as opposed to Google Earth.) This certainly works fine. However, the advantage of having Google Earth is that it lets you download the complete Cross Vermont Trail map file (crossvermont.kmz) and have a single copy of the entire state wide route, which you can read on your desktop anytime. You can even go into the file and add your own personal notes. (Just remember to check back to www.crossvermont.org every now and then to get updated versions. The route will change over time as more sections of trail are built and opened.)

Once you have Google Earth installed on your home computer, simply click the link to the Cross Vermont Trail file.

You will get a pop up window that looks something like this:

screenshot of google earth download

(Google Earth files have the file extension .kmz or .kml.)

You can either Save File to your desktop, then open it whenever you like. Or you can Open With Google Earth to view right now, and save it to your desktop using the "Save to My Places" command in Google Earth's menu.

(By the way, Google would probably want me to add that another advantage of "Earth" over "Maps" is that Earth is way more than just a mapping program. It's a 3 dimensional, animated, lifelike cartoon model of the whole planet, and parts of the nearby solar system as well, so is capable of many whiz bang features that go far beyond a simple line on a map. However, those features don't matter so much to the Cross Vermont Trail file, since it is in fact just a line on a map.)

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