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Importing Google Earth photos


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Is there an easy way to import georeferenced imagery from Google Earth? I need to create a land use coverage, and the Google Earth imagery is exceptional. Our company has a license allowing us to use Google Earth imagery, but I am not sure how to georeference it. I see the instructions on Registering Images in chapter 2.6 of the WMS Tutorials. If there is not an easier way, I can do that.

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As far as I know, Google Earth won't let you export images that are already geo-referenced, but you can do this manually without too much trouble. The easiest way I know how is to save two images, one with grids turned on and one with grids turned off. Use the image with grids when manually geo-referencing the image in WMS and save out a world file when you're done. Then swap out the image with grids with the image without grids and voila, you have a geo-referenced background image.

I hope this helps.


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I click File > Open, select the .tif, and click Open.

I immediately get the error message (error1 from above post).

I click 'OK' and get the exact same message again. I click 'OK' again and get the second error message (error2 from above post).

I click 'OK' and the WMS display updates (without the images).

I am running WMS 8.0, Build Date Feb. 23, 2007. The .tif I am trying to open is 5 MB.

My computer:

Windows XP Professional

Processor: x86 Family 15 Model 3 Stepping 4 GenuineIntel ~3391Mhz

Total Physical Memory: 1,024 MB

Available Physical Memory: 210.09 MB

Total Virtual Memory: 2.00 GB

Available Virtual Memory: 1.96 GB

Page File Space: 2.40 GB

What else do you need to know?

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  • 1 month later...


If you have a current maintenance license, you may download and upgrade to the newest version of WMS which is 8.3

I have been able to successfully load in the Utah GIS tiff's without incident in 8.2 and 8.3.

I do not have a version of 8.0 on my machine, but a coworker does and he was able to load in the tiff using a quick workaround.

If you do not wish to upgrade use this workaround as follows:

open the tiff in the paint program and save it as a jpg and then load it into WMS.

Let us know if you need anything else.

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