THIS PAGE IS UNDER DEVELOPMENT ~ what we are attempting here is pretty new! Thank you for your patience as we develop these instructions.
We appreciate your feedback and will update this page as your suggestions come in. So, please come back again to check for updates. Thanks!
Instructions for using Google Earth to view our biodiversity maps
About Google Earth
Google Earth is not a web based application so linking to the file we have provided will not automatically launch Google Earth. Our file can only be viewed after you have DOWNLOAD and installed Google Earth installed on your computer. Note: We have used Chrome as the web browser for these instructions.
Here are three steps you need to take to install Google Earth and download our biodiversity map file:
- If you do not already have Google Earth installed on your computer, or if you have an older version of it, download the current version from this link and follow the installation instructions: https://www.google.com/earth/download/gep/agree.html
- Once you have Google Earth installed, take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with this map application. Play around and get familiar with its incredible capabilities. See our navigation instructions below for some of the map features. Once you have explored Google Earth, close the program down and come back to these instructions. Note|: Any time you exit google earth and an option comes up to save, just choose discard and the original Google Earth view will be preserved.
- Next, you will need to download our file to your computer.
Select which trip you would like to view by clicking on one of the two links provided below.
After you have clicked on the link below, a *window with a black background will open and prompt you to download the file.
Click on the “download” button in the centre of your screen to allow the process to start.
Note: *If the window with the black background does not open and the file displays on your screen, "what you have is not a fully functioning map file" you cany get the download by clicking on the 'down arrow' button located in the top right navigation bar.
Once the download is complete, click the file name (the one in the lower left-hand corner of your screen). Since you have already installed Google Earth, the file should now automatically launch Google Earth and load our Biodiversity file.
Here are the links to the two trips we have developed biodiversity maps for so far:
Honduras Birding Adventure
Borneo Birds and Wildlife
Navigation of the map
The Tours of Exploration map will upload in Google Earth as a temporary file for you to explore. The top half of the navigation tool bar is dedicated to the program sites and contains folders that can be selected/unselected depending on the information you wish to view. To examine the contents of each folder, click on the drop-down arrow beside them.
Country wide biodiversity info on birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, amphibians and specific trip details can be found by clicking on the various icons. Info on the places that we stay and visit are also embedded. The Scale tool on the right allows you to zoom in or out.
You can also select/unselect the Google Earth layers located in the lower navigation bar. Completely declutter the view by unselecting all or check out places of interest, geographical contours, photos, major roads, natural disaster statistics, National Geographic articles written about the area, NGO projects, airports, dive sites, etc…
Saving the Tours of Exploration map
If you would like to be able to return to the Tours of Exploration map again, you can save it to your computer. To do this, before you exit the first time, left-click on the file name (in the top of the side panel) and select “Save to My Places”. Choose the area of your computer you wish to save it on and you can return to it later.
Exiting the map
When you exit Google Earth, do not “save the changes”, instead click “discard” so that each time you open Google Earth it is a fresh view.
Why we are creating biodiversity maps for Tours of Exploration?
As many of our clients and friends know, Catherine's research for her MA in Tourism Management looked at building biological respect through tourism. The impetus for much of that work was a concern over the loss of biodiversity seen globally and a belief that creating more education and awareness around biodiversity may lead to saving species and spaces. One prominent organizations we admire their work in their field is the World Wildlife Fund.
With additional inspiration from Biodiversitymapping.org, and our in house biodiversity mapping project leader (Ailish Evans), we have begun to create unique biodiversity maps for our trips using Google Earth.
We invite you to check out these maps ~ let us know what you think. Your feedback will help us as we continue to expand this research tool.