Exporting Maps for Google Earth™

See also Exporting Preset Map Styles.


Contour maps, tracks and waypoints can be exported to Google Earth in a single KMZ file. Exporting a map to a KMZ file is a good way of producing a mobile-viewable version of a ReefMaster generated map. The map can then be viewed within the Google Earth application running on Android and iOS devices, on top of Google Earth satellite imagery.


Map project exported with isobaths in vector mode, displayed on an Android phone


Maps are exported as a set of isobaths, hardness areas and contours, which are shown in Google Earth as polygons and linestrings. Each contour can be labelled with the depth, which is exported in the current global unit setting. Waypoints are exported as placemarks, and retain their ReefMaster symbol and colour.


To view maps on a mobile device:


·Install Google Earth for mobile.

·On Android devices, simply copy the exported KMZ file to a location on the device, and use a File Manager app to navigate to the file location and open the file. Google Earth will open automatically and zoom to the map's extent.

·On iOS devices, you must email the file as an attachment to an account that can be accessed on the device. Open the email on the device and select "view attachment". Google Earth will open and zoom to the map's extent.

·Performance can suffer when maps are too large. The size of map that causes problems will vary, depending on the power of the mobile device. If performance becomes an issue, try cutting maps into smaller parts (using Map Boundaries), and exporting these parts as separate map files.


Exporting Map Projects

When exporting map projects, there are a range of options available for styling the finished KMZ map. When exporting user maps, these options are hidden; instead, any styling should take place within the user map.


Different contour and background styles as displayed on an Android phone



These options are only shown when exporting directly from a map project


Raster backgrounds are not exported via the Google Earth export option. A map image and associated KML calibration file can be exported using the Export Map Image option in the contour view. To generate Google Earth maps with coloured backgrounds, as shown in the image at the top of this page, ensure that the map project to be exported is in Vector Mode and isobaths have been generated.



(1) Fill shoreline/export isobaths

Check the fill shoreline option to fill the background of the map with a solid colour. This can be useful to make contours more visible, especially if the background in this location with Google Earth is cluttered. If the map has a defined shoreline, then the shoreline is filled. If the map does not have a defined shoreline, then the bounding rectangle of the map contours is filled. The colour can be set in the colour picker, which also supports transparency. The alpha channel can be specified in the first byte (two hexadecimal characters) of the colour code and ranges from 00 (fully transparent) to FF (fully opaque).


To export filled isobaths, check the option Isobaths and select a palette from the palette selector.


(2) Contour colour

Contours can be colour coded according to their relative depth within the map, or shown in a fixed colour. To export colour coded contours, select Palette and choose the required palette from the drop-down list. To draw all contours in a fixed colour, select Fixed and choose a colour using the colour picker.


(3) Minor Contours

Check Separate minor contours to export minor contours in a different colour to major contours. A colour can be chosen from the colour picker. The Show at zoom slider controls the visibility of minor contours. Low values mean that minor contours will be shown at a relatively low zoom level within Google Earth. High values mean that the map must be zoomed in further before minor contours become visible. The optimum setting for this value depends on the screen size and resolution of target device and the contour density of the exported map; trial and error is the best way to find the right setting.

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