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Book Chapter

Designing interactive screen overlays to enhance effectiveness of Google Earth geoscience resources

By
Mladen M. Dordevic
Mladen M. Dordevic
Department of Physics, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia 23529, USA
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Published:
October 01, 2012

The effectiveness of a computer application depends on, among other things, an efficient user interface. In order to visualize subsurface geologic phenomena using the Google Earth™ application, we initially employed the built-in Google Earth time slider. Dragging the slider's right thumb elevated a COLLADA model that initially loads at a subsurface altitude. However, the double-thumb feature of the time slide caused users some difficulties. It is not possible to turn off this feature when not required, so it can be misleading to users. Because of this and because of the need for more control, we transitioned from the stand-alone Google Earth application to the web-based Google Earth plug-in. To overcome some of the limitation for the existing user interface, such as the inability to make controls appear semitransparent, we designed and implemented a screen overlay using the plug-in's application programming interface. This approach opened new possibilities to build more customizable user interfaces. A demonstration of the approach and sample usage of JavaScript to create buttons, draggable images, slides, and slider controls is presented.

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Contents

GSA Special Papers

Google Earth and Virtual Visualizations in Geoscience Education and Research

Steven J. Whitmeyer
Steven J. Whitmeyer
Department of Geology & Environmental Science, James Madison University, Memorial Hall, MSC 6903, Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807, USA
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John E. Bailey
John E. Bailey
Scenarios Network for Alaska & Arctic Planning, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska 99709, USA
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Declan G. De Paor
Declan G. De Paor
Department of Physics, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia 23529, USA
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Tina Ornduff
Tina Ornduff
Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy, Mountain View, California 94043, USA
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Geological Society of America
Volume
492
ISBN print:
9780813724928
Publication date:
October 01, 2012

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