NOAA/National Centers for Environmental Information

Google Earth

This tutorial explains how to export a series of radar data files (other formats will follow the same procedures) from the Toolkit and load into Google Earth for viewing as a 'Time Animation'.

Before proceeding, please review the following tutorials and prerequisites:

  1. Completion of the Basic Tutorials and general comfort using the Viewer.
  2. The Loading Data Tutorial.
  3. The Animations Tutorial.
  4. Google Earth is installed on your computer. Google Earth Home Page.
  5. Have a basic understanding of how to use Google Earth. Visit the Google Earth Help Page.

This tutorial will start with the Animation Generator.

Animation Generator

From the Animation Generator click Export KMZ to begin the export process. Once you have clicked Save KMZ a KMZ Export Options window will appear.

KMZ Export Window

The KMZ Export Options window is where you can adjust visual and save options for the KMZ file. The options are explained below. Note that this example is for NEXRAD data (Radial data structure) and these options are slightly different for Gridded Data.

Export Frames Progress Window

There are three progress bars in the Export Animation Progress window. There is also a Cancel Animation if you need to stop the processing.

Once the animation processing is complete a window will pop up alerting you.

Export Complete Pop Up

To open the exported KMZ file in Google Earth, you may press 'Yes' button when prompted following the completion of the animation. In addition, the KMZ file may be double-clicked, dragged and dropped onto Google Earth or opened via the 'File' menu in Google Earth.

Google Earth First Load Screenshot

The options that will be unique to viewing the Weather and Climate Toolkit's KMZ output in will occur in the Places tab.

Places Tab

Underneath the NOAA Weather and Climate Toolkit Generated Animation folder there are 3 subfolders: Image Frames, Exported Data Extent, and Overlays.

Useful Tools
From Google Earth User Guide

Transparency Slider
Google Earth Transparency Slider
You can adjust the transparency of an overlay from completely transparent to fully opaque whenever it is selected in the viewer. By adjusting the transparency of the overlay image, you can see how the overlay image corresponds to the 3D viewer imagery beneath.
Located underneath the Places tab.
Time Slider
Google Earth Time Slider
Navigation Controls
Google Earth Navigation Controls