The Megalithic Portal meets Google Earth

Those resourceful people at the Megalithic Portal have just announced that all of the 15582 sites in their database are now available in a single KMZ file, ready to load into Google Earth.

Sites on the Megalithic Portal displayed in Google Earth

The file is 1.6MB, and it slows Google Earth down a bit, but it’s a small price to pay for having all of that information available in such an accessible way. I think that a big “well done” is deserved to the people involved with making the resource!

Andy Burnham made the announcement after a long thread on the British Archaeology email list (Britarch) entitled “Why don’t we share more?”, which brought up many issues about the state of archaeological and historical data held electronically in the UK. There is much fear about opening up data, ranging from lack of time to do so, dangers of looting if specific coordinates were released, and issues of data exchange and standard terminologies.

It’s worth looking at the Britarch archives for August 2006 to get an idea of the issues of what is involved, and some of the attitudes of people working with such data in the profession. The message that sparked it all off is here.

If resourceful people like those at the Megalithic Portal could get their hands on ‘the data’ imagine the possibilities…

3 Responses to The Megalithic Portal meets Google Earth

  1. Andy B 25 August, 2006 at 2:20 pm #

    Thanks for the mention, I felt the tumbleweed blowing by after my post on Britarch itself, yet anyone dare mention a metal detector and…

    I’ve worked out why the data is slowing Google Earth down, it needs to be partitioned into categories so you don’t have to have it all on at once if you don’t want to.

    The next release in a couple of weeks should split it up a bit.

    As to us getting our hands on the data, it would be a great leap just be able to link geographically into other online resources like Canmore or other SMRs, to show a specific long/lat or grid reference. Even that doesn’t seem possible at the moment. Anyone interested in helping, get in touch.

  2. Peter H 26 August, 2006 at 7:48 am #

    Is a Google Earth download sharing data between archaeological databases? Hardly.

    And who would want Megalithic Portal data anyway? A load of inaccurate information gathered by amateurs together with fuzzy photos captioned with such ‘insightful’ remarks as ‘This is a lovely dolmen’.

  3. Easton 28 November, 2006 at 5:29 pm #

    Hi All Experts,
    Does anyone use google earth images as ground image planes for use in aerial scenes. I know how to stitch them together but are there any tools or tricks to make sure that the images are at the same height, angle and such to make sure they stitch well. I know in the pro version you can get bigger images but im not going to pay for the pro version when i could stitch multiple images together…