As part of CASA's work on the GeoVue project funded by the National Centre for E-Social Science we are proud to announce the release of the latest in a suite of software - PhotoOverlay Creator.
PhotoOverlay creator has been made specifically to place high resolution imagery into Google Earth. The tool supports full 360x180 degree panoramas, partial cylindrical panoramas and standard photographs or images, all within a simple point and click interface.
Working in a similar manner to our Image Cutter software the program tiles your images and creates a KML file ready to put on your server allowing you a higher level of control over your imagery than is possible using web based services.
The simplest way to start out using PhotoOverlay Creator is to follow our 2 step tutorial:
Launching and Loading an Image
Download the software from here and unzip into a folder, note the software requires Java to be installed on your system which if required can be downloaded from Java.com.
To start PhotoOverlay double click on PhotoOverlay.bat as pictured below:
Loading the .batfile will open the interface which users of our other software tools, Image Cutter and Google Map Creator, will be familiar with.
Select 'File' 'Open File' and choose the image you wish to display in Google Earth:
For this tutorial we are using a 360x180 spherical panoramic image of the Chapel of St Peter and St Paul in Greenwich, London. The image loads and a level of zoom is automatically set according to the images resolutions, in our case level 6.
GeoLocating and Setting Field of View
Once your photograph or image is loaded click 'Create' to be presented with options on Image Shape, Location and Description. Enter a description of your image - in our case information on the Chapel in Greenwich, this text will be viewable in Google Earth.
Image Shape has 3 options:
1) Rectangle - for all images apart from panoramas, the set Field of View (FOV) button provides options relating to the camera settings but the most part these can be ignored as the software will automatically set the correct sizes and aspect ratio.
2) Cylinder - for partial panoramic images or images that do not cover a full 360 x 180 field of view. The FOV settings are important for cylindrical images, these should be noted down via your stitching software and inputted accordingly.
3) Panoramic Sphere - for use with 360 x180 degree panorama images.
Select the Image Shape required as per the settings above, in our case Panoramic Sphere with the default FOV settings. As the images are located in geographic space it is important to load them at the correct locations, this can either be done accurately by noting the latitude and longitude of your image or roughly by choosing a city location from the 'Look Up' option and later moved in Google Earth.
We are going to use the preferred method of looking up latitude and longitude using Google Earth. PhotoOverlay Creator uses latitude and longitude in degrees and decimals so we need to set our options in Google Earth to display these units:
In Google Earth select 'Tools' and 'Options' and select the relevant check box under 'Show Lat/Long' - as illustrated below:
The Chapel of St Peter and St Paul is located in Greenwich, London, to get the relevant latitude and longitude we simply fly into the location in Google Earth and subsequently run the mouse over where the photo overlay is to be displayed.
The latitude and longitude are displayed in the bottom left hand corner:
Make a note of the co-ordinates and enter them into PhotoOverlay Creator.
Now simply click 'Create' and your KML will be created ready to view in Google Earth.
If you want to share your image with the world via a webserver the KML needs to know the path to the image.
Open up your KML file in a text editor such as notepad and locate the .jpg reference - ours is illustrated below:
Simply copy your newly created tiles folder to your webspace and note down the path, type this path after the href in your KML file, see ours below highlighted as an example:
Copy the KML over to your server and the file is ready to be viewed.
The YouTube movie below illustrates the sample output both in Panoramic Sphere and Rectangular Image mode:
Let us know if you use the tool as its always nice to know if we were on the right track....
Thanks go to Richard Milton at CASA for writing the code and making the idea work.