Sunday, 2 May 2010

Pin it on Google Earth

I was stimulated to examine whether it was possible to enter location pins onto Google Earth from my Legacy database by two articles written by Howard Mathieson1 who used GenMap as his starting point. Although I have used Legacy which is an Access DB, the method should apply to any DB where the construction is known and accessible.

The method used involves extracting the required details using, putting this into a MySQL DB and using PHP to extract the data in the required format for importing into Earth Plot which will put the pins into Google Earth.

One interesting problem was that Legacy stores location co-ordinates (latitude/longitude) in the format whereas Earth Plot requires them in decimal. A wide search on Google failed to provide a PHP script which made the calculation, so I ended up having to write one! The basic PHP, including this calculation, is given in the Map Using Google Earth tutorial on my FergysWebsite.

This tutorial describes how to use the method to plot the locations of the  Fergusons born before 1902 who are entered into my One-Name DB. Looking towards the future, when I will have many more records - at present there are around 1500 - I would hope to have come up with a way of plotting their movements with respect to time. I suspect that this will not be too easy!


1. Grateful acknowledgement is made to Howard Mathieson for his articles in the Vol 10 Issue 5 and Issue 6 editions of the Journal of One-Name Studies, the quarterly publication of the Guild of One-Name Studies (non-members: £2.00/copy) which stimulated my interest in this subject and introduced me to Earth Plot.

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