Build and share collections with EarthSwoop

It’s time to roll out a site that a couple of us have been working on for the last few weeks — EarthSwoop!

Bits and pieces of the code have been used in some of my other plug-in tools, but this takes it a step further. Using the Google Earth plug-in and a simple interface, you can build collections of common locations, all viewed using an icon-based system. For some examples, go check out the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the 30 Stadiums in Major League Baseball, or some of the venues in the upcoming Beijing Olympics. We’ve built 15 collections to get you started.

You can create a collection about any subject that you want. Once your collection has been created, the system will generate KML files for each location inside of it and give you embed code to put it on your own site. When viewing it, you can add other content such as WikiMapia and Panoramio to help provide more context.

Here is a brief video that shows how easy it is to start creating collections, and below is an embedded version of our NFL Stadiums collection. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Powered by EarthSwoop | More info about this collection

The top 5 ways to embed Google Earth content on your site

Now that the Google Earth plugin works in Firefox 3 (Windows-only still…), we thought we’d run through some of the best ways to embed Google Earth content on your site.

5. Embed existing files and collections from Google Earth Hacks

Google Earth Hacks has over 20,000 files on their site, all of which can be embedded into your own.  In addition, their collections can be embedded.  Both implementations are very straightforward, but require that a file is already on their site.  Here is what an embedded collection looks like:

Powered by Google Earth Hacks | More info about this collection

4. Embed golf courses from Golf Nation

Similar to Google Earth Hacks, Golf Nation allows you to embed any of their existing courses onto your own site.  This could be pretty useful if you just played a round and want to embed that course into your blog post about your great score.  The quality of the files can vary quite a bit, so here is one of the better ones:

Powered by Golf Nation | More golf courses in Atlanta

3. Build your own map with StreetCities

StreetCities is by far the most complex integration we’ve seen, for better and for worse.  You have a ton of options on how you want your map to look, and it’s very well done.  It’s not a great place to go for a quick map, but it’s worth playing with when you have a chance.

2. Easily embed a KML with TakItWithMe

TakItWithMe was the first site to offer the plugin in an embeddable manner.  Their script is quite simple, and allows you pull a KML into the map.  However, the KML needs to be hosted online somewhere (no upload feature), which is kind of a bummer.  Still, it’s nice way to build a quick embed from any KML that you know of.

1. Embed a map in a few seconds with ShareIt

ShareIt is another entry from Google Earth Hacks, but this one takes the cake.  There are no frills with this one — just a very simple way to embed the map on your site.  Title it, find your location on the globe (either by zooming or by searching with the box below it), and that’s it.  If you want a simple way to show your house, your church, your favorite stadium, etc, this is the way to do it.

Powered by Google Earth Hacks | Map Details | Create your own!

There you have it!  Honorable mentions go to Tagzania and GMap-Track, both of whom offer embeddable plugin code as well.

If you know of any others, please let us know in the comments below.