There have been suggestions recently that Google Earth is a “powerful tool” for science. Some disagree. At least one amateur used Google Earth to find an asteroid impact crater.

I just wanted to give context to imagery viewed in ENVI (similar to my Google Maps user function). MG_WRITE_KML produces a KML file and an image suitable for viewing in Google Earth. The KML file includes lat/lon information to locate the image. The user function is only one file: MG_WRITE_KML (docs).

Screenshot of Google Earth display of bhtmref.img

Let me know if you use Google Earth for science and if this user function is useful for you.

Usage of MG_WRITE_KML is bit more complicated than MG_GOOGLE_LOOKUP, but still straightforward:

  1. Download MG_WRITE_KML and put it in ENVI’s save_add directory.
  2. Open an image with map info in ENVI.
  3. Display the image.
  4. In the menu for the display window, select Tools > Write KML file for Google Earth.
  5. After you select an output filename, MG_WRITE_KML will write the KML and TIFF files.
  6. Open the KML file in Google Earth.