Big Sur Trailmap logo

Google Earth Overlays for Big Sur



Download
Big Sur Trailmap Google Earth "network link" file


If you do not already have Google Earth installed on your PC,
you will first need to install it by downloading the following:
Google Earth software for PC/Mac/Linux 

To install the Big Sur Trailmap overlay into Google Earth:
•  Download the Google Earth "network link" file above
•  If Google Earth not already installed,
download the "Google Earth software" link above to install it
•  Start Google Earth
•  Click "File""Open" and select downloaded file [GE_bigsur_trailmap.kml]
•  Big Sur Trailmap will appear under "Temporary Places" on left sidebar
and its lines/icons appear
•  "Move" "Big Sur Trailmap" into "My Places" on sidebar folder
(can click+hold with left mouse button, then drag to desired position)
•  Click "File""Save""Save My Places"


Latest Big Sur Trailmap is then automatically updated at each GE start
(or can be manually updated using "Refresh")

Note:  up-to-date trail conditions are available on this map,
as indicated by the width of the trail line (thinner = poorer condition)



Download
Big Sur Trailmap Google Earth "network link" file


If you do not already have Google Earth installed on your smartphone,
you will first need to install it using links/info on this website:
Google Earth smartphone installation info/links 

To install Big Sur Trailmap overlay into Google Earth:
•  Install the Google Earth app in your smartphone, if not already done
•  In the browser, click the Google Earth "network link" file above
•  After downloading, the browser should ask if want to "Open" the file
•  "Open" the file in the Google Earth app
•  Big Sur Trailmap is shown as a new "Project"
and its lines/icons appear (can take many, many seconds !)
•  IF the above "automatic" install fails, you can install it manually:
•  Open the Google Earth app
•  Click "Project" icon
•  Click "Open" icon
•  Click "Import KML file from computer"
•  Select downloaded "network link" file [GE_bigsur_trailmap.kml]
     (but where browser download put file can be difficult to find frown)
•  Big Sur Trailmap is shown as a new "Project"
and its lines/icons appear (can take many, many seconds !)


Latest Big Sur Trailmap is then automatically updated at each GE start

Note:  up-to-date trail conditions are available on this map,
as indicated by the width of the trail line (thinner = poorer condition)



Note:  the Big Sur Trailmap "network link" file did not work in my July 2021 Chrome browser Google Earth, so the below instructions instead install the current Big Sur Trailmap KMZ file, which GE does not automatically update.  I expect the "network link" will work in a later edition, as does in desktop & smartphone versions.  If you are reading this much later, the "network link" file might work in your browser setup - you can check by instead downloading the "network link" file and installing it in place of the KMZ file described below; if you do get it to work, please let me know ! 

Download
Big Sur Trailmap Google Earth KMZ file


To open Google Earth in your browser 
(click "Launch Earth")

To use the Big Sur Trailmap overlay:
•  Download the Google Earth KMZ file above
Warning:  "Opening" the file immediately after download may open
it in your desktop version GE if installed, instead of the browser !
•  "Launch" Google Earth in a browser (works best in Chrome)
•  Click "Project" icon
•  Click "Open" icon
•  Click "Import KML file from computer"
•  Select downloaded KMZ file [bigsur_trailmap.basic.kmz]
     (but where browser download put file can be difficult to find frown)
•  Big Sur Trailmap is shown as a new "Project"
and its lines/icons appear


Note:  this trailmap is not be automatically updated on GE restart



"Seamless" USGS quadrangle map background
Displays "classic" quad map behind trailmap overlay
Coverage area limited to Big Sur region
Saving to "MyPlaces" loads it at GE start
Download
USGS quadrangle map Google Earth "network link" file



Wilderness areas overlay
Saving to "MyPlaces" loads it at GE start
Download
Google Earth KMZ file (89Kb)



Additional Google Earth overlays
(fire perimeters, etc.)
Big Sur Map Collection




Google Earth Tricks and Notes
(I've used/tested these only in the desktop version of GE)

•  The GE trick I've found most useful:  When interested in a certain specific feature or location, first place the cursor over that location then hold down the "Shift" key and then hold down the left mouse button.  A circle will appear around the "location of interest" - then moving the mouse forward/backward and left/right (while still holding the mouse button down - the "Shift" key can be released once you have the mouse button down) will tilt and rotate the view around that point.  I've found this very useful for easily orienting the terrain relative to to a specific feature -- for example orienting it so that I am looking directly along an ascending ridgeline -- to give a good sense of how the terrain varies in the area. 

•  To reset the orientation:  To quickly go from a tilted, rotated 3D view to a simple 2D view from directly overhead, with North at the top, just hit your keyboard's "r" key (mnemonic: "r" as in "reset"). 

•  Display the scale:  Note that a map scale can be displayed by checking "Scale Legend" under the "View" tab (all maps should have a scale!)

•  Find a location by name:  You can "fly" Google Earth to many geographical features by typing a name such as "Cabezo Prieto" into the "Search/FlyTo" entry box.  Apparently this works for all features named on a USGS topo map.  Entering a partial name can also produce useful results, e.g. "Doolans Hole" is not in the database but will be found if entered because "Doolans Hole Creek" is in the database.  Adding ", CA" will limit the results to California.  And entering a latitude+longitude (in a format known to GE) will "fly" GE to that location. 

•  Other background maps:  Very useful overlays of Google Maps, Google Terrain, and several other geographic overlays, which can be displayed instead of the internal satellite images, can be obtained by downloading and opening the "Network Link" available at Google Earth Map Overlays.  Particularly useful for orientation and obtaining geographic information such as geographic names.  This takes a bit of setup, but I've found the additional background maps at times invaluable! 

•  Additional info:  Note that if in the "Layers" sidebar tab you check "More" that enables its subtab "USDA Forest Service" (under the "Parks/Recreation Area" subtab) which displays the official USFS campground locations and boundary lines.  That will be confusing since the Big Sur Trailmap displays the same features, so if you need to check the "More" Layers sidebar tab you should uncheck one of those subtabs (unless you want to know where the USFS thinks the camps are - their icons are green tents named "Campground")



If you find an out-of-date link or think a correction/addition should be made to this page, you can email Jack Glendening at: