Southeastern Section - 61st Annual Meeting (1–2 April 2012)

Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 8:00 AM-12:00 PM


HILL, Jesse S., Department of Geological Sciences, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Mitchell Hall, Campus Box 3315, Chapel Hill, NC 27599 and HARRISON, Michael J., Department of Earth Sciences, Tennessee Tech University, PO Box 5062, Cookeville, TN 38505,

Google Earth (GE) is a dynamic virtual globe that can be used to display and link field data to geologic maps and cross sections. On occasion, however, the GE terrain does not accurately reflect the present-day land surface. For example, the GE terrain does not depict several large outcrops that formed during 1990s construction along I-26 in Unicoi Co., northeastern TN. To correct this discrepancy, Google SketchUp (GSU) was used to build a topographic model from a copy of the GE terrain. This model was then imported back into GE and georeferenced to align with the surrounding terrain. The result is a virtual excavation of the GE terrain that better represents the current topography. Here, we demonstrate step-by-step instructions for building a topographic model using GSU and then placing the model back into GE. This technique can be used anywhere a mismatch exists between the GE terrain and the Earth’s surface.
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