Saturday, March 02, 2013

Google Earth in PowerPoint

Interested in testing Shape2Earth Tools for PowerPoint?

Chances are, you've used Microsoft PowerPoint to present information to people.  There is also a very good chance that you have used Google Earth as a briefing tool to describe a location to people.

Many people have wanted to merge these two tools together into a single briefing platform.  Some people export their slides into images that they can turn into Screen Overlays or Ground Overlays using KML to see them in Google Earth.  Others try to get Google Earth into PowerPoint using various methods, such as copying Google Earth screen captures into a slide.  Some people use hyperlinks in PowerPoint to open KML files that launch Google Earth.

And still others have tried to put Google Earth itself into PowerPoint.

I am one of those people.  I wanted to be able to have Google Earth not only in my PowerPoint slides, but also wanted it to be a seamless part of the presentation.  Whenever I transitioned to a new slide, I want Google Earth to zoom to the area that was being presented.

This turned into a new Shape2Earth product that lets people put Google Earth into their PowerPoint presentations.  Anyone who is able to add a new slide in PowerPoint will be able to make Google Earth slides.

The Shape2Earth toolbar for PowerPoint has a menu of available Google Earth slide templates, very similar to the way in which regular slides are added.  The image below shows the selection of a full slide Google Earth template.

Once the template has been selected, a new slide is added, and Google Earth opens in the right hand task window.  Google Earth is not presented in the slide at design time, but a graphic displays where Google Earth will be when the slide show is run.  Text on top of the image will tell you that this template is using the default view for Google Earth.

The tool bar on top of the Google Earth task window lets you set the view for that slide.  Another button lets you zoom back to the location that has been set.  This is very useful for other slide templates that have a Google Earth view based on each item in a bullet list (the topic of a future blog entry).

As you can see below, you can add as many Google Earth slides as you would like, and set the view for each of them.

The real magic is when you run your slide show and Google Earth glides to the location for that slide.  The two images below show two different slides in our presentation.  Unfortunately, the imaged do not capture the flow of Google Earth from slide to slide, which is the most compelling part of this very simple demonstration

Shape2Earth for PowerPoint will be made available from the Shape2Earth website after finalization and a beta testing period.


  1. Anonymous9:13 AM

    Hello,could you give on your page a direct link to download this app ? There is no link on the website...
    (Sorry for my very bad english, I'm a geography teacher in France).
    Thanks a lot.
    P.S. Do it works with Office 2013 ?

  2. Shape2Earth for PowerPoint currently only works with Office 2010. We are preparing for a public beta testing period. More information will follow.

  3. Anonymous7:52 AM

    Well... Do ya think maybe we could snag that? I need it for a U.S Military briefing presentation to our LTC.