a toolkit for A Birder's Guide to Belize
If you have not already done so, go to
www.google.com/earth and download the latest version of the software
(it’s free). Practice using the software and menus.
Now, download the KMZ file for A Birder’s Guide
(last updated 21 January 2012)
After the KMZ file is on your computer, click or
double click on the filename to load the KMZ file into Google Earth and
you are ready to start exploring.
Existing Google Earth layers downloaded with the
software often are in conflict with similar tools in the KMZ file and in
a surprising number of cases their locations are in error. So, it
is best to turn off the Google Earth layers. Simply click on the
checkbox for “Primary Database” in the Layers menu (bottom left).
Later, you can always turn on some or all of it again if you desire.
Hundreds of placemarks, polygons, paths, and tours
are included in this KMZ file. To activate a particular set of
these, click on the checkbox for the set or for individual entries
within the set. There are so many of these that it is unlikely you
would want to activate all of them at once, as the map would be much
cluttered. Typically, the most useful tools and the ones you
probably want activated most of the time are “markers–birding sites” and
Areas – colored polygons encompassing areas of interest.
areas–CBC’s: the 4 Christmas Bird Count
circles with a stickpin marking its center.
the 18 ecoregions as defined in Appendix A of A Birder’s Guide to
Labels – text labels lying at or near geographic areas.
labels–creeks & rivers: names of creeks
labels–districts: names of six geopolitical
Markers – placemarks marking specific locations.
markers–birding sites: primary sites,
most of which are described in the book, shown as large bright
markers–birding stops: secondary sites,
many of which are described in the book, shown as bright green
markers–gazetteer: numbered sites corresponding
to the map on the back cover of the book. To show appropriate names
for the numbered sites, check the box for “markers–birding sites”.
markers–on roads: minor sites and directional markers, shown as
small red stickpins.
markers–on trails: more markers,
useful only on detailed zoomed-in views, shown as small dark red
markers–quadrants: latitude and longitudinal
coordinates marking an array spanning Belize, shown as violet
Paths – lines or paths designating routes.
paths–boats: traces of creeks, rivers or
pathways of boats in open water, shown in deep blue.
paths–borders: traces of the Belize borders with Mexico and
Guatemala, shown in red-orange.
paths–highways: traces of
the major highways of Belize, shown in orange.
paths–roads: traces of the secondary roads of Belize, shown
paths–tours: traces of dynamic tours. See below on how
to use these.
paths–trails: traces of hiking trails, shown in green.
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