A Birder's Guide to Belize

Google Earth
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 to Belize.
      Download (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 “paths–highways”.

Areas – colored polygons encompassing areas of interest.

areas–CBC’s: the 4 Christmas Bird Count circles with a stickpin marking its center.
areas–ecoregions: the 18 ecoregions as defined in Appendix A of A Birder’s Guide to Belize.

Labels – text labels lying at or near geographic areas.

labels–creeks & rivers: names of creeks & rivers.
labels–districts: names of six geopolitical districts.

Markers – placemarks marking specific locations.

markers–birding sites: primary sites, most of which are described in the book, shown as large bright yellow stickpins.
markers–birding stops: secondary sites, many of which are described in the book, shown as bright green stickpins.
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 stickpins.
markers–quadrants: latitude and longitudinal coordinates marking an array spanning Belize, shown as violet labels.

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 in pink.
paths–tours: traces of dynamic tours.  See below on how to use these.
paths–trails: traces of hiking trails, shown in green.

Advanced features

         Elevation profile

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  Website created by Bert Frenz.  Last updated January 23, 2012.