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Want to see our planet as a globe? Want to measure accurate distances without complicated mathematics? Want to crash your computer with heavy software? You are in luck! Because now you can, by following this tutorial. You will learn how to take our flat world map and turn it into a functional layer with Google Earth Pro. In this tutorial, I'll take you through each step of this process. Let me know in the comments if you are experiencing any issues.
1. Download Google Earth Pro
At the time of this writing, you can download this free software package from https://www.google.com/earth/desktop/ . There are versions available for PC, Mac, or Linux. Follow the instructions on the aforementioned website, install the software, and open the program. If things go wrong with the installation, find your answer in Google. In case this installation fail to work, I cannot provide support on how to debug your computer. Sorry about that.
2. Add image overlay
The interface may look somewhat different for each operating system (PC, Mac, or Linux). But the basic operation is the same. Menu bar > Add > Image Overlay.
3. Image overlay settings
Step three, and we're almost finished already. You are doing great there!
Name. Give your custom overlay a name. You can call it "map of Europa" or "map of nationstates" or "home sweet home". This is something you can always change later. The next two steps are much more important. Link. You can either (a) link to an online file as shown in the screenshot, or (b) browser to a local file on your computer. Keep in mind: if you choose (b) to work with a local file, and then move this file, your image overlay won't work anymore. But you can easily fix this by linking to the new file location. Location. This is in the tabs (see screenshot). With these settings, we can stretch the image to fit onto a complete globe. You want to stretch the image all the way, in all directions. Meaning: 90°N, 180°E, 90°S, and 180°W. In the screenshot this is much longer, including minutes are seconds. But if you just add 90°N, and hit enter/return, then the program will add the right data anyway. Easy! You can safely ignore all the other settings and options. Just enter the settings as explained above, and you should get this to work. Click "Ok" when you are done.
Enjoy playing with your new ball.
5. "Wait I messed up!"
No worries there, buddy. Just right-click on your custom map overlay, go to "Get info" and change your settings. If that still doesn't work, go back to step #2 and try again.