Islands on the Air - Help - Google Earth File
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Using the Google Earth file

The IOTA Google Earth file [Download] is a Google Earth overlay file, containing the outlines and group numbers of each of the IOTA groups.

To use it, you will firstly require a copy of Google Earth on your computer. Then, download the file from our site. Depending on your computer's settings, Google Earth will either start immediately, or you might be prompted to save the file first.

If you have to save it, ensure that it is saved with the file extenstion .kmz, then double-click the file to open it.

(Internet Explorer users: Please note that due to a mis-configuration on our server, combined with unusual behaviour by your browser, your file might have been magically renamed with a .zip extension if you downloaded your copy before 10:30 UTC on 26th June 2007. This might not work! If it doesn't, please download another copy. Thanks to G3NPA for telling me about this bug).

Google Earth will now load with the overlay displayed. You can navigate around the globe as normal. Clicking on the IOTA icon in the centre of a group will show the group name and a link to more information on the IOTA website.

In the sidebar, under 'Places', you will see the IOTA groups organised into folders by continent. Double-clicking on any reference number in the list will make you 'fly' to that group.

You can turn off the overlay at anytime by removing the tick next to either 'iota.kmz' or 'Islands on the Air' in this 'Places' list. Tick the box again to turn it back on.

When you close Google Earth for the first time after downloading the file, you might be prompted with a message telling you that you have 'Temporary Places' and would you like to move them to 'My Places'. If you want to be able to use the IOTA overlay on future occasions without downloading it again, save it to 'My Places', otherwise it will be discarded.

Screenshot from Google Earth

Google Sky

Google Sky, also available by chosing the 'Sky view' option in Google Earth 3.2 and later, seems to place the observer at the centre of a transparent globe. By default, the IOTA overlay will remain on and will obscure your view of the sky, because the overlay is attached to the Earth's surface.

To turn the overlay off temporarily, untick either 'iota.kmz' or 'Islands on the Air' in the 'Places' list in the side-bar. You can turn it back on again by just ticking it again.

Google, Google Sky and Google Earth are trademarks of Google, Inc.