New Civ-Related Google Earth Plugin

Ginger_Ale

Lurker
Retired Moderator
Joined
Jul 23, 2004
Messages
8,802
Location
Red Sox Nation
CivFanatics forum member chrissifniotis has released a new Civilization-oriented plugin for Google Earth, a free program that allows you to explore satellite images and maps of the globe. The GoogleCiv add-on, pictured to the right, allows individuals to combine reading about historical empires and wonders with visualizing their boundaries and locations.

In this example image of the Aegean Sea, you can read about both historical and Civ4-related facts for the Temple of Artemis, and to the left you can see the checkboxes to toggle the layers for all civilizations. Here is the author's own description of the plugin's features:

There are a total of 36 layers encompassing the entire list of playable default civilizations from the series of games, incidently, all but one actually appear in any of the expansions of Civilization IV. Each layer is given a polygon representing the total (usually the maxium) expansion of the empire, the original and authenic title of the territory at the time, and the first created city within the nation.

While not all do, layers also hold locations and histories of wonders, marked as World, National or Religious, and may also hold simple titles to overseas territorial claims, these are for adding terrtory to the empire, such as the colonial empires of the 1500 - 1950's:


>> Download the GoogleCiv plugin for Google Earth
 

Californio

Beast
Joined
Nov 24, 2006
Messages
71
Location
Sweet Cali!
that is awesome! I would totally use that if my Civ IV was working :(
 

T_F

Reynardine the Great
Joined
Jul 31, 2007
Messages
1,163
It's a great idea. Some of his facts and names are a bit off (Qin She Huang instead of Qin Shi Huang, he says something that makes it sound like Mongolia and China were in British possession at some point), but it's otherwise pretty good. I think he should include the sum total of all colonial possessions in his border overlays, though.
 

Onagan

The Dutch
Joined
Feb 7, 2006
Messages
902
Location
Järfälla, Sverige
nice idea, but some borders are completly wrong.

Rome's border wasn't that far north. it would been better if the border followed the Rhine and Donau, and Hadrian wall.

Why has Spain the northern part of Portugal and not the low countries, south Italy.

The Grand-Duchy was never part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands it only had the same person as head of state.

Why is Germany a war expansion, and japan not. woulfd have prefered a 1871 overlay.

And why hasn't Russia Finland, Polan & Alaska??
 

chrissifniotis

GoogleCiv 2.0.0 coming...
Joined
Mar 21, 2009
Messages
639
Location
Sydney, Australia
It's great to hear some feedback, I'm not the best with global history so I greatly appreciate the respounce from everyone, especially the critic and faults, I wanna get this as right as I can and send updates with fixes. I'll refine the things you've all raised, but I'll try to supply answers now, particularly the last question;

T_F said:
Some of his facts and names are a bit off (Qin She Huang instead of Qin Shi Huang, he says something that makes it sound like Mongolia and China were in British possession at some point)

China wasn't a possession, if memory serves there was British occupation for a time, but it was never annexed. (sp) And the Wall just has a spelling mistake. :p I go fix now.

tom123 said:
Its all well and good, but Scotland Yard is in London, not Newcastle.

:lol: I'm an Aussie, I don't know any better! :D I'll go fix that now.

nice idea, but some borders are completly wrong.

Rome's border wasn't that far north. it would been better if the border followed the Rhine and Donau, and Hadrian wall.

Why has Spain the northern part of Portugal and not the low countries, south Italy.

The Grand-Duchy was never part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands it only had the same person as head of state.

Why is Germany a war expansion, and japan not. woulfd have prefered a 1871 overlay.

And why hasn't Russia Finland, Polan & Alaska??

Yea, I was trying to find Hadrian's Wall and cut the border off there but I couldn't find it, so I was left to guess, and clearly it was wrong. I apologise and will set about fixing that. One of the real problems with hand-drawn maps.

According to my notes, when Napoleon took control of Spain, the kingdom then attacked and claimed the north of Portugal in 1801. Then at the Congress of Vienna, the European borders were re-established and that land was ceeded back to Portugal in 1815.

I see what you mean, I misinterperated Luxembourg as part of the Netherlands. I'll fix that as well.

It's the same reason why there's no complete colonial borders for, for the sake of argument, the British Empire. The borders are designed to show the maximum, sometimes total, expansion of a nation on it's mainland, the Third Reich claims the entirety of it's expansion because it's all on the mainland, Japan only has it's mainland as expansion because the rest of the Japanese Empire is overseas.

Have you turned off the America folder? If you haven't, it's a GE problem! I've noticed that no matter the angle, the Русская Америка label can't be seen over the Alaska label. Also, you're probably aware that at a certain height all the labels can't be seen. Turn off the America folder and zoom in a bit and you ought to see it. As for Finland and Poland, I'll have a look thought my notes and see why they aren't highlighted.

I hope that's helped with some of your questions, and I'll be off to fix all the issues raised. Please continue raising any more issues and continue with your critics and comments.
 

T_F

Reynardine the Great
Joined
Jul 31, 2007
Messages
1,163
It's the same reason why there's no complete colonial borders for, for the sake of argument, the British Empire. The borders are designed to show the maximum, sometimes total, expansion of a nation on it's mainland, the Third Reich claims the entirety of it's expansion because it's all on the mainland, Japan only has it's mainland as expansion because the rest of the Japanese Empire is overseas.
I'd suggest that you either go with the total land area ever or the generally-considered 'home area' of a nation - either give both Britain and Germany their greatest extent, or give them both their modern borders (or for Germany pre-1914 borders). I'd want total colonial expansion, since for most modern nations you can find their 'home area' on Google Earth without any extra overlays.
Possible suggestion - you could have multiple overlays per nations based on borders during a given time - China would have a set for each dynasty, Russia would have separate ones for the USSR and modern Russia and all of the various things that have proceeded them, etc.

Quick suggestion for Egypt's borders - they were really only around the Nile Delta and the Nile, and didn't have the modern square borders. They also might have gone a little farther south than the modern borders, and I know they expanded through Judea to modern Syria at some point.

If you need any help, I'd love to help out. I know a lot of stuff about history, and I'm a language freak so I can help you get all the names right :p (tones for Chinese and vowel length for Japanese are mainly what I'm thinking).
 

chrissifniotis

GoogleCiv 2.0.0 coming...
Joined
Mar 21, 2009
Messages
639
Location
Sydney, Australia
I'd suggest that you either go with the total land area ever or the generally-considered 'home area' of a nation - either give both Britain and Germany their greatest extent, or give them both their modern borders (or for Germany pre-1914 borders). I'd want total colonial expansion, since for most modern nations you can find their 'home area' on Google Earth without any extra overlays.
Possible suggestion - you could have multiple overlays per nations based on borders during a given time - China would have a set for each dynasty, Russia would have separate ones for the USSR and modern Russia and all of the various things that have proceeded them, etc.

Quick suggestion for Egypt's borders - they were really only around the Nile Delta and the Nile, and didn't have the modern square borders. They also might have gone a little farther south than the modern borders, and I know they expanded through Judea to modern Syria at some point.

If you need any help, I'd love to help out. I know a lot of stuff about history, and I'm a language freak so I can help you get all the names right :p (tones for Chinese and vowel length for Japanese are mainly what I'm thinking).

Well, I'm open to suggestions. For the most part total expansions are easy for layers like Japan, but the reason I decided against it was because the only way I saw in going about it, for the colonial empires at least, would be a huge extra load of time and effort that might seem to make the whole project look overdone. I thought people would like the idea of highlighting the total claim of empires, but perhaps not to the extent that they'd appreciate a number of visual representations of it, which would be the use of the additional titles at set views over the claims. I suppose I could add new polygons now after the first few comments, but I'll need to see if it's worth doing one entire border or just to add regional borders across the claims.

Multiple maps of nations will certainly mean a need to distinguish between them, and it may add unnecessary confusion to first time users that want to learn about them. At this stage I don't want to add periodic maps, but I haven't kicked it altogether, if I can manage a way to do it, I'll test it out and so what I can do.

I'm aware of Ancient Egypt, mainly from the other maps, like I mentioned before, each nation is given their maximum extent, though it seems to be more and more clear that my maps aren't as exact as I thought they were. :blush: Anyway, the borders were set at, as far as I'm aware, the time the Napoleon invaded and claimed the nation. However, I'll have to check about the two expansions you mentioned.

Oh, wow. I was asking for help from the GE forums to no avail, I was kinda hoping for some authentication help here too, since everyone's a bit better at history than me. :mischief: It'd be great if you can help, one thing I really want to set up right are the titles and claim labels from other countries and empires, being Australian, I only really know English. And of course I'd like to have someone go through the layers and tell me how accurate they are and what things need to be corrected, but that is also hepled by everyone. If you can help with some of the titles and general authentication, that would be greatly appreciated. :)
 

T_F

Reynardine the Great
Joined
Jul 31, 2007
Messages
1,163
Well, I'm open to suggestions. For the most part total expansions are easy for layers like Japan, but the reason I decided against it was because the only way I saw in going about it, for the colonial empires at least, would be a huge extra load of time and effort that might seem to make the whole project look overdone. I thought people would like the idea of highlighting the total claim of empires, but perhaps not to the extent that they'd appreciate a number of visual representations of it, which would be the use of the additional titles at set views over the claims. I suppose I could add new polygons now after the first few comments, but I'll need to see if it's worth doing one entire border or just to add regional borders across the claims.
I'm... not quite sure what you're trying to say here. (Sorry)

Multiple maps of nations will certainly mean a need to distinguish between them, and it may add unnecessary confusion to first time users that want to learn about them. At this stage I don't want to add periodic maps, but I haven't kicked it altogether, if I can manage a way to do it, I'll test it out and so what I can do.
That's true, if you turned on every single overlay it would get pretty chaotic. Maybe you could include somewhere in the documentation/upload post or something that you shouldn't turn everything on at once.
I've got some ideas for how to do periodic maps, why don't I do one for Rome and upload the KML so you can see what you think?

I'm aware of Ancient Egypt, mainly from the other maps, like I mentioned before, each nation is given their maximum extent, though it seems to be more and more clear that my maps aren't as exact as I thought they were. :blush: Anyway, the borders were set at, as far as I'm aware, the time the Napoleon invaded and claimed the nation. However, I'll have to check about the two expansions you mentioned.
That's true, but I find a lack of continuity between the various Egyptian governments before and after Rome, and the culture that the Civ4 civ represents is the ancient one, and not the modern one. If we end up doing periodic maps, I would stop Egypt at 0 AD, since after that point any independent Egypt falls better under the 'Arabia' heading than the 'Egypt' one.

Oh, wow. I was asking for help from the GE forums to no avail, I was kinda hoping for some authentication help here too, since everyone's a bit better at history than me. :mischief: It'd be great if you can help, one thing I really want to set up right are the titles and claim labels from other countries and empires, being Australian, I only really know English. And of course I'd like to have someone go through the layers and tell me how accurate they are and what things need to be corrected, but that is also hepled by everyone. If you can help with some of the titles and general authentication, that would be greatly appreciated. :)
Titles meaning the full names of nations? Sure, I'd love to do that.
 

chrissifniotis

GoogleCiv 2.0.0 coming...
Joined
Mar 21, 2009
Messages
639
Location
Sydney, Australia
I'm... not quite sure what you're trying to say here. (Sorry)


That's true, if you turned on every single overlay it would get pretty chaotic. Maybe you could include somewhere in the documentation/upload post or something that you shouldn't turn everything on at once.
I've got some ideas for how to do periodic maps, why don't I do one for Rome and upload the KML so you can see what you think?


That's true, but I find a lack of continuity between the various Egyptian governments before and after Rome, and the culture that the Civ4 civ represents is the ancient one, and not the modern one. If we end up doing periodic maps, I would stop Egypt at 0 AD, since after that point any independent Egypt falls better under the 'Arabia' heading than the 'Egypt' one.


Titles meaning the full names of nations? Sure, I'd love to do that.

Hehe, don't worry, I sometimes tend to be unable to communicate myself properly. :blush: It's just me, I fail at life! :crazyeye: *Japanese accent* Ai spiku no ingurishu!
My original idea for the overseas territories came as I was developing the Dutch layer, since I was creating the Civ4Col Easter Egg I figured I'd go the whole way and incorperate the entire empire of nations, but the idea of adding expansion polygons firstly didn't cross my mind for a while, and when it did, secondly seemed like it would take up a lot of time, it would have been larger with each of the respective layers, and might first seem unappealing to users, the extra polygons would add to the mess of colours already established from the current polygons. That's why I first went for adding labels, it seemed right at the time, they weren't so big and set to the view of the land, they nicely display the claim. I'm still considering adding similar territorial polygons to overseas claims, but it's just better if it's separate polygons, one huge polygon over the planet is just too much. I think I'll also update the maps with some more exact borders, the view of the nation was set before I laid the polygon, now that I have polygons of them, I don't necessarally need the view, as I do that, I think I'll then add the extra polygons.

Yea, but the thing is, once you start it up, everything is on. The only thing I can ask them to do is make sure to turn off the full Google Civilization set and turn each layer on one by one.

For periodic maps, I want to preserve the colour for the outline and differ in the transparent fills, so it also doesn't confuse with other maps, sort of like the Colonisation expansions. I think that and colour coding titles for the maps would be best. Try the ideas you have in mind and I'll check it out.

Since Kemet already represents modern Egypt, so would I, Egpyt is very unique in that sence.

If you don't mind, I figure since you're very lingual, I also want to check whether Chungkuo and Nippon-koku are correct. :D I used to rule in Japanese, now I pretend to. :D :lol:
 

T_F

Reynardine the Great
Joined
Jul 31, 2007
Messages
1,163
Hehe, don't worry, I sometimes tend to be unable to communicate myself properly. :blush: It's just me, I fail at life! :crazyeye: *Japanese accent* Ai spiku no ingurishu!
My original idea for the overseas territories came as I was developing the Dutch layer, since I was creating the Civ4Col Easter Egg I figured I'd go the whole way and incorperate the entire empire of nations, but the idea of adding expansion polygons firstly didn't cross my mind for a while, and when it did, secondly seemed like it would take up a lot of time, it would have been larger with each of the respective layers, and might first seem unappealing to users, the extra polygons would add to the mess of colours already established from the current polygons. That's why I first went for adding labels, it seemed right at the time, they weren't so big and set to the view of the land, they nicely display the claim. I'm still considering adding similar territorial polygons to overseas claims, but it's just better if it's separate polygons, one huge polygon over the planet is just too much. I think I'll also update the maps with some more exact borders, the view of the nation was set before I laid the polygon, now that I have polygons of them, I don't necessarally need the view, as I do that, I think I'll then add the extra polygons.
Yeah, I found out when trying the Romans that unless I make a big long line to Corsica and Sardinia, I have to use a separate polygon for them. For overseas colonial empires, we will end up with a lot of polygons. The labels are good, I think we should keep them and add border polygons under them.

Yea, but the thing is, once you start it up, everything is on. The only thing I can ask them to do is make sure to turn off the full Google Civilization set and turn each layer on one by one.
Pretty much, sadly.

For periodic maps, I want to preserve the colour for the outline and differ in the transparent fills, so it also doesn't confuse with other maps, sort of like the Colonisation expansions. I think that and colour coding titles for the maps would be best. Try the ideas you have in mind and I'll check it out.
Where can I upload the file? Civfanatics won't let me upload .kml files.
I didn't get any further than part of the 44 BC map since I was having problems tracing the borders right over image overlays that don't distort quite right when projected on a globe. I just used the same color outline and no fill.

Since Kemet already represents modern Egypt, so would I, Egpyt is very unique in that sence.
In the sense of cutting off? IDK, Rome, Carthage, all of the Central Americans and several others don't make it to modern times.
(I thought modern Egypt was called Misr in Arabic, but I could be wrong.)

If you don't mind, I figure since you're very lingual, I also want to check whether Chungkuo and Nippon-koku are correct. :D I used to rule in Japanese, now I pretend to. :D :lol:
Woo, Japanese! ^_^ 私もちょっと日本語を話します。
IDK if Chungkuo is correct in the Wade-Giles romanization, but since Wade-Giles sucks and pinyin is awesome, the pinyin is Zhōngguó.
Nippon-koku (or Nihon-koku, I say Nihon, but Nippon is the more officially correct version) is perfect.
 

chrissifniotis

GoogleCiv 2.0.0 coming...
Joined
Mar 21, 2009
Messages
639
Location
Sydney, Australia
Yeah, I found out when trying the Romans that unless I make a big long line to Corsica and Sardinia, I have to use a separate polygon for them. For overseas colonial empires, we will end up with a lot of polygons. The labels are good, I think we should keep them and add border polygons under them.


Where can I upload the file? Civfanatics won't let me upload .kml files.
I didn't get any further than part of the 44 BC map since I was having problems tracing the borders right over image overlays that don't distort quite right when projected on a globe. I just used the same color outline and no fill.


In the sense of cutting off? IDK, Rome, Carthage, all of the Central Americans and several others don't make it to modern times.
(I thought modern Egypt was called Misr in Arabic, but I could be wrong.)


Woo, Japanese! ^_^ 私もちょっと日本語を話します。
IDK if Chungkuo is correct in the Wade-Giles romanization, but since Wade-Giles sucks and pinyin is awesome, the pinyin is Zhōngguó.
Nippon-koku (or Nihon-koku, I say Nihon, but Nippon is the more officially correct version) is perfect.

I was trying to find that myself, took ages to find a site, the Google Earth forums. :rolleyes: Other than a few websites, one can email .kml's and send through IM. This is a site that has some info about sharing KMLs, but it's really a terrible help.

Well, that'll be found in detail when we get to it. :D And Kemet is the Egyptian word, I want to keep to the original language as best I can. Misr is the Arabic name. I'm actually considering changing to the Coptic term Kīmi.

*Hiro accent* YATTA!!! I = Heroes fan. :D Anyway, thanks for the pinyin name, I'll use it. :)
 

T_F

Reynardine the Great
Joined
Jul 31, 2007
Messages
1,163
I've uploaded the file to the Google Earth forums. I finished replying there too (same thread you uploaded the original to).
 

chrissifniotis

GoogleCiv 2.0.0 coming...
Joined
Mar 21, 2009
Messages
639
Location
Sydney, Australia
:bump: *update bump*

[Update: After attending to all the issues raised in the thread up to this point, I can now say that Scotland Yard is fixed and I've began the task of updating the maps, thus fixing and refining the Roman and Dutch maps. I've already finished the American expansion and am moving on to some more easy modern maps before we go into historical maps. As soon as every map is refined to much greater detail, I'll upload the new set onto the GE thread.]

In the mean time, relax and keep on playing. :D
 
Top Bottom