Geographic web layer

This document answers questions about the Geographic Web Layer of Google Earth.

Q. I just read an article on Wikipedia. It has geographic coordinates in the text, but I do not see it in the Google Earth Geographic Web layer. Why not?
A. There are several possible reasons. The article may have been altered after Google processed the last batch of Wikipedia articles. Additionally, it could be that the coordinates are not posted in a way that Google Earth supports (see the next question).

Q. How do I get my Wikipedia article to show up in the Google Earth Geographic Web layer?
A. You must geotag the article. The simplest way to do this is to use one of the "{{coor title d[ms]}}" or "{{coor at d[ms]}}" templates. These templates can be used anywhere within the article text.

For example, if the article for San Francisco, California contained this markup anywhere within the article text:

"{{coor title dm|37|46|N|122|26|W}}"

Google recognizes this location and includes the article the next time Google publishes the layer.

Additionally, Google supports references to the "{{coor d[ms]}}" or {{coor title d[ms]}} or {{coor at d[ms]}} templates within an Infobox template, so long as it is keyed by either "coordinates" or "coords" keywords. For an example of such a template, see the Infobox_CityIT template and an example of its use in the Sorrento, Italy article.

Q. What is the difference between Wikipedia templates?
A. The {{coor title d[ms]}} template creates a link in the upper right-hand corner of the article that displays the coordinates. For example, if the article for San Francisco, California contained this markup:

"{{coor title dm|37|46|N|122|26|W}}"

A link would appear in the upper right-hand corner. No links would appear in the body of the text as a result of this template.

The {{coor at d[ms]}} template provides the same functionality as the {{coor title d[ms]}} template and puts a link to the coordinates within the text of the article.

For example, if the article for San Francisco, California contained this markup:

City and County of San Francisco, located at 37°46′N 122°26′W, is the fourth most populous city ..."

Finally, the {{coor d[ms]}} template creates a link in the text at the point that the template is referenced but does nothing to the article title. For example, if the article for San Francisco, California contained this markup:

"The '''City and County of San Francisco''', located at {{coor dm|37|46|N|122|26|W}}, is the fourth most populous city..."

The following text would appear in the article body:

"The City and County of San Francisco, located at 37°46′N 122°26′W, is the fourth most populous city..."

Note that use of the {{coor d[ms]}} template in the article text alone is not sufficient to guarantee an article will appear in the Google Earth Geographic Web layer, unless it is inside an Infobox template. To guarantee inclusion in the layer, use either the "{{coor title d[ms]}}" or the "{{coor at d[ms]}}" templates, which can occur anywhere in the article text.

Q. How do I find the coordinates for a location?
A. You can move the cursor over any location in the Google Earth 3D viewer and see the coordinates for the location in the status bar at the bottom of the 3D viewer. You can also create a placemark for a location and view the coordinates for the location in the New Placemark dialog box. If you want to find the coordinates for the general view you're looking at, just click Edit > Copy View Location, and then when you paste the coordinates will appear.

Q. Why is a Wikipedia article showing up incorrect location?
A. Coordinates may be incorrect in the original Wikipedia article. If this is not the case, it may have been only recently changed to use the correct coordinates, but after Google published the most recent Wikipedia layer. Click on the History tab of the Wikipedia article to examine how the article has changed over time. Recent changes to the coordinate markup indicate such a change.

Q. How often will the Google Earth Geographic Web layer be updated?
A. Every one to three months.