NP2X - Path Profiling in Google Earth PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jim Kinter, K5KTF   

How to create path profiles on Google Earth

Creating path profiles in Google Earth can save a LOT of time and experimentation when setting up the links in your mesh network.

Knowing if mid-path obstructions exist, and to what extent, without having to “scope out” the path with binoculars saves a LOT of time. Here’s how to create path profiles:

Open Google Earth

Next create a path between two points. There are a couple of ways to do this:

· Click the icon on the top toolbar that has three little dots connected by lines with a “+” in the upper right-hand corner. (this icon is two to the right of the icon that has the yellow push-pin on it) If you do a mouse-over on the icons, the name “Add Path” will come up too.

· OR you can Click + in the pull-down menus

A new window entitled “Google Earth – New Path” will appear. Enter the name you want to give the path in the blue highlighted box in the widow.

Move your cursor to one end of the path you want to define. Note that the cursor is now a square with hash marks through the mid-point of each side of the square.

Left click once to define the beginning point of the path. Note: There will be nothing that shows up on the screen, but the beginning point has been defined.

Move to the other end of the path & left click once again. A white line, signifying the path, will be drawn between the two points you have just selected.

Click “OK” in the “Google Earth – New Path” window. Note that your newly create path will appear at the bottom of the list of “Places” on the left-hand side of the screen.

Select your newly created path by left-clicking on your path name in the “Places” window. (You may have to scroll down to see if it you already have lots of places stored.)

Activate the terrain profile window in one of the following manners:

· Go to the pull-down menu and select and then

· Right click on your path name & select

A window showing a path profile the newly created path will appear in the bottom portion of the map. Pretty cool eh? Terrain elevations are shown at the left side of the profile and distance between path end points are shown on the bottom of the path profile window. Numbers that move with the selected point on the path show the ground elevation and the relative slope in percentage.

Now here’s the cool stuff… Move your cursor into the window with the path profile in it. Note that a vertical line shows where your cursor is located on the path. Simultaneously, a red arrow appears in the map and corresponds to the same point shown in the path profile. Move your cursor back and forth along the path and you’ll see the red arrow move on the map at the same time.

Numbers around the red arrow mean the following:

· Above the arrow: Ground elevation

· To the left of the arrow: Distance from beginning point of the path (Measured in feet for distances smaller than 0.5 mi, and miles for distances greater than 0.5 miles)

· To the right of the arrow: Relative terrain slope in percent

To hide the terrain elevation window, click on the “X” in the upper right-hand corner of the window.


· If you want to enter a description for the path, you may enter it in the “Description” box in the “Google Earth – New Path” window.

· If you want to change the color & width of the line defining your path, you can right click on the path name & go into the “Properties” window. (I use red lines for mesh paths that probably won’t work, and green lines for paths that will most likely work)

· If you want to change the type and/or color of the icon defining sites

· You can change the order of locations & paths in the “Places” window by left clicking on them & dragging them to the desired location.

Now if we can only get Google Earth to incorporate Fresnel zones we'd be in fat city!  Happy Profiling!  (...and this type is even legal!!)

Fred, NP2X

Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 July 2012 08:47