Ontario Parks and Google Earth

There have been a couple of changes to the Ontario Parks website and in particular, we’d like to tell you about Ontario Parks locations being displayed in Google Earth!

For the uninitiated, Google Earth is software developed by Google. It’s available from Google’s website free of charge (for the basic version of the software). Developers can create content to display in Google Earth and community contributors can post locations, photos … and who knows what else!

Steps to finding Ontario Parks in Google Earth

Step 1:
If you don’t already have Google Earth installed, visit the website, download and install the software on your computer. Pay particular attention to Google’s system requirements to make sure your computer is capable of running the software.

[photopress:g_earth_add.jpg,full,alignleft]Step 2:
Start up Google Earth. In the top menu bar, there is a heading called “Add”. Click Add and select “Network Link.”

Step 3:
Name your link. For this example we’ll be connecting to all the operating Parks in Ontario, so let’s call our link “Ontario Parks”. In the next box called “Link:” type in the following url: http://www.parkreports.com/kml/parksNL-all.kml
After that, click the OK button.

That’s it! Google Earth will check for the Network Link and connect you to Ontario Parks locations. At the moment we just have locations and basic contact information displayed in Google Earth, with a handy link to the park web page on OntarioParks.com. The listing of Parks is found in the “Places” tab in Google Earth. You can expand your “Ontario Parks” listing to location specific parks by selecting/unselecting various parks.[photopress:g_earth_list.jpg,full,alignleft]

As a bonus, there are many different layers of information found in Google Earth and in particular, images uploaded from users, like yourself, from around the world! This can be done from a site called Panaramio (user account required). These images can be found in the Layer “Geographic Web” found in the Layers pallette of Google Earth.

We’ve created several different Network Link files for you to choose from. They are listed below.

http://www.parkreports.com/kml/parksNL-all.kml
http://www.parkreports.com/kml/parksNL-alg.kml
http://www.parkreports.com/kml/parksNL-nw.kml
http://www.parkreports.com/kml/parksNL-ne.kml
http://www.parkreports.com/kml/parksNL-nn.kml
http://www.parkreports.com/kml/parksNL-cen.kml
http://www.parkreports.com/kml/parksNL-sw.kml
http://www.parkreports.com/kml/parksNL-se.kml

-all.kml covers all operating parks in Ontario
-alg.kml covers just the East and West Gate location of Algonquin
-nw.kml covers operating parks in the Northwest zone

And you get the idea. ne is Northeast, nn is Near north, cen is Central, sw is Southwest, and se is Southeast. Personally I just use the -all link and turn on or off the parks that I want to locate.

If you don’t want to use Google Earth there is always the Park Locator on the Ontario Parks website that uses maps, lists and searches to help you find Ontario Parks. We’ll be adding a link to this article for Google Earth shortly.

Explore and enjoy!