Google Earth and Kananaskis Country


While some areas of Kananaskis Country look very good when viewed in Google Earth other areas show up as a mess of low-resolution blobs. Why is this?

It appears that the folks at Google have commissioned new satellite imaging over the past two or three years as you can see from the coverage grid on the left. Unfortunately, very few strips of this coverage have been merged into the satellite image we get to see.

Canmore is covered by a narrow strip that extends down almost to the southern end of Spray Lake and a square to the west shows a snow covered Mount Rundle. There is a strip of good high resolution coverage from West Bragg Creek down through the MacLean Creek ATV area. Another good strip (seen as lighter coloured areas in the picture) goes south from Jumpingpound Road down to Mist Mountain in the Highwood taking in Nahahi Ridge and   Highwood Pass. Moose Mountain (clouds) and Forgetmenot Mountain are included in a small strip to the east. There is another strip down Hwy. 940 from Highwood House to Cataract Creek. And that’s about it. The remainder of K-Country is still in low resolution.

In order to show a track log in Google Earth, save the log from your GPS in kml format using GPS software, and open the file in Google Earth. Try it out  by downloading a kml file to your computer using the link provided at the end of the previous post – Snowshoe North Bragg Trail.

Different resolutions west of North Bragg parking

Different resolutions west of North Bragg parking.The white line is GPS track log of a portion North Bragg Trail.

1 comment… add one
  • Derek Ryder Mar 5, 2009, 10:38 pm

    Google is constantly upgrading their imagery. I was rather pleased to see some upgrades, disappointed in some that were chosen. For instance, the Old Goat Glacier images are winter, and the glacier hides, plus the winter images have poor lighting.

    One selection criterion I know that is used is cloud cover. Knowing our neighborhood as you do, you can imagine the chances of getting images on a perfectly blue sky cloudless day are pretty slim.

    Here’s hoping more high rez imagery is coming, and the town of Dead Man’s Flats and Pigeon Mountain will no longer be split in two.

    Also, I can recommend LoadMyTracks ( as an excellent free tool to move GPX and KML data to and from GPS devices.

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