Creating KMZ Files For HelioScope

HelioScope allows you to use both Google Maps and Bing Maps, but sometimes you may want better images than what are available through those providers, while still wanting those images to be. In that case, you can easily upload photos, site plans, and high-resolution imagery into HelioScope using KMZ files. The video and descriptions below provide an overview of how to create and upload a geo-located KMZ file:

Inside Google Earth

  1. Search for your site in Google Earth. Set the zoom level to enclose the area you’re concerned with. In the top bar click Add and then click Add Image Overlay
  2. A green crosshair and four green corners will define where the image overlay will go. Drag the four corners to the area that roughly matches your image file. If you're using a site plan, try to match a landmark or other existing object in the plan to the Google Earth imagery.
  3. Name the new image overlay and select the image file you want to use. Click Browse in the top right over the overlay window and search for your image file and click Open. Use the Opacity slider to find a useful balance between your image and the Google Earth background image.

4. Your new image will overlay on top of Google Earth in the rough alignment you set before. Drag each of the four green corners to align the semi-transparent image to match the underlying image more accurately (Pro-tip: hold Shift-key while dragging the corners to keep the image aspect ratio the same). Use building ridge lines to align your image. Once you have an alignment you like, slide the opacity setting to 100% opaque and click Ok 5. On the left-hand Google Earth pane you will see your located overlay under “My Places”. Right click on your overlay and select “Save Place As”. A context menu will allow you to name your file and choose the .KMZ format.

Inside HelioScope

  1. Create a project in HelioScope based on the same address as before. Navigate to the advanced tab and select Overlays. Use the Upload Overlay button to bring your .KMZ file into HelioScope. ![]
  2. You’re finished! Now you can toggle your overlay on and off as needed. Your updated image can be used as a base for your designs and it will be included on your final report. You deserve an ice cream sandwich; we’ll be here when you get back.

What if I have a site plan in PDF?

Not to worry! Either export your site plan to a JPG or PNG, or take a screenshot of it. If you don't need the image to be geolocated, you can upload the image as an overlay. Otherwise, follow the KMZ creation process as seen above.