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Older maps published on Commons were Public Domain.  However, my recent maps use Creative Commons Attribution Sharealike 3.0.  You can distribute it all you want and even make changes (derivatives).  However, you must give me credit for all such images.  Furthermore, the license is "copyleft" (the Sharealike part).  That means that the CC-BY-SA-3.0 license also applies to your derivatives.  You are not allowed to make your image public domain or any license not compatible with mine.

I have yet to decide on a license for my KMZ files.  For now, please assume I am reserving all rights.
Added by: Will Pittenger (WillPittenger)


Maybe.  All ads must meet the following conditions.  To view current ads and/or place yours, click the Friends link.

All ads must:
  • Be somehow related to the material on this site.
  • Provide a return link to this site.
  • Sites with any of the following get banned:
    1. Malware (unless you quickly remove it and your ad might still be removed and/or hidden until then)
    2. Porn
    3. Pop-up, pop-under ads, or any form of rude ad—This includes, but isn't limited to, Flash ads that get in the way of content.
    4. Any advertising of your site by spam or other rude means will cause your ad to be removed.
  • Sites that aren't free and/or for free services are a special case.  Please contact me before posting the ad.  Also, such ads must note the prices for your services and/or products.  Please update your add when you change services, products, and/or prices.
  • You can ask for financial support in the forum of donations.
Added by: Will Pittenger (WillPittenger)


See the Donate page.  You can donate via Paypal.
Added by: Will Pittenger (WillPittenger)

Don't your have other means of support?
Actually, no. 
I have been diagnosed with Asperger syndrome. As such, I have had enough troubles holding down jobs that I am now legally disabled. Aside from a rather meager check from the government, I have no income until you donate.
Added by: Will Pittenger (WillPittenger)


Me from a couple of years agoI was born and raised in the Peoria, IL area. I went to Morton High School, Illinois Central College (where I got my Associates), and Western Illinois University. I obtained a Bachelors in Computer Science from WIU. Since then, I have ten+ years of computer programming experience. However I had troubles holding down jobs. Recently I found out why: Asperger Syndrome. As as a result, I am now legally disabled.
Added by: Will Pittenger (WillPittenger)


No decision yet.  Please assume for the time being that I am reserving all rights.
Added by: Will Pittenger (WillPittenger)

I am worried about spam.
Your e-mail address is completely private.  Only I (and possibly UCoz's admins) have access to them.  We will never sell your e-mail.  The only e-mails you should get are site adminstration stuff.  Please note that the forums have an option to send you e-mails when someone replies to your post.  Please be prompt in reading such replies.  You can also choose to be notified of private messages.  I will use private messages for important notices.  So check those too.
Added by: Will Pittenger (WillPittenger)


HTML is not available.  However, BBCODE is supported.  BBCode is what you would normally use throughout the site unless you have permission from me.

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  Note: That is a lower case 'L'!
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Justified text
[code][j]Big long string of who knows what you feel like posting...  Just keep going on and on as needed.[/j]Big long string of who knows what you feel like posting...  Just keep going on and on as needed.
Subscript
Code
[sub]Text[/sub] More text

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Links
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[url=http://wlps-ge-stuff.ucoz.com/]The homepage of this site[/url]
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your@mail.com
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[color=green]Green text[/color]
[color=yellow]Yellow is also available but not
recommended as you can't control the background.[/color]



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Yellow is also available but not
recommended as you can't control the background.




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[list]
[*]item 1
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•  item 1
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I would like to get more tages added, but don't have the option at this time.
Added by: Will Pittenger (WillPittenger)


Google Earth is a program that turns simple maps and overhead images into an entire globe displayed in true 3D.  You can go from looking at entire hemispheres to zoomed in all the way on your house.  In most locals in the US and Europe, you will see enough detail to see markings on pavement and more.  (Those markings can be a big help when I make maps.)  Turn on the right layers and you can see data on earthquakes, crime, your congressional districts, and more.
Added by: Will Pittenger (WillPittenger)


Definitely.  Dial-up might work for users that turn off most of the layers, but it will still be slow.  In fact, Google Earth taxes my current 4 Mb DSL connection.  If you can afford it, get the best Fiber optic connection you can.  Even so, turn on enough layers and you will probably bog that connection down.
Added by: Will Pittenger (WillPittenger)


That varies depending on what layers you activate.  Below is a list of common layers.
  1. Panoramio
  2. Wikipedia
  3. Roads
  4. 3D buildings—Artists have been using programs like Google's SketchUp to make 3D models of entire cities.  In San Francisco, they even model homes.  Sometimes they did block after block.  Each has full color.
  5. Street View—Google sends cars with cameras on the roof around the world to photograph cities from as many angles as possible.  You can see what something looks like before you get there.
  6. Traffic conditions—May or may not be available in your area.
  7. Weather—Not a substitute for a good forecast, but you can see lo-res satellite photos and radar images on the globe.
  8. Gigapan photos
  9. Gigapxl Photos
  10. Google Earth Community—When ever a KMZ file is attached to a post in the official Google Earth forums, it eventually shows up as little 'i' placemarks.  All KMZ sets I publish should eventaully appear here.
  11. Several layers are present for news sites.  These includes the New York Times, National Geographic and more.  If they publish something with a lat/lon, it might appear in these layers.
  12. YouTube has a layer too.  If you publish a video there with a lat/lon, don't be too suprised to find it here.  Your viewers won't even need a browser.
  13. There are many Global Awareness layers.  Each has a environmental theme.
  14. Places of interest—There are many categories.  Choose the ones you need.  Accuracy of the location of items may vary.  Also, if a store just opened, closed, or changed its name, such changes might not show up.
  15. Terrain—I know it might seem odd that this is a layer, but you can turn it off.  From Tools/Options, you can also change the exageration from 0.5 to 3.0.
More layers?  Yes!  In fact, you can install KMZ sets that are in fact dynamic layers.  Google calls them "network layers".  Wikimedia Commons has one that attempts to list all images on their servers.  Google offers a layer showing post-Ike images in the Houston, Texas area.  Those are two that I know of.  There are many, many more.
Added by: Will Pittenger (WillPittenger)


Depends.  There is a free version minus some features.  For more powerful version, you need to pay.  Their homepage lists the prices below:
Version
Price (US dollars)
Desciption
Plus
$20
Upgrade to Plus to add GPS device support, faster performance, the ability to import spreadsheets, and higher resolution printing.
Pro
$400
Ideal for an organization, upgrade to Pro to access the ultimate research, presentation, and collaboration tool for location-specific information.
Enterprise
based on requested features
Custom (Learn more)

Added by: Will Pittenger (WillPittenger)


They do NOT want you to post such errors in the forums.  Most likely, they won't see it there.  Rather, go here.  You need to install the Google Earth browser plugin to use that page.  Be sure to center the problem in the plugin.
Added by: Will Pittenger (WillPittenger)


Personally, I have seen places where Google's Street View team went onto private land.  Google will remove such locations once they learn what happened.  I have also seen Street View icons that were misplaced.  In fact, inside Street View, some of the icons were either floating in mid air or hidden by the terrain.

In both cases, open the location's balloon and click the Report link in the lower left-hand corner.  Panoramio has a similar link in their balloons, but don't bother with it unless you are a member of Panomario.
Added by: Will Pittenger (WillPittenger)


Commons is a place to upload free media that becomes available on all Wikimedia projects.  Normally, I upload my maps.  However, you can upload any free media.  Their homepage is http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page.
Added by: Will Pittenger (WillPittenger)


According to Commons:File types, only the file types listed below are allowed.
  • Images:
    • SVG
    • PNG
    • GIF (avoid if possible; such files might get tagged as {{BadGIF}} or something similar)
    • JPEG (photos only; non-photos might get tagged as {{BadJPEG}} or something simlar)
    • XCF (GIMP)
    • SXD (OpenOffice.org 1.x)
  • Audio:
  • Video:
    • Ogv using Theora codec. (.ogv replaces .ogg which is still allowable as video)
  • Animation:
  • General:
    • PDF (Caution: There are users that call PDFs in general as "out of scope of the project and may delete such files on sight)
    • DjVu.
Added by: Will Pittenger (WillPittenger)


From Commons:File types:

Wikimedia Commons only accepts "free content"; likewise, ONLY free file formats are allowed.

Patent-encumbered file formats like MP3, AAC, WMA, MPEG, AVI and the like are not accepted at Wikimedia Commons. Our mission requires content to be freely redistributable to all. Patent-encumbered formats fail to meet this standard.

Non-free formats must be converted to a free format before uploading. Fortunately, this is not difficult.

Added by: Will Pittenger (WillPittenger)


Unless the site you are posting to happens to have an image with the same name, just pretend the image was uploaded to that wiki.  So if the image is "Image:My Image.jpg", use "[Image:My Image.jpg]" to display the image or "[:Image:My Image.jpg]" to link to it.  The Wikimedia generates pages for each wiki that matches the Commons page for the image.  A box linking the wiki's page to the Commons page will be added.  All the options for things like thumbs, captions, and image size are allowed.
Added by: Will Pittenger (WillPittenger)

Also, what do they mean by free?

From Commons:Licensing:

All copyrighted material on Commons must be licensed under a free license that allows anyone to use the material for any purpose. In particular, the license must meet the following conditions:

  • Republication and distribution must be allowed.
  • Publication of derivative work must be allowed.
  • Commercial use of the work must be allowed.
  • Acknowledgment of all authors/contributors of a work may be required.
  • Publication of derivative work under the same license may be required.
  • For digital distribution, use of open file formats free of digital restrictions management may be required.

The following restrictions must not apply to the image or other media file:

  • Use by Wikimedia only (the only non-free-licensed exceptions hosted here are Wikimedia logos and other designs which are copyrighted by the Wikimedia Foundation).
  • Noncommercial/Educational use only.
  • Use under fair use only.
  • Notification of the creator required, rather than requested, for all or for some uses.

For example, the following are generally not allowed:

  • Screenshots of software that is itself not under a free license. Screenshots of software under the GPL or a similar free software license are generally considered to be OK. See Commons:Screenshots.
  • TV/DVD/Videogame screenshots. See Commons:Screenshots.
  • Scans or reproductive photographs of copyrighted artwork, especially book covers, album/CD covers, etc. See Commons:Derivative works.
  • Copyrighted symbols, logos, etc. (Not to be confused with trademarks.)
  • Models, masks, toys, and other objects which represent a copyrighted work, such as a cartoon or movie character (rather than just a particular actor, regardless of a specific role). See Commons:Derivative works.

Commons also allows works that are not protected by copyright (i.e. works in the public domain). Please read the section about public domain below.

Added by: Will Pittenger (WillPittenger)


In a word (or three), "Depends, depends, depends."  Personally, I use CC-BY-SA-3.0.  If you don't care about your rights as an author, go with PD (public domain).  Just remember, that once you give those rights away, you can't change your mind and take them back.  Some people go with GFDL, but it is meant for documents like HTML or PDF pages.  (The 'D' in the acronym is "Document".)

Some poeple like to use multiple license, but I don't understand why.  At Wikimedia Commons, the most common either combine FreeArt with GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0 with GFDL.

For a full list of Creative Commons licenses, go to http://creativecommons.org.  Note: Creative Commons is not related to Wikimedia Commons.  They are a gallery site with their own licenses, some of which happen to be compatible with Wikimedia Commons licensing requirements.  In fact, some Creative Commons licenses, as noted below, are incompatible with what Wikimedia Commons requires.

Meaning of Creative Commons Licensing codes
Code
Meaning
CC
Just means that the license is a Creative Commons license
BY
Those using or modifying (derivatives) your image must give you attribution
SA
All SA licenses are "copyleft".  That means that any derivatives are required to use the same license that you chose.
3.0
The version of the license—Note: The version is important.  Version 3.0 and Version 1.5 are different
The following codes mark licenses that are incompative with Wikimedia Commons.
NDNo derivatives
NCNon-commercial use only

Added by: Will Pittenger (WillPittenger)


Inkscape is a free open source program for creating vector-based images.  Their homepage is http://inkscape.org.
Added by: Will Pittenger (WillPittenger)


Well, that depends.  That is really three questions.

Saving files (as of version 0.47)
  • SVG—This is Inkscape's native format.  Note: Inkscape actually supports two versions of SVG.  Their own version adds some tags for their own use.  "Plain SVG" strips them out.
  • PDF—I haven't tried it.  Support might be limited.  Fortunately, Adobe released their patents and control over the format to a non-profit organization.  If they hadn't, Inkscape probably wouldn't support it.
  • SVGZ—Compressed SVG; you can either include or omit the special Inkscape tags.
  • Cairo PNG—You will lose your vector data
  • Postscript
  • Encapsulated Postscript
  • Enhanced meta file
  • PovRay
  • JavaFX
  • OpenDocument drawing
  • LaTeX with PSTricks macros
  • Desktop Cutting Plotter
  • GIMP Palette
  • HP Graphics Language
  • Microsoft XAML
  • Compressed SVG with Media—These are ZIP files rather than SVGZ.
Importing (as of version 0.47)
  • Any of the above formats—Vector formats are imported as grouped series of objects.
  • Adobe Illustrator—both native (.ai) and SVG (.ai.svg)
  • Windows meta files—.wfm or .apm
  • Word Perfect Graphics
  • GIMP Gradients
  • AutoCAD DXF
  • ANI files (Windows animation)
  • PNG
  • WBMP
  • PNM files—.pnm, .pbm, .pgm, or .ppm
  • RAS files
  • XPM
  • XBM
  • TGA—.tga or .targa
  • PCX files
  • icns
  • Windows ICO (icon) files
  • BMP—Windows native image format
  • GIF
  • JPEG—.jpg, .jpe, or .jpeg
  • TIFF—.tif and .tiff
Exporting (as of version 0.47)
  • Just PNG.  No options are provided as to the type of PNG file.
Added by: Will Pittenger (WillPittenger)


Send me a private message with what you want.  I can provide blogs and private forums.  If you can prove you're trustworthy, I may let you use HTML instead of just BBCode.  What you add to the site must somehow be related to the rest of the site.  If I accept your proposal, you will also get a FAQs category.  You will be able to add what you need without approval.
Added by: Will Pittenger (WillPittenger)


Send me a private message with data like what you would put into a rèsumè.  It would help if you are already a moderator or wiki sysop somewhere.  It might also help if you have a proven track record in law enforcement.
Added by: Will Pittenger (WillPittenger)


Product
Current version
Firefox
This is my primary browser.  3.0.4
IE
I use this mainly for Microsoft Update.  However, I do have IE 8 Beta 2 installed.
IE Tab
This is a extension for Firefox that puts IE into a Firefox tab.  I use it for MS sites and a few others.  1.5.20080823
AdBlock+
Firefox extension that kills ads.  0.7.5.5+.2008110323
NoScript
Firefox extension that blocks scripts and plug-ins from sites you don't trust.
Google Earth
4.3.7284.3916
Inkscape
0.46 is what I use for most stuff.  However, I do keep the latest nightly of 0.47 around.
WindowsXP Pro SP3
GIMPI don't use it much, but I do have 2.4.6.
Added by: Will Pittenger (WillPittenger)


Inkscape uses the GNU Toolkit Framework.  It will install it if you don't have it.  (Some variants of Linux come with GTF preinstalled and use it for their UI.)  Inkscape 0.46 uses it excursively for the UI.  0.47 has moved to using the OS for most of its UI, at least in Windows.
Added by: Will Pittenger (WillPittenger)


Google Earth doesn't have such a tool built in.  But I found a website that can do it.  Copy your KML to the clipboard.  (That is what happens when you copy a path or any other object in Google Earth to the clipboard.)  Paste it into this site: earthpoint.us/Shapes.aspx.  Their support is a Google Group: Conversion of Geometries to Plots with Distance Measurement.  They have other tools as well, including some that work with Excel files or are Excel files.
Added by: Will Pittenger (WillPittenger)


For length, I have the answer here: How do you determine the length of paths?

For area, as far as I know, there is no way to get that.  If you know of a way, please provide details or a link here.
Added by: Will Pittenger (WillPittenger)

Google's documentation isn't clear on the topic.
I agree.  It can be very confusing.  I had to ask on their forums about that when I first got GE a couple of years ago.  First of all, KML is an XML-based language whose acronym originally stood for "Keyhole Markup Language".  (Keyhole was the name of the company that wrote the early versions.  Google bought them later.)  If you know XML, you can edit KML files by hand.  Personally, I don't do this.  It is messy and you could easily confuse Google Earth.  However, that is the only way to add some things.  If you want your balloons to have links to other objects in your set, you currently have to edit the KML yourself.

Now for how KML is related to KMZ.  KMZ is basically a zip file containing a KML file.  If you export from Google Earth, GE will include any images referenced from your hard drive but not the web.  The KML is very compressable.  Images, unless they are a format that commonly does without compression like BMP and TIFF, they probably won't compress well as formats like PNG, GIF, and JPEG are already compressed.

Which should you use?  If you are uploading direct to the GE BBS via GE's built-in Share feature, you will be using KMZ.  For your local copies, you may want to use KML if you have only a few nodes.  For anything larger, go straight for the KMZ.
Added by: Will Pittenger (WillPittenger)


That account is the way in which I admin the site.  If I want to make certain types of changes, I will log in under that account.  Normally, all posts of any type will be done with my WillPittenger account.
Added by: Will Pittenger (WillPittenger)


I know of two basic options.
  1. Replace IE with any of the following:
    • Firefox or any Mozilla offering with recent version of Gecko
    • Safari, Chrome or anything built on WebKit
    • Opera (recent versions anyway).
  2. If you don't want to give up on IE, Adobe did for a while publish an ActiveX that will let you view SVG.  I do have it installed and it works OK for the few images I tried it on.  However, Adobe has since decided to drop support for it and stop further development on it.  The reason was that all browsers other than IE had built-in SVG support.  Fortunately, they will let you download it here.
IE 9+ has at least some SVG support.  However, I don't think it competes with the other browsers I mentioned above.
Added by: Will Pittenger (WillPittenger)

I thought the lengths of paths would be more precise.
Sorry.  But lengths have to be rounded.  First, the lengths I get are computed to 4 decimal places.  So that is about as accurate as it gets.  Before you complain more, for lengths in kilometers, that is to the nearest decimeter (1/10 of a meter).  For lengths in miles, that is to roughly the nearest 6 5/16 inches.  Considering the lengths of most of what I measure (or anything you measure in GE), is a tiny distance.  Don't worry about it.

Now that tool returns english lengths less than 1 mile in yards and metric lengths less than 1 kilometer in meters.  In both cases, it once again computes to 4 decimal places.  However, that level of accuracy isn't valid.  We are talking about to within .1 milimeters or less that 1/20 of a 1/16 of an inch.  No matter how accurate the calculations are, the placement of the waypoints in the path isn't that accurate.  In fact, I only attempt to put the path or polygon in the middle of the pavement.  If we are talking about a runway being used as track (Edmonds or St. Pete come to mind), the width alone could add or subtract 10 meters to the length.


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