Draw and measure

WithArcGIS Earth, you can do the following:

  • Draw and edit placemarks, paths, polygons, ground overlays, screen overlays, and KML network links.
  • Measure points, lines, paths, circles, and polygons in 3D.

Draw

You can create placemarks, paths, polygons, ground overlays, screen overlays, and KML network links on the globe and save them in the My Drawings folder in the table of contents.

Once you've finished drawing an element, it appears in the table of contents. The newly created drawing element is considered as a KML feature and is listed in My Drawings. You can double-click it to go to this feature or edit it by right-clicking the layer properties. ArcGIS Earth also supports saving drawings as a KMZ file. This can be done by individual layer or by folder. See Share your work for details.

Draw points, lines, and polygons

Points, lines, and polygons are basic drawing elements and also common features used in KML. To create and edit a drawing element as point, line, or polygon, complete the following steps:

  1. Click Draw Draw on the toolbar. Choose Point Point from the drop-down menu to add a placemark, choose Line Line to add a path, or choose Polygon Polygon to add a polygon.
  2. Click to create a point as a KML placemark, or double-click to finish sketching a path or a polygon. Click while pressing Alt to switch to freehand mode while sketching a path or a polygon.

    The drawing element is automatically saved in the table of contents once you finish.

    A toolbar appears at the top of the view while you draw.

  3. Use the Continue Sketch Continue Sketch, Finish Sketch Finish Sketch, Delete Vertex Delete Vertex, Undo Undo, or Redo Redo options of the selected drawing element.
  4. To edit the geometry of a drawing element, drag a selected point or vertex to move its position, or hover the pointer over an existing line to insert a new vertex.
    • Edit the position of a selected vertex with the XYZ axis for a drawing element with relative or absolute altitude.
    • Specify XYZ value for a selected vertex.
    • Right-click or use keyboard shortcuts to redo, undo, or delete a selected vertex.
    • Hover the pointer along the drawing element, while the pointer style switches to Add Vertex Add Vertex and click to add new vertex.
  5. On the Edit panel, configure the drawing properties using the General, View, and Info tabs.
    • General—Change the name, geometry, and appearance of a drawing element. Drawing elements with a relative or absolute altitude can be extruded from the ground.
    • View—Set and save the fly-to view of the current drawing element by clicking Snapshot current view. Reset the fly-to view of the drawing element to the center of the screen by clicking Reset to center.
    • Info—Type descriptions, or edit the HTML code and preview it for the drawing elements on the Rich Text tab. The description is displayed in a pop-up window when you click the drawing element.
  6. Close the Edit panel to exit drawing mode.

    A dialog box appears for saving drawings if you exited with unsaved content.

  7. To edit a drawing element again, two options are available:
    • Right-click the layer in the table of contents and select Properties.
    • Click a drawing element in the scene, right-click, and select Properties.
Note:
  • For points, you can paste an image URL or select a local icon as the custom icon, which is limited to 1 MB. After importing, the size is limited to a maximum of 128 pixels. ArcGIS Earth supports icon formats of .png, .jpg, .jpeg, .tif, and .tiff.

  • You can add up to five custom colors. Use the eyedropper to capture colors from the screen, and specify accurate colors with HEX, HSL, or RGB values.
  • ArcGIS Earth supports three types of altitude mode: draped, absolute, and relative.
Tip:

You can drag a service URL or a data path into the viewport or the table of contents, and the services will display as if you had typed the URL in the Add Data panel.

Create a ground overlay

A ground overlay is an image that is tied to latitude-longitude coordinates and anchored relative to the ground. Ground overlay is intended to be used for maps that show additional information in a KML file. To create and edit a ground overlay, complete the following steps:

  1. Click Draw Draw on the toolbar. Choose Ground Overlay Ground Overlay from the drop-down menu to add a ground overlay.
  2. Paste an image URL or browse to select a local image.

    The ground overlay is automatically saved in the table of contents once you finish.

  3. On the Edit panel, configure ground overlay properties on each tab.
    • General—Change the name, image path, transparency, draw order, and altitude of a ground overlay.
    • View—Set and save the fly-to view of the current drawing element by clicking Snapshot current view. Reset the fly-to view of the drawing element to the center of the screen by clicking Reset to center.
    • Refresh—Specify the refresh mode and refresh time interval. Time-Based Refresh mode refreshes the view based on time, and View-Based Refresh mode refreshes the view based on changes in the user's view.
    • Location—Specify the position of a ground overlay with a bounding box. Change the bounds to nonrectangular quadrilateral by clicking Convert to LatLonQuad. Change the bounds to fit the current screen by clicking Fit to Screen.
    • Info—Type descriptions, or edit the HTML code and preview it for the drawing elements on the Rich Text tab. The description is displayed in a pop-up window when you click the drawing element.
  4. Drag or resize the bounding box to move, scale, and rotate the ground overlay. Right-click and choose Undo or Redo , or use keyboard shortcuts to control the geometry editing process.
  5. Close the Edit panel to exit drawing mode.
  6. Right-click the layer in the table of contents and select Properties to edit the ground overlay again.

Create a screen overlay

A screen overlay is an image that is fixed to a specified area and anchored relative to the screen. Screen overlay is intended to be used as a legend or a supplemental text in a KML file. To create and edit a screen overlay, complete the following steps:

  1. Click Draw Draw on the toolbar. Choose Screen Overlay Screen Overlay from the drop-down menu to add a screen overlay.
  2. Paste an image URL or browse to select a local image.

    The screen overlay is automatically saved in the table of contents once you finish.

  3. On the Edit panel, configure screen overlay properties on each tab.
    • General—Change the name, image path, transparency, and draw order of a screen overlay.
    • View—Set and save the fly-to view of the current drawing element by clicking Snapshot current view.
    • Refresh—Specify the refresh mode and refresh time interval. Time-Based Refresh mode refreshes the view based on time, and View-Based Refresh mode refreshes the view based on changes in the user's view.
    • Format—Specify a point on the screen that is mapped relative to the screen origin through Screen Position. Specify a point on (or outside of) the overlay image that is mapped to the screen coordinate through Overlay Position. A value of Fraction indicates the x,y value is a fraction of the image or the screen. A value of Pixel indicates the x,y value is calculated in pixels. The size of the image overlay can be specified through parameters in Size.
    • Info—Type descriptions, or edit the HTML code and preview it for the drawing elements on the Rich Text tab. The description is displayed in a pop-up window when you click the drawing element.
  4. Drag or resize the bounding box to move and scale the scale overlay. Right-click and choose Undo or Redo, or use keyboard shortcuts to control the geometry editing process.
  5. Close the Edit panel to exit drawing mode.
  6. Right-click the layer in the table of contents and select Properties to edit the ground overlay again.
Note:

You can create a ground overlay or a screen overlay with image formats of .png, .jpg, .jpeg, .bmp, .tif, .tiff, and .gif.

Create a network link

A network link is a way of making a dynamic KML file with a file from your local machine or from a server. To create and edit a network link, complete the following steps:

  1. Click Draw Draw on the toolbar. Choose Network Link Network Link from the drop-down menu to add a screen overlay.
  2. Paste a KML URL or browse to select a local KML file.
  3. On the Edit panel, configure network link properties on each tab.
    • General—Change the name, KML link path, and folder status of a network link.
    • View—Set and save the fly-to view of the current drawing element by clicking Snapshot current view. Reset the fly-to view of the drawing element to the center of the screen by clicking Reset to center.
    • Refresh—Specify the refresh mode and refresh time interval. Time-Based Refresh mode refreshes the view based on time, and View-Based Refresh mode refreshes the view based on changes in the user's view.
    • Info—Type descriptions, or edit the HTML code and preview it for the drawing elements on the Rich Text tab. The description is displayed in a pop-up window when you click the drawing element.
  4. Click OK to confirm adding a network link.
  5. Right-click the layer in the table of contents and select Properties to edit the network link again.

Measure

In ArcGIS Earth, you can measure the coordinates of a point, the area of a shape, the length of a line, the distance of line segments, and 3D distance between points. Before or after performing each measurement, you can change the default units of measure in the application settings. The options are as follows:

  • Point Point—Measure coordinates and elevation of a point on the ground.
  • Line Line—Measure the distance between two points and heading based on true north. Show the elevation profile of the measured line.
  • Path Path—Measure the distance between multiple points on the ground. Show the elevation profile of the measured path.
  • Circle Circle—Measure the center coordinates, radius, perimeter, and area of a circle on the ground.
  • Polygon Polygon—Measure the perimeter and area of a geometric shape on the ground.
  • 3D measure 3D measure—Measure the direct, vertical, and horizontal Euclidean distances between two points.
  • Save Save—Save a measured feature as a drawing element and open the drawing Edit panel.
  • Copy Copy—Copy measurements to the clipboard.
Note:

  • Except for 3D measure, ArcGIS Earth calculates the geodetic distance, which represents the shortest line between two points on the ellipsoidal surface of the earth sphere.
  • You can modify the vertex of a path or a polygon while sketching.


In this topic
  1. Draw
  2. Measure