The following overview of the Regional Land Use Map interfacing with Google Earth is broken out into the following subsections for expanded information, including:
Land Use Coverage
Each Regional Land Use layer that is displayed in Google Earth has a land use's shape, which is a stylized and simplified representation of the land use in that area. Consultation of the regional land use conversion tables for each localities will help relate the stylized representation of land use to each locality's comprehensive plan. For direct access to each locality's comprehensive plan, please consult the following directory of local comprehensive plans:
Directory of local Comprehensive Plans
- City of Chesapeake
- City of Franklin
- City of Hampton
- City of Newport News
- City of Norfolk
- City of Poquoson
- City of Portsmouth
- City of Suffolk
- City of Virginia Beach
- City of Williamsburg
- Gloucester County
- Isle of Wight County
- James City County
- Southampton County
- Surry County
- York County
Land Use Shapes
Each land use layer that is displayed in Google Earth has two components. The first is the project's shape, which is a stylized coverage representation of the project. Each shape also has an "info" window. Using the cursor to click at any land use layer calls up the land use layer Info Window. This window contains the identification of the land use layer.
The animated image below illustrates how to click on a land use layer to identify it and see its Info Window.
Working with Built-In Layers
Google Earth has a series of built-in layers which allow users to add other pre-defined layers to the Earth. These layers include geographic features, jurisdictional boundaries, points of interest, etc.
Some of these built-in layers may be turned on by default. While viewing the Regional Land Use Map Visualization, it may be desirable to turn off unwanted layers. Layers can be turned off by unchecking the box next to them in the Layers panel.
One built-in layer which is very useful for purposes of visualizing the Regional Land Use Map is the "roads" layer. Google Earth represents existing roads with yellow lines. (See the image to the right.) Highways are labeled with shields identifying the highway route numbers, and other roads (which appear when zoomed in) are labeled with the road names.
The Regional Land Use Map's shapes are presented above (on top of) the pre-defined roads in Google Earth. Because the Regional Land Use Map's shapes are semi-transparent, the yellow roads can show through the Land Use shapes.
Users can turn on the Roads layer and other pre-defined layers using the layers sidebar, which is located in the lower-left corner of the Google Earth window.
Another useful built-in layer is the "borders" layer. This layer will show the jurisdictional boundaries of cities, counties and states. As with roads, this layer is built-in to Google Earth and can be turned on and off by checking and unchecking the "borders" checkbox in the Layers panel. An animation showing the borders layer is presented below.
Working with RLU Map Layers
The Regional Land Use Map visualization contains layers which can be independently toggled on and off. These layers are described below.
The Regional Land Use Map layers are visible in the Places sidebar at the left-hand side of the Google Earth window, above the Layers sidebar. Each layer (Residential, Commercial, Industrial, etc.) can be toggled off and on by clicking the check-box next to the name of the layer.
The map layers are color coded by the land use classification the polygon represents. The map legend is as follows:
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