Jan 1, 2010

Exploring Book of Mormon
Geography with Google Earth

With the rapid advances in technology we are now able to do many things in relation to Book of Mormon geography which were not possible in the past. In previous writings I have already mentioned the use of remote sensing technology as a possible method in identifying Book of Mormon sites. The recent introduction of Google Earth’s service is yet another tool in our arsenal of research possibilities. Using Google Earth (http://www.earth.google.com) one can easily “travel” to the various suggested sites and view satellite views of the earth and then determine for ourselves if the location or feature meets the geographic criteria. This is especially helpful in searching for candidates for the narrow neck of land which should be a fairly unique feature.
To take advantage of this service, one needs a high speed Internet connection and a fairly new computer operating under Windows or Macintosh. Details are listed on the Google website. The free Google Earth program must also be downloaded. Although much of the globe is not presented in high resolution, the resolution is still adequate to view gross geographic features down to about the 500-foot definition level. Those portions with high resolution permit very detailed examination. The program also includes a number of other features which facilitate evaluation of a specific site. These include a distance measuring tool; a topographic exaggeration
feature which enhances mountainous or hilly terrain; a tilt feature which allows side views of targets; and a rotating feature which allows one to get a 360 degree view of a specific target. It is also possible to add topographic overlays to the view such as roads, cities, volcanoes, etc. The program allows you to bookmark a site so that you can easily return to it, and by book marking a number of sites, you can create a “tour” of Book of Mormon sites.
I have compiled a number of Book of Mormon sites in various tours on my website at http://www.mormongeography.com/google.html. These include representative tours of the various theories and are available for public viewing.