Thursday, February 01, 2007

Google Earth Files

Google Earth files (.kml) have been created to show the boundaries of the Francis Beidler Forest in Four Holes Swamp; the boardwalk through the virgin, old-growth forest; the canoe trail through the virgin, old-growth forest; the hiking trails and scout camping area; and the boundaries and trails at the Wannamaker Preserve near St. Matthews. The image shows portions of the FBF boundary in red, the canoe trail in blue, and the 1.75-mile boardwalk in yellow. The nature center is at the west end of the boardwalk. The alligator can be seen in the hole (Goodson Lake) at the east end of the boardwalk.

Google Earth provides satellite imagery of the planet in conjunction with data layers that may be selected by the user. The data layers include roads, population centers, points-of-interest, geologic activity, and in our case, boundary lines and trails. These Audubon South Carolina files will be posted for download on the Francis Beidler Forest education curriculum page. Lessons and activities will be developed for these files and this technology. As a pre-trip activity, we believe exploring the images of Four Holes Swamp, the boardwalk, and the surrounding area will help students put the swamp ecosystem into context and enrich their on-site experience.

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