Sunday, October 26, 2008

Aviation Charts with Radar and Cloud Cover

Recently, I found a method for displaying weather information with sectional aeronautical charts in a nice manner with Google Earth. You can also use for looking at this information individually, but not simultaneously; I will describe that at the bottom.
Getting Google Earth
First you need to load the Google Earth application on your computer. This is a great application with lots of uses.

Radar Information
Next load the Radar information with this link for NexRad Information for Google Earth.

Cloud Information

Then add the cloud cover with these links for West Cloud Satellite information for Google Earth, and Eastern Cloud Satellite information for Google Earth.

Sectional Information

Then you can add the aeronautical sectional information if you want with this link Google Earth Sectional Chart information. Zoomed out, the image is not great, but when you zoom in to see the details, it looks pretty good. Wait a bit for the higher resolution to load.

Controlling Layers

You can turn on and off the different layers on the left side of Google Earth. You can also change the brightness of the different layers using the slider at the bottom left. With everything turned on, the aviation charts seem to override everything. So I either temporarily turn them off at times or turn back the brightness on the aviation charts when I want to see everything.

Adding Route Information

When you want to put some possible route paths into Google Earth, an easy way is using Define your route with "-" in between different airports or VORs. Then click on the Google Earth symbol next to where it says "Current Flightplan". Then this will load into Google Earth. You can load multiple flightplans into Google Earth at the same time and select them on/off on the left side.

Other possible methods with Aviation Charts, Radar, and Cloud Cover will also show radar images and cloud cover, but not at the same time as the sectionals. Look for the buttons in the upper right. "visible" and "infrared" for cloud cover. "Radar" for radar images.


I hope this helps some of you. If you find other links for Google Earth or combinations of weather/charts, please let me know. I wonder if there is a link out there with a WAC charts and Google Earth, but I have not found it yet. That might be nice for zoomed out regions.



Anonymous said...


This is an older post of yours so I'm sure you're aware of what's changed but....if not. Google Earth now offers Nexrad radar images and cloud cover right in the app without needing to use an add-on.

PA28R-201T (Turbo Arrow) Driver at KFTG

Brian said...

I did not know that yet. Thanks for the information. I'll have to try it out!