An original point of view

GIS, Panoramas

Using to generate a multiple summit-perspective views in Google Earth – part 2 multisummit panorama view in Google Earth

A few visibility cloaks shown at once in Google Earth as a multi-summit panorama view for particular location.


In this part of the article, I would like to say more about multiple summit-perspective views in Google Earth. First of all, previously I have described largely how to manage the panoramas in Google Earth at all. Now you will see how to put a few summits into your Google software and manage them correctly.

Let’s start then. In the first part of this article, I have shown you how to generate your own panorama in Though there is an option to choose existing panorama (Pic. 1) and make some steps a bit quicker. Not all summit views are included, but you can find the main peaks in mountain communities. panoramas for Polish Carpathians

Pic. 1 Panoramas provided by for Polish Carpathians.

When you found your peak, then click on it and go to the “View” option (Pic. 2). The summit view will be automatically generated the same as you would create it yourself. view summit panorama option

Pic. 2 Select the summit, that you are interested in and click View. Radziejowa visibility cloak in Google Earth

Pic. 3 The Radziejowa summit visibility cloak on Google Earth.

You have got your summit perspective view in Google Earth marked red, which is basically provided by page.
Let’s green it off. Read below what should we do with it.

First of all a brief explanation of what is the difference between .kmz files and .kml files.
As you know both can be used on Google Earth. The difference is, that .kml file provides a simply Google Earth file for you whilst .kmz  files includes a pack in which simple files have been built up a whole Google Earth object. We can take a simple insight into all elements using the left toolbar in Google Earth (Pic. 4). Radziejowa summit visibility cloak Google Earth elements

Pic. 4 The Radziejowa summit with all elements consisted of a .kmz file.

We cannot really edit those elements. To prepare them for your needs you need to use the 7Zip File Manager software (Pic. 5). .kmz files in 7Zip

Pic. 5 The 7-Zip File Manager with all summits considered. “Radziejowa” file is going to be the first one.

Once you double click on the file you open it and see all stuff consisted of your newly generated summit-perspective view on Google Earth (Pic. 6). .kmz file content in 7Zip

Pic. 6 All files consisted of the “Radziejowa.kmz” file seen in the 7-Zip file manager.

Let’s look at all .png files, that you will be able to edit soon. I would like to describe to you shortly every file included. You can insight all files even without extracting them (Pic. 7). .kmz file content in 7Zip description

Pic. 7 The PNG files included in the “Radziejowa.kmz” file: 1 – “image north.png” – the summit panorama (to be displayed in Google Earth), 2 – “ge_viewer.png” – cross, that roughly indicate your summit, 3 – “ge_summit.png” – a upside-down red triangle, that shows other prominent summit seen from your summit, 4 – “ge_nonsummit.png” – a blue upside-down triangle, that shows other places near to your summit, 5 – “ge_cloak_outline” – the line, that delineates the horizon at the top of your summit (this file is to be changed directly in the Google Earth also), 6 – “ge_cloak.png” – the color of the visibility cloak provided by for your summit. .kmz file content in 7Zip description visibility cloak explanation

Pic. 8 The PNG files included in the “Radziejowa.kmz” file: red marked – files, that should be considered when changing the visibility cloak layer, green marked – an example of part of the visibility cloak provided by for the Radziejowa summit.

I have been using the IrfanView software hence the background is each file opened. Basically, those files represent the vector graphics, that allow you to make changes keeping transparency.

Now, when we know all graphic files, that build panorama from our summit we can start to make changes. At first, we should extract all .png files outside the .kmz file to make them editable. Select all files marked red (Pic. 7) then and copy them into your folder (Pic. 9). .kmz file extraction in 7Zip software

Pic. 9 Extraction of .png files into the folder.

The best software to open the extracted files is Gimp. This is an opensource graphics software that allows you to change the visibility cloak color easily. If you are not equipped with this software, you can download it free from the main website.

Once you got the Gimp open it and go to the main toolbar, where you click File -> Open -> .png image from your folder (in our case it will be “Radziejowa”) (Pic. 10). visibility cloak opening in Gimp

Pic. 10 Opening one of the .png visibility cloak images in the Gimp software.

You can preview each file on the left when click. At first glance, some files may look empty, but you need to know, that the visibility cloak has been divided into the sections  (initially by when you have transferred it into Google Earth), that are wide rectangles. Every rectangular represents the visibility cloak coverage in rough longitude and latitude range. you can see those ranges in the .png file names as per as above (Pic. 10).

When you have chosen the .png file, that you are going to edit you should see your image in full size (Pic. 11). visibility cloak in Gimp

Pic. 11 One of the .png  files opened in the Gimp software.

Now we can start to edit this .png file. We don’t want to have a red color in our visibility cloak. Before you start make sure, that your image mode is not indexed! (as a default). You have to change it into RGB mode (Pic. 12).

Gimp changing the image mode

Pic. 12 Changing your Gimp image mode – select RGB rather than Indexed (default).

After this small step, you can start to edit your image. One thing, that you should aim at is colorizing. Any other options while from toolbox are not recommended! To change the default color go to the ‘Colours” section in the main toolbar and select the “Colourise” option as per as below (Pic. 13).

Gimp colourise tool

Pic. 13 The location of the “Colourise tool” in the Gimp 2.8 software.

You should have a small window open (Pic. 14) with 3 parameters to change:
Hue (0 – 360), where basically you can set your color e.g 0, 360 is orange, 70 is yellow, 210 is blue, etc.;
Saturation (0 – 100) with 50 [%] as a default value. I do not recommend you to set a value near 0, because finally, you will gain your color in greyscale only. See below, how it may work.;
Lightness (-100 – 100) with 0 as a default value. I do not recommend you put extreme values, because finally, you will gain a black (-100) or white (100) color only.

Gimp colourise options

Pic. 14 The image colorize options with example values, that has been turned your .png image into the green. visibility cloak examples in Gimp visibility cloak examples in Gimp2 visibility cloak examples in Gimp3 visibility cloak examples in Gimp4

Pic. 15 – 18 The color examples for one part of the “Radziejowa” visibility cloak: 15 – blue, 16 – dark blue, 17 – fair blue, 18 – fair blue with max. saturation.

When you have set your color properties to remember to add your settings to favorites (Pic. 19, 20). Due to this issue, you can save a little bit of time in the nearest future. visibility cloak colourise example in Gimp visibility cloak colourise example in Gimp2

Pic. 19,20 Add your color settings to favorites.

Your last step is saving. The quickest way to do it is overwriting the file (Pic. 21). Otherwise, you save the file in .xcf extension or export the image with the risk of losing the quality. Overwriting the file is the quickest and safest way in this case.

Gimp overwriting option

Pic. 21 The overwriting file option in Gimp 2.8 software.

This is not only one file to edit. As I have shown you above there are several files in your folder that need to be kept in the same color. You have to repeat this process for every file. It doesn’t look optimistically, however, you can do it much quicker than the first one, choosing your recently saved favorite color values (Pic. 22).

Gimp colour selection for visibility cloak

Pic. 22 Selecting recently saved color settings in Gimp from the favorites list.

Our last .png file is “ge_cloak” situated usually at the bottom of the list. This image (Pic. 23) with RGB mode default should be changed too, although you can use it as it was. When you decide to leave it with red color it may be misleading so better change this image also (Pic. 24). visibility cloak sample changes in Gimp visibility cloak sample changes in Gimp2

Pic. 23, 24 Changing the “ge_cloak.png” file in Gimp.

All done! To see it in Google Earth you need to copy all overwritten .png files back into .kmz  main file when you have 7-Zip File Manager open (Pic. 25). new colour of our visibility cloak set

Pic. 25 Copying and overwriting the .png visibility cloak parts in the main .kmz file.

Now, we can enjoy the view in Google Earth (Pic. 26). Make sure, that you have copied all parts properly. Bear in mind, that your .kmz file is now slightly bigger, so opening all visibility cloak layers may take a little bit longer especially for the first time. visibility cloak color modified shown in Google Earth, Radziejowa

Pic. 26 The Radziejowa summit purple visibility cloak displayed in Google Earth. visibility cloak color modified shown in Google Earth, Radziejowa and Łomnica

Pic. 27 The Radziejowa and Łomnica summit visibility cloaks on the one snap. Now you can distinguish both cloaks easily!

Gimp provides also another option to change the color of your visibility cloak only when you have a Batch Image Manipulation plugin installed.
If yes open it (Pic. 28), launch (Pic. 29) and pick up the process, that you want to take. In our case it will be:
Color correction (Pic. 30, 34): you can change brightness and contrast of your image or convert it into greyscale. It may be helpful when you need to modify a color already existed. Some similar things you can do using Google Earth also.
Other GIMP procedure (Pic. 31): includes a long list of processes, that can be taken in the batch procedure. From this list, you should pick up “gimp-convert-RGB” (Pic. 35) as a first and “gimp-colorize” (Pic. 36) as a second. To find them quicker you can use a researcher on the left top (Pic. 35, 36).

Gimp batch image manipulation plugin

Batch image manipulation in Gimp software

Pic. 28, 29 The “Batch Image Manipulation” option in Gimp software.

Gimp batch color correction

Pic. 30 The “Batch Image Manipulation” drop-down option list in Gimp software.

Gimp batch procedures

Pic. 31 Both “Color correction” and “Other gimp procedure” options have been added to our batch conversion. visibility cloak files input to Gimp batch procedure visibility cloak files selection for Gimp batch process

Pic. 32, 33 Selecting the images for batch conversion.

Make sure, that your output folder and current summit folder are the same! Gimp is going to rewrite all files automatically.

Gimp batch process color correction

Pic. 34 The “Color correction” with all options provided.

Gimp batch image manipulation options

Gimp batch image manipulation options2

Pic. 35, 36 The Batch Image Manipulation options in Gimp 2.8 software: change image mode to RGB and image colorize.

The aforementioned snap shows the values, that can be changed in the “gimp-colorize” option. There is no visual color information. You need to be more or less clued up in the RGB scale (I described it a bit earlier) and put correct values.
Once you have done everything alright click OK, and next go “Apply” to carry out the whole batch procedure.

Gimp batch image manipulation file overwriting

Pic. 37 When this communication is displayed always click “Yes”.

After all, you can do the same as in the previous examples. Copy all .png files into the .kmz file and enjoy a new color of the visibility cloak (Pic. 38). visibility cloak color modified seen on Google Earth, Babia Góra

Pic. 38 The Babia Góra summit visibility cloak in terms of the previous ones (Łomnica and Radziejowa).

Now, when you following my steps you should have 3 visibility cloaks overlapped on your Google Earth, each in different colors. Remember to change the color of the horizon pattern (I haven’t done it yet) otherwise you will get lost.
I prepared another 4 summits for myself, so I will repeat those steps and put them all together on Google Earth.
At the outcome I have gained a colorful map of Polish Carpathians, see below: visibility cloak color modified seen on Google Earth, Beskidy

Pic. 39 Visibility cloaks overlapped on each other: green – Pilsko, blue – Babia Góra, red – Łomnica, purple – Radziejowa, orange – Jaworzyna Konieczniańska. visibility cloak color modified seen on Google Earth, Bieszczady

Pic. 40 Visibility cloaks overlapped on each other: red – Łomnica, blue – Babia Góra, purple – Radziejowa, orange – Jaworzyna Konieczniańska, pink – Smerek, grey – Tarnica. visibility cloak color modified seen on Google Earth, Carpathian foothills

Pic. 41 The mountain communities, that are to be seen from Strzyzowskie Foothills near Pilzno town: blue – Babia Góra (Beskid Żywiecki), red – Łomnica (Tatras), orange – Jaworzyna Konieczniańska (Beskid Niski), pink – Smerek (Bieszczady), purple – Radziejowa (Beskid Sądecki). visibility cloak color modified seen on Google Earth, Carpathian foothills Krosno

Pic. 42 The mountain communities, that are to be seen from Dynowskie Foothills near Krosno: red – Łomnica (Tatras), orange – Jaworzyna Konieczniańska (Beskid Niski), purple – Radziejowa (Beskid Sądecki), pink – Smerek, grey – Tarnica (Bieszczady). visibility cloak color modified seen on Google Earth, Beskid Sądecki

Pic. 43 The summits, that are to be seen from Pieniny mountains: red – Łomnica, green – Pilsko, blue – Babia Góra, purple – Radziejowa. visibility cloak color modified seen on Google Earth, Bieszczady2

Pic. 44 The summits, that are to be seen from Bieszczady mountains: grey – Tarnica, pink – Smerek, orange – Jaworzyna Konieczniańska, purple – Radziejowa, red – Łomnica.

One suggestion at the end – don’t put too fair and grey colors. Tarnica summit visibility cloak example shows, that it is easy to merge into another visibility cloak layer.
Take into account also:
– order of visibility cloaks attaching into Google Earth (it may cause, that your first visibility cloak will be covered by latter and less visible)
– layers opacity (when you have problems with distinguishing the visibility cloaks try to change the layer opacity in Google Earth,
– try to avoid similar colors,
– put not more than 7 or 8 summits (however it depends on the conditions, visibility cloak range, and terrain features),
– switch off the horizon patterns for each summit,
– if you have some problems or suggestions please don’t hesitate to contact me: 

Mariusz Krukar




1. Gimp – GNU Image Manipulation Program – main page.
GIMP – Tips & Tricks
3. KMZ and KML files
4. All about KMZ files
5. Packaging content in KMZ file
6. KML files in ArcGIS















































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