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Home > How to use a OneGeology service > How data from a WMS can be viewed and accessed > Using Google Earth > Issues Google Earth Issues

Problems displaying the map layer

When adding a WMS layer to Google Earth, you may get a Big Red Cross instead of the map layer you were expecting. This indicates there is an error with that layer. The error may lie either with the GetMap parameters sent by Google Earth to the WMS server, or in the WMS response.

When adding any WMS using the method described above, we have noted that the parameters that Google Earth automatically populates into its form (the Edit Image Overlay Link) are missing the required ‘styles’ parameter. MapServer WMS services do not seem to be affected by this omission, that is, they will serve a map using the default style, but we have noticed that ArcGIS WMS services cannot handle this error, and you will need to add the correct style value to your link. You may look at the GetCapabilities response to get the style or styles you want to be used, or you should just be able to specify a null value, and get the default style.

Red cross showing a layer error in Google Earth

For example to view the BGS 50k Geology layer in Google Earth you need to use this link:

Problems displaying a map layer that spans the globe

Google Earth has a problem showing the full contents of a map layer that spans the whole globe. Specifically Google Earth seems to be unable to show coverage from such data layers at the poles and around the antimeridian (the 180th degree meridian). For example we are unable to get a map to display the whole of Russia.

The problem is illustrated below using the WORLD CGMW 1:25M Geologic Units layer.

WORLD CGMW 1:25M Geologic Units map as a GetMap response

WORLD CGMW 1:25M Geologic Units layer data layer display problem in Google Earth

There is currently no fix for this issue.

Section last modified: 08 September 2010

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