You can control what layers are overlaid on the globe’s terrain, allowing you to customize your view of the earth. Layers can be maps, imagery, markers, symbology and controls, or customized renderable content.

Layer List

The Layer List allows you to control which layers are visible and the order in which the layers are drawn on the globe. Layers are categorized such that standardized rules can be applied to groups of layers.

  • Click Layers in the main menu to show or hide the layer list
  • Click individual layers in the layer list to show or hide them on the globe
  • Click the settings icon on an individual layer to open its Layer Settings dialog
  • Click the zoom+ icon on an individual layer to zoom to the geographic extents of the layer

Layer Categories and Ordering

Layers categories are drawn in the following order: first the base map layer(s), followed by overlays and finally the data sets (markers, shapes, etc). Effects and widgets are drawn according to their own rules.

  • Base Maps: Maps and/or imagery - these layers are drawn first - they are bottom-most layers on the globe
  • Overlays: Weather charts, land classifications, boundaries, etc - these layers are drawn on top of the base layer(s)
  • Datasets: Shapes, annotations and markers are on top of the maps and imagery
  • Effects: Day/night, atmosphere, time zone detection
  • Widgets: View controls, time and location widgets

You control the order in which the base maps and overlays are drawn within their category by dragging the layer to the desired position. This can me a very useful feature for creating your scene, especially when combined with setting the topmost layers’ opacity (transparency).

Layer Controls and Settings

Using the individual layer control and settings, you can set the opacity of a layer to make it translucent. This is very effective with the overlays, but it also can be useful with the base maps. For instance, you can could configure a street map to draw on top of an aerial imagery layer and then make the street map translucent so that the underlying aerial imagery augments the display.

Open the Layer Settings dialog to configure an individual layer. From this dialog you can:

  • Set the layer’s opacity to make it translucent or opaque
  • Select an individual frame from a time series layer
  • View a layer’s legend
  • Change the layer’s position in the layer list

Adding Layers from a Server

Layers from external WMS servers can be added to the globe. Enter the URL to a WMS server and click the Add Server button and the Explorer will query the server for its WMS layers. These layers will be listed below the server’s name. When you check the checkbox of the individual layers in this list and they will be added to the Overlays layer category.