I occasionally check to see what leads people to this website – what search terms they are using to find me, or what sites link to this one. Lately I’ve gotten lots of hits from search engines with people trying to find out how to embed Google Earth into Powerpoint. I had posted something a couple of months ago about how to do the opposite, embed Powerpoint slides into Google, and I guess that’s why the search terms kept bringing up my site. Seeing these repeated hits made me wonder if there was a way to do this, and I think I’ve found a solution, albeit not as elegant as I might like.
There are actually two ways to do this. First, you can simply link to a specific KML file or Google Earth Tour. In order for this to work you have to have Google Earth installed on your presentation computer. GE opens the file separately, so you’ll be running both PowerPoint and Google Earth, and will need to switch back to your presentation when you’re done with Google Earth. You can select any text or image on your slide and add a hyperlink to the Google Earth file. In typical Microsoft fashion, you’ll get a warning saying that you are going to an external program when you click on your link. Just ignore it.
Another easy, and cleaner way to do this is to add the Google Earth Plugin to your page. Since the plugin only works with web pages, that means you’ve got to find a way to those into your slides. Along comes LiveWeb. Liveweb is an add-in for PowerPoint 2007 that creates an Internet Explore-based browser on your slides. Configure the plugin on the slide so that it displays a web page that has the Google Earth plugin active, such as this blog post, or the TakItWithMe website.
Personally, I prefer the first method. It gives you the full functionality of Google Earth, and switching between two programs isn’t such a big deal. However, if your presentation computer doesn’t have Google Earth, or lacks the necessary resources to run both PowerPoint and Google Earth, then you might consider the second method.
As for me, if I’m giving a presentation that’s primarily about Google Earth, I’ll stick with my method of embedding Powerpoint in Google Earth, rather than the other way around.