Creating Your First 3D Graph

Introduction

In this document we will walk you through the process of making a simple 3D KML / KMZ document for Google Earth using Graph Earth.

Entering the Data

For this first project, we will generate a Prism graph using state population data from Wikipedia.  In this example, we are only entering five states, however, you could just as easily create a graph for every state in the United States.  Simply enter the values seen in the image below, with state names in the 'A' column and population in the 'B' column.  If you wish to graph the population of every state, the necessary data can be found by clicking here.

Organizing Our Data

Although Graph Earth may look a lot like spreadsheet applications such as Microsoft Excel or Apple Numbers, it doesn't always work like one.  Unlike these applications, Graph Earth has the capability to name columns.  Naming columns makes it easier for us to choose correct options in future dialogs without having to look back at our sheet.

To name a column simply:

  1. Right-Click on the column header of the column you wish to rename.
  2. When the context menu appears, click on the 'Rename' option.
  3. Enter the new name in the dialog box and click 'Ok' or hit enter.

 

Repeat these steps for both the 'A' and 'B' columns.

Creating the 3D Graph

Once we have all of our data entered, we can begin configuring our graph.  Simply click Graph -> Prism to bring up the 'Create Prism Graph' dialog.

Once the dialog appears:

  1. Next to 'File Name', click the 'Select' button and choose a location to save the finished file.
  2. Since we are graphing by state, select 'State' next to 'Region Type'
  3. The Region column is the column which contains our region names, in this case, state names.  Earlier, we named a column 'State Name'.  Select 'State Name' from the combo box next to 'Region Column Name'.
  4. The Values column is the column which contains the data we wish to graph.  Earlier, we entered the population of several states in a column we names '2011 Population Estimate'.  Select '2011 Population Estimate' from the combo box next to 'Values Column Name'.

 

(Optional)

There are a number of options that will affect the visual style of your 3D graph.  Feel free to play with these options.  If you wish to change the default options for Legend, Title or Logo, click the 'Legend / Title' button.  This will bring up the 'Lgend / Title / Logo' dialog with a number of options.  At any time, you can see a preview simply by clicking on the 'Preview' button.  As you make changes, this preview will change to reflect your alterations in real time.  When you are done, simply click 'Ok' to accept the changes.


Generating your Google Earth KML/KMZ Graph

When you feel you are ready to create your graph, simply click 'Create Graph' in the 'Create Prism Graph' dialog.  If you accidentally hit close, your selections will automatically be saved.  Once the KMZ file has been created by Graph Earth, your default KML / KMZ viewer (Google Earth) will be launched automatically.  Your final graph should consist of a kmz file approximately 140k in size and look very similar to the image below.

 

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