Random Spots with a Google Earth Image Overlay

One of the tools I mentioned in my last Flight Simulator post was a way that I generated a random spot on Google Earth.  I wanted to talk about it briefly and show you how I do it.

The way to do it is incredibly simple.  I came up with it while trying to figure out a way to randomly select areas of the U.S. for a possible game campaign.  Below you will find a simple JPEG image.  Feel free to double click on the image and grab it for yourself.  the other thing you will need is a D6.

6x6Grid

I bet you can see where this is going, right?

Right.

  • Open Google Earth.
  • Create an Image Overlay using the graph image. (The button is up near the top.  See the image below.)  Adjust the image over whatever part of the world you want to use it on and adjust the opacity so you can see the terrain underneath it.
  • Roll the dice twice.  One roll for the row, the other for the column.  Find the square that coordinates to the die roll.
  • If it is too large of an area then simply shrink the layer down to fit the area of the initial coordinate and… guess what?  Roll again!
  • Wash, rinse and repeat until you get the area you want.

Here’s a quick example of what it will look like in Google Earth.

6x6gridexample

Also, if you have Photoshop, Gimp or something similar, you could also use this grid to find random locations on a digital map for a fantasy world or anything.  Just add it as another layer and manipulate it as you’d like to put the grid over the area.

The next post today is a more detailed look at how I use the 6 x 6 grid AND some elements of the Mythic RPG Solo game to create one of my more memorable charter flights.