Have you ever wondered exactly how many satellites are orbiting our planet right now? How about the amount of space debris that is ‘out there’? Well look no farther as the folks at Analytical Graphics, Inc. (AGI) have developed a plugin for Google Earth that tracks the position of more than 13,000 active and inactive satellites, debris and rocket bodies. The database updates every 30 seconds and is based on information maintained by the United States Strategic Command.
Once you install Google Earth and open the KMZ file you can download here, you will be greeted by an almost overwhelming amount of data on orbiting space objects. In the Google Earth legend, you can toggle on and off the various classes of space objects. And by clicking on the moving icons, you can get information on the object’s orbital height, whether it is active and even on its projected trajectory.
One drawback is that this plugin does not have a search function. While there is no easy workaround for this oversight, here is what I can suggest. If you are looking for a specific satellite, you can search for its current location on this website, then zoom to that area in Google Earth and track it from there.
Until my next edition of Free For All, happy hunting for free geospatial goodies!
Brock Adam McCarty
i would like to the roads and maps of places i want to go forestry mountains fry ways and important places and national parks Memphis tenn.
Hi George – thanks for the comment. You might take a look at Google Earth and Bing Maps as they have lots of free data of these locations! Let us know if we can help in the future with custom imagery purchases.
Is KMZ file download still opening? I could not open, I mean it just shows hourglass…please help.
Hi Reidesu – KMZ download does work on Image Hunter still. It might be a firewall issue on your side.