Downland Instructions for the Model

The model is highly detailed and requires a substantial computer to run with Google Earth. A Pentium 4 2 GHz or G5 is probably a minimum. A DSL internet connection or greater is required for Google Earth.

Download Instructions

  1. Download Google Earth 4.3 from here. Version 4.3 is recommended for the sunlight feature which is important for the visualization.
  2. Download the windfarm model from here (Mesa North 1.5M) and here (Mesa West 2.5M). It is in two pieces due to its size. Put them on your desktop or wherever you normally place downloads. The two files have .kmz extensions.
  3. Start Google Earth.
  4. Fly to a place nearby such as "Ribera NM". Type this in the "Fly To" box in the top left and hit enter. (Do not use "Villanueva NM as Google Earth has the wrong coordinates!)
  5. Install the model by clicking on File then Open and selecting one of the .kmz files. Do this again for the other. Each time you do this Google Earth will take some time to load the very large models and then place you near the model.

You are now ready to move around and view the model from different locations. If you are unfamiliar with Google Earth there is a brief video tour here and more detailed help here. You can also click on Help and get a variety of information.

Once you are familiar with navigating in Google Earth try the following procedure to get a view of the model from a location of interest.

Viewing the model from a selected location.

  1. Look straight down at the terrain (type the "U' key as a shortcut).
  2. Adjust your distance from the ground so you can orient yourself. Use mouse double clicks to start moving and a single click to stop. Left double click is closer, right double click is further. The mouse pointer location determines the center of the movement.
  3. Find your location of interest. Slide the terrain around by holding down the left mouse pointer and moving the mouse.
  4. Get down to ground level. Left double click on the center of the desired location. Keep doing this until you are about 10 feet above the ground. Your current height is indicated in the lower left of the terrain image, above the GPS coordinates. Note that the terrain image will be very fuzzy at this point.
  5. Tilt up until you are looking horizontally. Use the eyeball cursor up button in the top right navigation controls. This can take some time on a slower computer.
  6. Turn around until you are looking in the desired direction. Use the North Up control in the navigation controls. Slide the "N" around the ring using the left mouse button. This can also take some time.
You can use the sunlight controls to check your view at various times of day. Click on the sun icon on the top tool bar and adjust the time of day with the slider. The default sun position is directly overhead, which makes the turbine tower appear an unnatural mid gray. Adjusting the sun angle lower makes for a more realistic visualization.

Once you have your view you can save the image using the File, Save, Save Image menu selections.

The model was created in Google SketchUp. The turbine model used can be found here (Thanks to Nick).