Google Earth as a Tool in Terrain Survey of Debris Flow Watershed
Google Earth (GE) has powerful functions to view landscapes in fairly realistic three dimensions (3D) as well provides digital elevation model (DEM) data. A GE-based method in terrain surveying of debris flow watershed was elaborated, consisting of DEM data and related functions in GE. The method was employed in 9 debris flow watersheds along Ya-lu Expressway, Sichuan, China. It was proved to be able to get a similar result with traditional map method, especially in the debris flow watershed with a large area, such as more than 12 km2. Moreover, the GE method is a time-saving method and can extract some of the terrain parameters directly, which is obviously better than traditional method.
L. R. Xu et al., "Google Earth as a Tool in Terrain Survey of Debris Flow Watershed", Advanced Materials Research, Vols. 261-263, pp. 1563-1566, 2011