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AntWeb in Google Earth

Google Earth is a beautiful 3-dimensional interactive satellite-image globe of the Earth. Put all of AntWeb's ants on the globe by following these instructions:

Step One: Download Google Earth.

Step Two: Start up Google Earth and enjoy the scenery.

Step Three: Add AntWeb's ants by going to the "Add" menu and choosing "Network Link":

Step Four: This is the New Network Link panel. Enter whatever you want in the "Name" box (AntWeb is good) and enter in the "Location" box. This is the "images only" version of the data, which only includes ants for which we have images. If you have a mighty computer, you may also try braving the complete AntWeb data set by entering this: instead. Be warned, you will need plenty of RAM.

Now that you've done that, this is what you see when the entire AntWeb hierarchy is clicked. Open "AntWeb" and you get all the subfamilies. You can open subfamilies, genus... all the way to the specimen level. When you're zoomed out, you just get pins where there are ants. Zooming in gives you the names of the ant species.

Clicking on a pin gives you further information about the ant. Clicking on the links in that little window brings you to the appropriate AntWeb page:

You can also choose to see only specific ants:

Another trick - if you click on a name in the left navigation panel, the Earth will spin to show you where that ant is.

One caveat - sometimes when you close Google Earth and reopen it, it won't load up AntWeb. You'll have to delete it and then re-add it, using Steps Two and Three.