Matching GOES-16 or other Geostationary Satellite Views in Google Earth

Mick West

Staff member

Geostationary satellites view from the equator, so the image of, for Example, California is distorted. However we can tweak a KML file in GE to give us this approximate viewpoint, allowing us to overlay GPS tracks of planes and compare against the GOES-16 view

This is a bit fiddly as GE tends to "help" by limiting the range of altitudes to below 60km, and then curving things along a path as you zoom in and out. However with the attached you should be able to zoom in with the mouse wheel than then drag the view around to match the G16 view very closely.

To use it you need to be in the photo viewing mode, which you get into by double clicking on the "GOES-16 CONUS Viewpoint" Place after you load it. Then you will get these controls which you can also use to navigate. You will need to zoom in at least a bit before you can move.

The resultant image is slightly rotated with the current setup, but is a near perfect match otherwise.

By comparison on GE that region normally looks like this:
Becuse GE normally adjusted the view to be overhead whatever you are looking at. By using this photo trick we fix the camera above the equator at the right altitude.

GOES-16 Position is shifting as it moves to its final position.
Currently 0.0018°S, 89.3088°W, 35792.02 KM


  • GOES-16 CONUS Viewpoint.kml
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