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Driving Directions For International Guests
Do you have GoogleEarth?
If the WCA has informed you that you will be staying with us (or if they gave us your email address and you're viewing this page because we sent you an email), we will email you with a special link to some Google Earth "Placemark" files you will need to be able to get out of O'Hare International Airport, and find Willow Creek and/or our house. Look for this email -- the subject will be "Willow Creek Conference Guest Files" and it will come to you from "firstname.lastname@example.org" ( depending on your ISP or email program, you made need to add this address to your "white list"). Download every file in the folder -- be sure to get the "readme.txt" file which has an inventory of the files you should have. If any files are missing or not available, please let me know immediately at WCA.Guests@JacnSue.com. Trust me -- Chicago is "my kind of town", but if this is your first time here, getting out of O'Hare is not for the faint-of-heart. Unless you are a cartographer by trade, a map will probably confuse you even more. MapQuest will get you completely lost! I provide an aerial photo of the roads you take out of O'Hare to get on the tollway toward our house and Willow, along with Google Earth "Placemarks" which allow you to see the route you will be driving before you get here.
Once you have Google Earth installed, you can double-click on these Placemark files (anyfile.kzm) and it will "fly" you to a location. You will need to install Google Earth first - it's free and it blows MapQuest completely out of the water. In American, that means it's good. (Available at http://earth.google.com).
Once you have installed GoogleEarth and added all three Placemarks, you can get a "flyover" virtual tour of the way out of O'Hare to Willow Creek Community Church or to Jac & Sue's house. Here's how:
To add the Placemarks:
Go to the on-line folder you'll be linked to in the email you'll be provided, and download all the files in the folder. Save the Placemark files in this folder to a location on your local drive (your hard disk drive - normally C:\) Open GoogleEarth. On the top menu bar click "file" then "open" and navigate to the Placemarks. Select one of the .kzm files. The file will open as "Google_Earth_Placemark". Right click on the name, select "rename" and give a new name like Willow Creek, O'Hare, or Jac and Sue House as appropriate. Install all three placemarks.
In GoogleEarth click on the "directions" tab in the left top corner. Under "places" select the Placemark for O'Hare and right-click. In the directions frame, select "Direction from this". Now select the Placemark for Willow Creek, again right-click, and select "Directions to this". Now click the magnifying glass icon next to the end point (Willow). GoogleEarth will plot directions. When it is done, click the "play" button under the directions. It is very cool! You can do the same thing to get directions to our house.
Google Earth streams the world over wired and wireless networks enabling users to virtually go anywhere on the planet and see places in photographic detail. This is not like any map you have ever seen. This is a 3D model of the real world, based on real satellite images combined with maps, guides to restaurants, hotels, entertainment, businesses and more. You can zoom from space to street level instantly and then pan or jump from place to place, city to city, even country to country.
Get Google Earth. Put the world in perspective.
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