In the lower left-hand corner of Google Earth, there’s a latitude/longitude readout that shows the position at the cursor position:
But if you want to record this position, the screen readout is graphical, so you can’t copy the numbers directly from Google Earth using a copy-and-paste operation; you have to write them out manually. One way around this is to create a placemark in Google Earth, and drag it to the desired location; the latitude and longitude will show up in the placemarks properties window, from which you can copy and paste them into a different app:
Another option is to use David Tryse’s Google Earth Position application. No installation, just run the program at the same time as Google Earth:
With Auto checked, it will update the position at the center of your Google Earth display continuously; unchecked, you’ll need to click the “GetPos” button to update the position. Clicking on the various “Copy” buttons copies position data into your clipboard for pasting into various programs:
Copy LatLong: 34.756012 -111.495048
Copy LookAt: 34.756012 -111.495048 0 812729.99 0.00 -9.43
Copy LatLong KML: <coordinates>-111.495048,34.756012,0</coordinates>
Copy LookAt KML: <LookAt>
With Auto unchecked, you can also enter a position into the Latitude and Longitude boxes at the top, and “FlyTo” that position in Google Earth. The numbered boxes at the bottom can save a current location (Shift-Click on the button), fly to a saved position (click on the button), or recall a saved position without flying to it (Alt-Click).
One big problem: there’s no center cursor or marker in Google Earth to indicate the center of the screen, so finding the position of a specific location might be difficult. Fixed in the latest version. But here’s a simple little KMZ file that puts a crosshair overlay at the center of the Google Earth screen, getting around this problem:
David’s website has several other apps worth a look. Google Earth Photo Tag lets you use Google Earth to embed location information into JPEG pictures (note: requires the Exiv2.exe command-line program in the same directory) . While I prefer Picasa for this task, GE Photo Tag does let you modify the balloon style for KML image files, which Picasa doesn’t. LatLong Conversion converts from degrees-minutes-seconds to decimal degrees and vice-versa, supporting more formats for the input data than other similar converters.