Monday, February 21, 2011

Google Earth Studio Project

So for the past little bit, I have been playing around with Google Earth for my studio project. It really is a pretty amazing tool. I have had it loaded on my computer for a while, but haven't really looked at it too much until lately. Last week in my Computers in Education class that I am teaching, I had the students look at some different tools and the one that many of them got really excited about was Google Earth.

If you haven't used it before, it is like looking at Google maps in a web browser, except you can actually embed stuff like pictures, videos, web page links, or other information into it. Once in Google earth you can search for a place, city, building, landmark, etc and see what information is given. For example, here is a screen shot of a search for Pearl Harbor and the pictures and information that is loaded.

One of the real cool education aspects of Google Earth is that you can view tours that other people create. For example, in the class I am teaching we have some files that can be viewed for Civil War History and battle sites, the Gulf Coast oil spill, WWII locations, Hurricane Katrina, and even birthplaces of presidents tours.

In addition there are other plug in tools that students could use to draw and annotate maps that can be used with GoogleEarth. The website that I was looking at is called This site allows you to draw and label quickly and easily. A student could use this to make their own tour of a location that could be used on Google Earth.

There are some other really cool things you can do with Google Earth, and I would like to learn more about how to actually embed something and make a tour like these examples that I have seen. Here are some more pictures of things like the street view of a street in Paris and a 3-D representation of the Eiffel Tower that students could use to learn about France. There really are a lot of educational things that can be done in GoogleEarth, and I really enjoyed playing with it.


  1. I can tell that you really understand how to use Google Earth/Maps - but can you link your experience with "learning in new media?" Why would Manovich call this New Media?

    You mention that "There really are a lot of educational things that can be done in GoogleEarth, and I really enjoyed playing with it." -- Can you expand more on this? Thanks! Kate

  2. Good question Kate. Google earth actually has a community bringing students and educators together using Google earth in their courses (see here ). Teachers have been using Google earth in their courses for a while. If you search for Google earth lessons you will find many websites sharing course activities with Google earth.