Google Earth 5.0 What's New, Google Earth Navigation Tips & Google Earth Basics
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Introduction to Google Earth

Google Earth is more than an application; it is more of a platform from which resources can be built.  Google Earth may be used “out of the box” with no addition to explore sites and do amazing things.  It can also be used with Google Earth files with may be created or downloaded, often in .kmz or .kml format*, to expand what you can see and do.  Google Earth is a free download from http://earth.google.com

*.kmz and .kml format refers to the two common file types supported by Google Earth.  Similar to a .doc file being a file which opens in Microsoft Word, .kmz and .kml files open in Google Earth.  What's the difference? .kml (keyhole markup language) files are text based files composed of tags similar to XML.  .kmz are kml files that have been zipped up along with their related files, such as image overlays. This means that you can share image overlays and custom icons without having to publish the files on an external web server or mail them as an attachment.

Purpose of this site...

This site was created to teach K12 educators how Google Earth can be used to teach language arts, math, science, and social studies across a wide range of grade levels.  It will provide a collection of resources or starting points which can help educators or students in creating their own Google Earth content.  The placemarks section provides learning activities to introduce the power of using placemarks to share information and provide a tour.  The sharing blog page allows visitors to an opportunity to provide feedback as well as share a favorite site or activity.

5 Cool, Easy Things You Can Do in Google Earth

1.  View an image of your home, school or any place on Earth - Click Fly To. Enter the location in the input box and click the Search button. In the search results (Places panel), double click the location. Google Earth flies you to this location.

2.  Go on a tour of the world - In the Places panel, check the Sightseeing folder and click the Play Tour button.  Hold onto your seats!

3.  Get driving directions from one place to another and fly (follow) the route - See Getting Directions and Touring the Route.

4.  View other cool locations and features created by other Google Earth users - In the Layers panel, check Community Showcase. Interesting placemarks and other features appear in the 3D viewer. Double click these points of interest to view and explore,

5. View 3D terrain of a place - This is more fun with hilly or mountainous terrain, such as the Grand Canyon. Go to a location.  When the view shows the location, use the zoom slider to tilt the terrain.

From: http://earth.google.com/userguide/v4/#getting_to_know

Learning Activity: Six Question Introductory Scavenger Hunt

From Lucy Gray’s High Techpectations blog.  Three page Scavenger Hunt:

Users will need to turn on/off some of the Layers under Gallery.  They will need the CIA World Fact Book .kmz file from: http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/showflat.php?Cat=0&Board=EarthNature&Number=164827

Learning Activity: Create Your Own Google Earth Scavenger Hunt

A scavenger hunt is a great way to introduce your students to Google Earth.  And scavenger hunts can be designed around finding sites relevant to your curriculum.  You can create questions which do more than just search and find.  For example, have math students travel to the Pentagon building in WashingtonD.C. and compute the area of feet inside the walls.   Have them measure and compare the difference between their homes to school if they traveled like a bird, compared to traveling by car using the shortest method by road.  Sometimes these activities are best done by small groups, so the line for name was left intentionally long.  If possible, delete the “put graphic here” text and replace it with an image of a size to fill the space.

 Example of Scavenger Hunt I created using this template.

Integration Ideas (opens a new Weebly page)

This site is developed by Andy Mann, Educational Technology Consultant for the Calhoun Intermediate School District, Marshall, Michigan.  manna@calhounisd.org