Google Earthsubmitted by Glenn Richard, Stony Brook University
General DescriptionGoogle Earth is a virtual globe that enables users to pan and zoom to any location on Earth to view satellite and aerial imagery, map overlays, terrain, and numerous layers from Google's large geographic database. In addition, Google Earth can be used to create and display custom data. Sky view enables the exploration of galaxies and other celestial features. The Google Earth Community and other forums provide venues for discussion and sharing of data.
Uses of the Program
Many surface geological features are visible in the standard Google Earth layers. In addition educators and developers have created vector data and overlays to provide more detailed geological information. The Enterprise version of Google Earth is especially designed for industry.
Audience and Setting
Google Earth is suitable for nearly all audiences. It can be used to display data to groups ranging from large lecture hall courses to younger early elementary school classes. In computer laboratory settings it is useful for inquiry-based exploration by teams or individual students. With laptops and cached imagery it can be used in the field with the option of interacting with GPS devices.
Examples of Educational use
Examples from the SERC collections:
Teaching with Google Earth - a detailed guide with examples
A collection of activities using Google Earth
Teaching Geologic Map Interpretation with Google Earth
Gallery of images for teaching geologic mapping and map interpretation
How to Get the Software
Google Earth is available in a free version. Additional versions are Google Earth Plus, Google Earth Pro, and an Enterprise version.
How to Use this Software
Instructional materials from the SERC collections:
- Google Earth: A Public Meeting Place for Diverse Earth System Data (PowerPoint 11.4MB Feb11 08), a presentation from the 2008 workshop on Teaching with New Geoscience Tools.
- Google Earth Educational Resources - a large index of Google Earth links, including educational content, instructional links and more.