Resources for Using Google Earth for Geoscience Teaching and Research

Google Earth has enormous potential for both teaching and research in the geosciences, but you need to know more than the basics in order to tap the full potential effectively. The resources in this collection will help you learn how to push the limits of Google Earth for displaying geologic data in 3D, for doing field work and research using Google Earth, and for teaching effectively using Google Earth. This resource is an outgrowth of the 2011 GSA Penrose Conference Google Earth: Visualizing the Possibilities for Geoscience Education and Research ( This site may be offline. ) .

Using this resource collection

This collection of resources assumes that you are familiar with Google Earth. If you need to brush up on the basics, On the Cutting Edge has a terrific and comprehensive resource on the basics of using Google Earth.

Parts of the resource collection outlined below require Google Earth Pro. You can either purchase a license to Google Earth Pro or apply for a free educator's license .

Assignments and activities using Google Earth

The SERC site has a growing collection of assignments and activities that use Google Earth for teaching undergraduate geoscience. If you have developed an exemplary assignment or activity, we hope that you will submit your activity to the collection.


Corner graphic is Google Earth view near Nanzha, China the northern margin of the Taklamakan. Looking NNE from 39.731547N, 78.796463E toward the foothills of the Tian Shan Mountains. Imagery from GeoEye.