Teaching Geologic Map Interpretation Using Google Earth
Resources in this collection
- A highly effective, non-traditional approach for using Google Earth to teach strike, dip, and geologic map interpretation, with assignments and activities (Barbara Tewksbury, Hamilton College)
- A geologic map interpretation activity for structural geology using Google Earth (Charlie Onasch, Bowling Green State University)
- A collection of fabulous locations in Google Earth for teaching geologic map interpretation.
Google Earth is a terrific resource for teaching geologic map interpretation
- Google Earth satellite images in many places in the world show bedrock with strong, contrasting colors in areas with little vegetation to obscure contacts and unit relationships.
- Imagery is seamless, and, in many areas of the world, the level of detail is amazing.
- Google Earth is free, and students can access Google Earth from their own computers.
What makes Google Earth truly extraordinary for teaching geologic map interpretation is its interactive 3D terrain viewing capability.
The 3D view also helps make it clear what is topographically high and what is topographically low. As illumination direction changes, perception of what is up and what is down changes. At left, the illumination direction for the top image is opposite that for the bottom image. To most people, the dark red unit looks lower on the top image and higher on the bottom image (although it may be just the opposite for you!). The 3D view, however, helps students see that the red unit is at lower elevations than the pale pink unit.