Teaching with Google Earth

This material is replicated on a number of sites as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service Project
Initial Publication Date: December 1, 2008

Created by Glenn A. Richard, Mineral Physics Institute, Stony Brook University
Updates by Diana Krupnick and Beth Pratt-Sitaula, UNAVCO

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A Guide to Using Google Earth in the Geoscience Classroom

What is Google Earth? - provides Google Earth basics, including descriptions of the versions of the program and some related programs.

Becoming Familiar with Google Earth - provides information about web resources and books for learning how to use Google Earth.

Why Teach with Google Earth? - outlines potential uses for both students and instructors.

How to Teach with Google Earth - points the way to several methods to get started.

User Guide - contains clear, step-by-step instructions and screen shots for students and instructors, including a handy one-page guide: Google Earth Pro - Tip Sheet (Acrobat (PDF) 5.5MB Aug1 18).

Working with KML - introduces Keyhole Markup Language (KML), a standard format for storing and distributing geographic data.

KML Examples from the Google Earth Community Forums - presents examples of how members of the Google Earth Community have created a variety of map features with KML.

Earth Engine API (application programming interface) enables the public to conduct geospatial analysis while providing petabytes of remote sensing and vector data.

Google Maps - is a browser-based mapping service with an API (application programming interface) that can be used to create customized interactive maps.

Resources and References provide more information about Google Earth.

Classroom Activities: Ready-to-use

Ready to get started teaching with Google Earth? Want to see some examples of classroom use?
See the collection of ready-to-use classroom activities that use Google Earth.

Contribute a Teaching Activity

If you have a Google Earth activity you would like to share with the community, please use our Contribute an Activity form to upload your materials.

More Google Earth Pedagogy from On the Cutting Edge

Teaching Geologic Map Interpretation with Google Earth
This module includes a new approach to teaching map interpretation and locations for teaching structural geology, a gallery of instructional images.

Google Earth and Geoscience Education - a summary of Google Earth and its application in the geoscience classroom.