Intro to Google Earth

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					Intro to Google Earth

Intro

        Google Earth is a free product that can be downloaded from

http://earth.google.com Google Earth allows you to bring your class to different

locations around the world right from the classroom. This is a great way to make

distant areas seem more real and to give them an understanding of where it is

compared to where they are. Google Earth is packed with great features such as

street view, 3d buildings, and a vast catalog of educational resources, tours, and

information packs. This information package is designed to introduce you to many

of the features Google Earth has to offer, and will give you the skills needed to

explore them on your own.

Familiarize yourself with the layout and features.

        Once you have downloaded, installed, and opened Google Earth, you will be

met with the basic interface the program uses. Along the top toolbar you will find

the following features:

Hide Sidebar: hides the sidebar to the left to give you a bigger picture of the

        location you are looking at.

Add Place mark: puts a pin at a desired location so you can return to it quickly and

        efficiently (very handy in a classroom situation).

Add Polygon: allows you to outline and shade an area

Add Path: allows you to plot a path

Add Image Overlay: allows you to place an image over the topography
Record a tour: This will record where you go so that you can play it back at a later

       time allowing you to talk while it is playing.

Show historical imagery: shows past satellite pictures

Show sunlight: changes the sunlight shadows across the landscape

Planet: switches between earth, sky, and planets

Ruler: allows you to measure distance and area

Email picture

Print picture

Google map: view image in Google Maps

On the left hand side you will find the following features:

Places: My places are packages you can download, or place marks that you have

saved into your version of Google Earth so you can revisit them at a later date.

Remember to save your places before exiting or else they will be lost. This can be

done by going File, Save to my places or save my places. Under My Places you will

see temporary places; these are unsaved locations or packages.

Layers: This function allows you to turn on and off different layers such as roads,

traffic data, 3d buildings and so on. You can expand a layer by clicking on the arrow

beside it to turn off individual parts of a layer. If your image is getting to cluttered,

try turning off some layers.

Navigation

       In order to navigate around the world, there are a few methods. There is a

circle with a N in the top right corner. This works like a compass, click and move it

around to adjust your direction. Within the compass are a series of arrows. These
arrows change the view angle, click on them to see how it works. Below that is a pan

function. Click on the arrows to move up, down, and side to side. Lastly, there is the

zoom function. Click on the plus arrow symbol to zoom in, and the minus to zoom

out. When you get close to the earth it will change from a birds eye view to a fly over

view.

        In addition to these navigation functions, you can use your mouse to move

around. Click and drag to pan around. If you click and drag and let go while moving

the earth will continue to move, click again to stop it. The scroll function on your

mouse will zoom in and out. Double clicking will also zoom into the location you

click on.

Wowing your students

        Now that you have the basics of Google Earth, it is time to move into some

impressive features that will make your teaching life easier and wow your students

at the same time!

        Make sure the 3D layer is turned on. Now search for the Eiffel Tower, zoom in

and change your view so you can see more of the horizon. When you do this you

should see a fully 3D version of the Eiffel tower come to life. Feel free to scroll

around and look at the tower from different angles. Many buildings and towns have

created numerous 3D features that provide amazing realism to the 2D images. These

3D buildings were created in Google Sketchup which you will learn about later in

this package.

        Turn on the Street View layer. You will see a series of cameras appear on the

roads. These cameras are the icons for street view. Most of the United States has
street view, and Canada is quickly being updated with it. Much of Vancouver and

Kelowna and other major cities now have the street view function. To enter into

street view, double click on the camera. This will fly you down to the street level and

then into a bubble that allows you to pan around 360 degrees showing you what it

would look like if you were right there! When in street view, you can move down the

street by zooming and clicking on the next camera to switch images. Exit street view

by clicking on the exit photo button in the top right corner. A great hit is to show the

street view of the school you are teaching in.

       Next to the places pallet on the left hand side there is a button that says add

content. Clicking on this will bring you to a link in your web browser that hosts an

entire catalog of downloadable resources specifically for Google Earth. Peruse

through these sources at your own leisure, making sure to look at the featured

products for some of the more impressive files. The best part is these are FREE

resources! To download these, simply click on the open in Google Earth link, and

open it with Google Earth. If you like the file, remember to save it or else it will be

gone the next time you open Google Earth. In the catalog there are numerous

resources that can adapt the use of Google Earth for multiple disciplines. The

following are some ideas to get you thinking about the different possibilities Google

Earth has to offer:

       Geography
          o Locations, populations, densities using street view
          o Solar systems
          o Landforms of Utah
       History
          o Historical Database
          o Where people are from
          o Visit the location of battles
       English
           o Novel study
           o Location of famous writers
           o Visit the globe theater
       Science
           o Carbon dioxide levels
           o Biomes
           o Spread of disease
       Math
           o Angles
                  Shadows, sun angle
                  How tall are people using pythagorian theory.
           o Distance
                  Speed of travel
           o Sketchup
                  Scale
                  Shapes
                  Architecture

Going above and beyond:

       Google Earth offers Google Earth, Mars, Moon, and Sky as location options for

you to travel around. In the Sky option, you can see constellations, planets, and

stars. Make sure you zoom in to see the amazing image quality available. There is

additional content you can download to supplement the sky option. On Mars you can

view stunning imagery, and learn about the Mars Lander. On the Moon, you can

check out the Apollo missions and more. Take some time to look around each of

these additional features.

Google Sketchup

       In the math section, you see Google Sketchup being used to learn scale,

shapes, architecture, and measurements. This is a program that works with Google

Earth to create an entirely new realm of possibilities. Google Sketchup is a free

program from Google (download from the same place as Google Earth), which

allows the amateur computer person to design anything to scale. One of the features
allows you to import an image from Google Earth, which also imports the

topography. Importing the satellite imagery allows you to get the ground level

outline of a building, or yard along with elevation changes so you can create a

building, or design your own garden.

       In Google Earth, find the location you are looking for, and make the view into

a birds eye view. Then go into Google Sketchup, and click on the button that has an

earth and a down arrow. This will import the image to scale and geo referenced

which means that when you export it back to Google Earth it will appear in the right

location! That’s right, when you build a model in Google Sketchup, you can export it

and view it in 3D in Google Earth! The best way to familiarize yourself with the

plethora of functions and features in Google Sketchup is by visiting the following

website: http://sketchup.google.com/training/videos.html and doing some

tutorials.

Closing comments

       Now that you have a quick understanding of the possibilities Google Earth

presents, it is up to you to use your newly acquired skills and continue to explore

and discover the wonders of Google Earth. Combining the vast database of content

and Google Sketchup, the uses for this program are only limited by your

imagination. Explore the world, build the school you teach in, and bring you

students to the battlefield where your lesson took place. Google Earth is a great way

to bring technology into the classroom and to bring life and realism to historic dates.

There are plenty of resources online that can give you ideas, tips and tricks, and it all

starts with Google.

				
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