Tuesday, October 31, 2006

GeographyPages Page Details



The "killer app for Geography teachers..."

Updated October 2006

http://googlearthusersguide.blogspot.com/ - the new blog !!



Had some exciting news on 17th October 2005. For the second time in three years I was awarded a Royal Geographical Society - Institute of British Geographers Innovative Geography Teaching Grant. This is to develop this area of the site, and produce a document in PDF form for downloading and a print version for distribution. This is to be called 'Earth: a User's Guide'

There is a chance for all of you to get involved too, as it's going to be a collaborative resource. Let me know:

  • how you use Google Earth

  • what would you like to know how to do ?

  • what are the best bits of Google Earth ?

  • where do you go ?

More to come soon. This is a fast changing arena. There are new ideas every day! I have had to adapt my original thinking as a definitive guide would be out of date the day after it was written. If you come across something interesting , let me know, by e-mailing me at geoblogs@[nospam]europe.com

Go to GOOGLE EARTH PAGE for downloading the NEW 13Mb file and more details. Once you have installed, and are running the BASIC Google Earth, you can upgrade to Google Earth PLUS for the princely sum of $20. There is also a PRO version, which is $400 (with a scheme underway to make it available free for a year to educators, although I am told by Dennis Reinhardt that there has been overwhelming interest, especially from the UK, so this offer has been temporarily suspended (as of September 2005 - could now be back on again)) The PRO version also has other modules which include a MOVIE MAKER, and also an opportunity to use GPS data. One (unofficial) estimate is that there have been over 12 million downloads of GOOGLE EARTH. I recommend that you download the PLUS version for the price, but bear in mind that this is a personal license, so there may be issues with using it in the classroom (which is not the case with the standard version)

Google Earth is a VIRTUAL GLOBE. There are others available.


Google Earth Sites

  • Google Earth Hacks - has a useful forum and other leads to good finds. One of the first extras is a file of alternative PUSHPIN icons which could be used to mark a range of different features. Well done to Mickey for getting this off the ground so soon. This is a growing site, and has been referenced by many as one of the first of the wave of sites which set up to support users of Google Earth.

  • Some new materials are being added all the time to Frank Taylor's rather fine GEARTH BLOG, which is fast becoming THE essential GE bookmark.

    Check out what's being added lately. This includes a good mention for GeographyPages and the Users Guide project. There is also a recent report on the Google Earth Developers Day which announced all sorts of exciting new updates.

  • OGLE EARTH is a blog which tries to keep up to date with all things related to GOOGLE EARTH. There are some useful links available from here.
  • TAGEO is a useful site. It gives the location of thousands of places, and managed to find some small French villages which I tried it out with.
  • http://www.geocaching.com/kml/buildnetworkkml.aspx This is a page which gives details about the recently added link from GEOCACHING. This link will show you the locations of GEOCACHES so that you can plan a trip out to bag some of them.
  • THE GOOGLE EARTH COMMUNITY Thousands of posts on hundreds of threads... This is a great place to visit for some inspiration. Has overlays for notable events e.g. HURRICANE KATRINA as it happened, plus "strange spottings" in various categories.
  • Lots of fantastic ideas and thought provoking avenues to explore here: http://www.juiceanalytics.com/bblog/index.php
  • Report in the LT Scotland "Connected" magazine relating to the use of GOOGLE EARTH. http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/ictineducation/connected/connected14/ictinpractice/geography.asp
  • http://www.elbiah.de/flusi/MyFsGoogleEarth/MyFsGoogleEarth.htm Linking Google Earth with Microsoft Flight Simulator program. Is this a possible sign of a future Microsoft product ?
  • Noel Jenkins runs the DIGITAL GEOGRAPHY site. This is a place for his discoveries relating to the use of ICT and Geography. He is fast becoming a lead practitioner when it comes to GE ideas and I can't keep up with him! Check out his Magnalox, GPS fieldwork and EarthPlot work.

    New additions include a WIND FARM PUBLIC ENQUIRY resource which has to be seen to be believed, a MONTSERRAT teaching resource which is still hush hush and a recent success with Year 7 work related to the DIGITALLY DISTRIBUTED ENVIRONMENTS blog referred to elsewhere on this page. Also some good GE MOUSE MATS....

  • http://www.mrbelshaw.co.uk/teaching/2006/01/13/using-google-earth-in-the-classroom/ - Some nice ideas, well presented by Doug Belshaw, no confusing organisation here... and a more recent posting has some more tips for using Google Earth.
  • Recently (Feb 2006) contacted by Richard Treve, Learning Technologist at the School of Geography, University of Southampton to let me know about an exciting project to produce short tutorials on the use of Google Earth... http://www.kokae.com/ - these are well worth seeking out and downloading
    We've just started publishing a free weekly tutorial in using Google Earth, it would be particularly useful to teachers who want to use Google Earth in their lectures but aren't
    GIS (or IT for that matter) savvy.  It would also serve as a resource for those who would like their students to produce something in Google Earth. The tutorials are  
    screencasts (video tutorials with audio)  of 5 minutes long, they are available in flash and quicktime format. There's other Google Earth related stuff on the site. 
    Read the PRESS RELEASE for more. This has now also been referenced by GEarth Blog, and all the tutorials are now available to view.
  • Make your own GE Calling Card. This site is in French, but even I with my GCSE Grade D was able to translate it and make up my card.. http://www.suissegeo.ch/generateur_signature_kml.php
  • For more 3D buildings, visit the New Zealand based ZNO Blog. Nice work! Thanks to Jason Mill for getting in touch. Particularly like the models of the Dubai Palm development.
  • Web User Issue 134 features a useful guide to GOOGLE EARTH. They also have a regular feature on Google Earth, which has been collected at http://www.webuser.co.uk/whatonearth
  • Want to place your fieldwork data in context ? Use GE GRAPH. More later when I get the chance to try it out.

Unusual and Interesting

  • People have already started to spot unusual things, as they did with Google Maps. I noticed that the fjord near Odda in Southern Norway had 'mountains' of water, as did several other fjords in the area around Flam.
  • PERL JAM has links to over 3300 destinations in many countries (all organised alphabetically)
  • http://www.earthcontest.com/ A worldwide game using Google Earth.
  • Noel Jenkins of Juicy / Digital Geography has posted a link to his places HERE. Share your favourite placemarks!
  • Follow the voyage of GIPSY MOTH IV in a special GOOGLE EARTH journey, and follow an Army team up Mount Everest (update: the expedition was abandoned due to the weather conditions...) But you can also follow a GREENPEACE team to the North Pole and back to highlight the effect of global warming on Polar Bears.
  • Anyone got to grips with the G-Force cursor yet ? Be prepared to vomit at the antics it produces ! Go to TOOLS and enable it and see what I mean.
  • The SIERRA CLUB of the USA has an excellent GOOGLE EARTH file showing the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It consists of layers and images relating to this important area of wildlife.
  • I recently used Google Earth to plan a trip to an INSET course and do the briefing, and risk assessment.

  • http://maps.webfoot.com/ Maps / US Census data mashup...

Tips for Classroom Use

1. Get GOOGLE EARTH... It's a quick download if you have Broadband (and a slow download if you haven't...) New version November 21st 2005

2. Update to GOOGLE EARTH PLUS or PRO (There is a scheme to provide a free PRO license for educational use but due to the tremendous interest in the offer - particularly from the UK - this has been suspended... In the meantime, you can have PRO OR PLUS free for 7 days.

3. Set a group of students the task of identifying key locations (perhaps with the aid of a Pearson Longman student atlas) and saving them for all to use as PLACEMARK FOLDER.

4. Make sure that you download the SIGHTSEEING TOURS from the main GOOGLE EARTH page.

5. Noel Jenkins posted a set of lesson resources relating to the use of GOOGLE EARTH in the classroom on his JUICY GEOGRAPHY site. This now includes a guide to using 3D buildings with GE Plus version, which costs just $20 to download. It involves creating polygons and then extruding them (sounds painful!) using a plug in from a site called SKETCH UP (this is now free as of April 2006)

6. Ollie Bray has been using Google Earth as a background on which to draw map symbols.

7. Noel Jenkins has created an excellent SAN FRANCISCO EARTHQUAKE exercise which is rather well executed and is worth exploring. It uses various techniques which will become more familiar to teachers over time. Recommended.

8. GOOGLE EARTH TOURING: http://www.googletouring.com/create.php A nice idea for a class activity, and which could also be given to a group of students to create. This could be an extension task for those students who have already done idea no. 3 above.

9. The data from GE can be saved as a file with a .KML extension. This allows users to save their data and share the data. There are also people working away to create scripts to post FLICKR images, GEOCACHES and other data. Some of those are listed in the table above. More details on this on the USERS GUIDE page.

10. SCALE: Give the impression of the size of physical and human features by positioning the cursor in the middle of / on the edge of your chosen feature and then set the view slowly scrolling along e.g. how big are cities, how long is a river ?

11. CROSS SECTIONS made easy. A full explanation is available from Tony Cassidy at RADICAL GEOGRAPHY. Saves all that messing around with strips of paper and graph paper. It is a bit fiddly mind..

12. Use the enthusiasm of the students - if they want to use it, let them use it ! They are expanding their Geographical literacy...

Google Earth was mentioned in the Evaluate supplement in the Education Guardian of 12/07/05 - the item mentioned a particular Geography teacher who used it in his lessons... http://www.ictadvice.org.uk/index.php?section=il&catcode=nwslttr_index&icttypeid=2&icteditionid=15&ictsectionid=&ictsubsectionid=&ictitemid=332

is a link to an article I wrote for the BECTa ICT ADVICE Newsletter in October 2005 on the subject of GOOGLE EARTHMySpace Layout Codes

13. Get a FLICKR account now if you haven't got one, and upload photos (you can download up to 2Gb of photos per month)

14. CHECK OUT THE USERS GUIDE.... (Coming Autumn 2006)

There's one key aspect of Google Earth and that is the rapid pace at which it is changing. If you are looking at this page and thinking - 'he hasn't mentioned X' then please e-mail me and tell me about it...

There are now some new files and sites which you will find useful. Check out the SAGT PAGE for more details.

15. Also appear in a GIS booklet produced by the Advisory Group.

16. Watch out for the FUTURE FIELDWORK workshop of the GA SPC at the GA Conference 2007, which will feature Google Earth as well as other GIS.

17. Slides from my presentation at the SAGT Conference are now appearing at the weblog


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This site is not affiliated with Google. I just happen to think their products are great, and have enhanced my teaching for several years.

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