Tag Archives: google earth

Making Magnificent Maps

The next session I am attending is “Making Magnificent Maps” by Jim Sill. I’ve been wanting to play more with the Google Maps Engine and excited for the opportunity! If you would like to see his presentation page, check it out here. Jim tells us that this session is divided into two parts: the new Google Maps and Google Maps Engine lite.

“The real world is continually changing and our maps should reflect that.” – Ed Parsons, Geospatial Technologist at Google

Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 10.12.18 AMIf you’ve played with the new Google Maps then you know that it is very different than the old maps. It is still missing some older features, but (according to Google) they are coming! The new Google Maps becomes more detailed the more you zoom. By putting in Ravenscroft (our host institution), it gives me a detailed card in the top left with contact information and reviews! The new directions feature will also give you turn by turn directions based on driving, walking, cycling, and public transportation! I love this feature in my hometown of Miami as well as when I’m traveling! The same features are active on your Maps for iOS and Maps for Android.

Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 10.18.22 AMAnother cool feature of the new Google Maps is that it gives you some great, specialized tours of different locations. I just looked up Angkor Watt – not only did it show me different information about the site, but in the carousel you see pertinent images and can take a slide show tour! Some of the images are in 3D! This is a great way to take your students on a virtual field trip.

You can also search maps in your region. For example, if I want to find museum in Miami, you can simply focus your map on the city of Miami and type in “museums.” It will then populate your map with museums and you can select them individually from there. A great feature for nerds like me!

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The new Google Maps is entirely cloud based – accessible on mobile, laptops, any device connected to the internet.

Zooming out even further gives you a view of the Earth and the sun in real time! Great way to explore weather patterns, geography, etc.

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The new maps still has the great street view features (walk through the Colosseum or Teotihuacan). Google has a lot of great street views from places most of us will never visit like Mt. Everest and Antarctica.

The next topic that we covered is the new Google Maps Engine Lite. It’s the new map engine and a little different than classic. If you would like a brief tutorial on using the Google Maps Engine Lite, check out this short video by Bradley Lands:

You can also check out the much lengthier instructions offered by Google Earth Outreach as well as Jim Sill’s website on Google Maps Engine Lite.

We jumped into creating a new test map. In the new maps, you can have up to three layers. Just like Google Drive you can share with other users (view, edit, etc).

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By sharing a map with your students, they can create a map of anything: Civil War Battles, Museums, their hometowns, etc. It’s highly adaptable to different curriculum: Social Studies, Science, Language, etc. As a group, we all added our favorite places in America. While it’s not in realtime you can view everyone’s addition by simply refreshing the page!

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Another cool feature is that you can build maps using Google Forms and Spreadsheets. It’s a little tricky to explain here but there are a lot of tutorials online that will help you do this (check out the above links on Google Maps Engine Lite). Just remember that you can only have three layers and 100 points per layer.

What’s really great about this tool is that you can build a collaborative map in a single space. You can then share the map by embedding it into a website or in a file that can be opened in Google Earth.

I have to say, I’m really excited to play more with this tool and roll it out in the classroom!

Google Treks – Streetview of Breathtaking Places!


Google has recently released Google Treks. The new Treks feature allows the panoramic view that people have enjoyed in Google Maps Street View  for sites that are more challenging to reach, such as the Grand Canyon or Everest. Google already has a great repository of locations and is in the process of adding more. This is a great resource of educators to explore virtual field trips, mapping, geography, ecology, marine science, and more!

Tools to help you Learn Google Earth

Google Earth is an amazing tool that educators can use to devise lesson plans, stage field trips, and pose projects. However, it can feel overwhelming to learn and develop. If you want to invest a little time and effort, check out the tools that Google itself provides to help you move from beginner to expert in no time.


Start with Learn Google Earth. Lessons are interactive, brief, and easy to follow. They are also stepped so you can learn what you want and need. Google also recognizes that educators have special needs, so check out Tutorials for Educators. Here you will find some great tools to help you incorporate Google Earth into your classroom. Under Classroom Resources you can find lesson plans and examples for your subject matter. There’s also a great YouTube channel set up just to help people get to know Google Earth!

Learn to Use the New Google Maps & Google Earth for Education via Free Mapping with Google Class

Google is offering a free course on using the new Google Map and Google Earth for Educators!

Course Information

Mapping with Google will be offered from June 10 – June 24. It is a self-paced, online course where you will watch videos (or read text lessons) and apply the skills you learn.

During this course, you will be able to collaborate with a worldwide community of learners and experts in the class forum, Hangouts, and via Google+.

Course completion requires an internet-enabled desktop or laptop computer.

You can enroll in this free course here.

Google Earth – The Earth Through Time

Google’s Blog today announced their joint effort with Timelapse to produce satellite time-lapse imagery of the Earth. Using their Earthengine you can share amazing and stunning views of the Earth and how it has changed over time. Check out Google’s Blog for more information.

Columbia Glacier Retreat courtesy of Google

Columbia Glacier Retreat courtesy of Google

To Geography & Beyond with Google Earth & Google Maps

Richard Byrn, the popular blogger at Free Technology for Teachers and Practical Ed Tech is offering an exciting new Webinar about using Google Earth & Google Maps in the classroom. The 3 part course is offered over a three week period. The course…

is designed to teach teachers how to use Google Earth and Google Maps in their classrooms. The obvious uses of these tools are in geography lessons. In this course we’ll start with social studies and move into uses of Google Earth and Google Maps in language arts, science, and mathematics (elementary level) lessons.

To learn more or to register, see the website: “Google Earth & Maps | Practical Ed Tech.”

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Using Google Earth to View 3D Images of Buildings and the Amazon

There is no doubt that Google Earth is one of the great, innovative, and creative educational resources of the decade… no, the century. If you have followed the history of archaeology, for example, you will see what Google Earth has accomplished in less than a decade what survey archaeologists could not do with decades of attempts!

A new release of Google Earth expands on its 3D capabilities and provides new tours of exotic locations – expanding on its already thorough project (Rome 3D created by my old graduate school Professor Bernie Frischer is my favorite).

To learn more about the advances and these tools, see the great blog article at “Free Tech for Teachers – 3D Buildings & Tours of the Amazon on Google Earth.” And while you’re there, subscribe to this innovative blog!