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Google Earth 4.3 July 10, 2008

Posted by davidit in Uncategorized.
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I have been giving some thought recently on how to use Google Earth in the classroom. I have come up with an idea that could be applied to many different situations. It kind of follows on from my Amazing Journeys initiative. Why not I reasoned, use Google Earth to record the amazing journey? Now those of you who have yet to strap a camera to your bike, car or head can create your journey to work from the comfort of your computer screen!

The latest version of Google Earth (4.3) has some new cool features, principal amongst these is the fact that the terrain is now bumpy, so that you can create virtual tours of physical features in simulated 3D. What the developers have done is to overlay the 2D satellite image onto a 3D mesh. I made some very convincing fly pasts and fly-arounds of some of the volcanoes in the Auckland caldera yesterday; a potentially very useful tool for the classroom, especially when recorded and saved offline for future use and band width preservation! Imagine doing the same with Ruapehu, or some other such feature that is otherwise difficult to get to or impractical to organise. The fly pasts come into their own when used in conjunction with the angle of view tool. I can see a video tutorial coming up…

In addition, I could also see applications for incorporating Google Sketch Up projects. I did a fly around of our school and it was kind of cool, but flat, however if you fly into the centre of most cities some individuals have gone to the effort of creating and sharing 3D models made in Sketch Up of their building. I think that individual classes could take on the project of creating their own block or class and adding the resultant 3D models to Google and adding to the 3D virtual world that Google Earth is encouraging and enabling its users to create. There are plenty of tutorials out there on how to use Sketch Up and crucially, how to apply photos to the surfaces to paint the buildings with images in the same way that the satellite images of Google Earth have been painted onto the bumpy terrain of Google Earth 4.3.

The video below is a chronology of locations that I have lived in, using Google Earth and Placemarks to create the video. I reasoned that this task could be applied to many different situations and curriculum areas. It could be applied to places of work, to schools attended, even to historical events, especially when combined with Panoramio. Google Earth is rapidly becoming an indespensible tool in my armoury.

The quality of this video is low, but the original full screen version shows all the details, but you will get the idea…

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Comments»

1. Helen Hardie - July 11, 2008

OK – so this is what you call having a break! Now here’s a challenge!

2. David - July 11, 2008

Helen,

See the next post for some ideas for us…

3. sowpayophy - August 3, 2008

Very nice!!


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