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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Free Technology For Teachers: Google Ocean and Google Earth for Marine Visualizations

CNET had a story last night about Google's development of a yet to be released product tentatively called Google Ocean. Today, Mashable and Webware ran articles based on the CNET article. This evening I set out to do a little more digging about the idea for Google Ocean. I didn't get very far because I found justmagic.com's list of uses for using Google Earth to examine marine data.

Just Magic.com has a huge list of kml and kmz files (the ones Google Earth uses) mapping all types of marine features. The list includes maps of shipwrecks, ocean currents, submarine lines, shipping lines, beach erosion overlays, fish spawning runs, and much more.

Applications for Education
The collection maps and overlays of marine related topics on Just Magic.com is comprehensive enough that it includes resources that can be used in marine science, meteorology, and history. The marine science and meteorology resources are easy to find. The history resources are buried toward the bottom of the list but they're worth searching for if you're a history teacher. The history resources include maps of naval battles and shipwrecks.

Creating Google Earth files is a great activity for high school students. Students can create tours of significant sites or movements of marine life. JustMagic.com provides a great model for students to follow.

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