Showing posts with label Google earth tours. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Google earth tours. Show all posts

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

GE Teach Tour Builder - Create Google Earth Tours for the Web

GE Teach is a fantastic project developed by Josh Williams. Josh and his students were some of the first to use the new version of Google Earth in a classroom. In fact they used it before it was available to the public. (Click here for a video overview of the new Google Earth). The new version of Google Earth works differently than the old version, particularly when it comes to building tours. Josh built a free tool that makes it relatively easy to create and publish tours to view in the new version of Google Earth.

GE Teach Tour is a free tool that you and your students can use to create tours to play in the new web version of Google Earth. To get started head to then enter a title for your tour. The next step is to give your first placemark a title and to enter a description of the location you're featuring with that placemark. To place your placemarks in your tour you can either manually enter latitude and longitude coordinates or you can click on the map to insert your placemarks. Finally, to add images to your placemarks you will have to link to publicly available images that are in your Google Drive account or on another image hosting service like Flickr (by the way, linking to images found on sites that prevent hotlinking won't work).

When you have completed all of the steps to build your tour in GE Teach you will then save the file as a KML that you then import into Google Earth. (Click here for directions on importing KML to Google Earth). Once your KML file is loaded it will play your tour just like the default Voyages that you can find in Google Earth.

Applications for Education
GE Teach Tour could be a great tool for teachers who want their students to create Google Earth tours on their Chromebooks. Students can use GE Teach Tour to create things like Google Lit Trips, to map stories, or to construct a tour of significant landmarks in a region.

We'll be covering how to use Google Earth and Google Maps in more detail in Teaching History With Technology starting on May 8th.

H/T to the Google Earth Blog

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Create Narrated Map Tours on a Chromebook

On Sunday and Monday I shared a couple of videos about making narrated Google Earth tours. Unfortunately, Google Earth doesn't work on a Chromebook. So if you want your students to create narrated map tours, the best thing to do is to have them map a series of placemarks in Google's My Maps tool then record a screencast in which they talk about the places on their maps.

You can learn how to use Google's My Maps tools by watching the video embedded below.

A couple of good options for recording a screencast on a Chromebook are Nimbus Screenshot and Capture Cast.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Use Google Earth to Create Narrated Tours of Mars & the Moon

Last night I published a video about how to make simple Google Earth tours. This morning I was greeted by an email in which a reader asked me if it was possible to create tours of Mars by using Google Earth. The answer to that question is yes. You can use Google Earth to create tours of Mars and of the moon by using the same process used to create tours of the Earth. The only difference is that you need to change from "Earth view" to "Mars view" or "Moon view." In the following video I demonstrate how to create, save, and share a narrated tour of Mars and the moon.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A Variety of Ways for Students to Explore National Parks Online

Last week the edublog-o-sphere was buzzing with the news of Google's publication of new National Parks virtual tours available in the Google Arts & Culture apps for Android and iOS. At the same time Google also published new Expeditions virtual tours of the "hidden treasures" of National Parks. Both of those releases do provide students with great looks at National Parks. But if you don't have Android devices or Google Cardboard viewers, the tours aren't really available to you. There are some other ways that your students can explore and learn about U.S. National Parks online.

Web Rangers offers seven categories of games about different subjects related to the National Parks. The game categories are people, animals, parks, science, history, nature, and puzzles. Each category contains games of varying difficulty rated from easy to difficult. Some of the game topics include dendrochronology, animal tracking, animal identification, fire fighting, and map reading. Students can play Web Rangers games as visitors or as registered users. Registered users can track their progress and earn virtual rewards. Registered users can also create their own customized virtual ranger stations

The National Parks Service's Digital Image Archive is an excellent place to find images of U.S. National Parks. You can search the archive by park and or subject. All of the images are free to download as they are in the public domain. The National Parks Service also offers a b-roll video gallery. The videos in the galleries are in the public domain. The b-roll video gallery can be searched by park, monument, building, or person. All of the videos can be downloaded. Some files are quite large so keep that in mind if your school has bandwidth limits and you have all of your students searching for videos at the same time.

From Yellowstone to Bryce Canyon to Acadia the United States is full of national parks that showcase wonderful geology. The National Park Service has organized all of the parks and their geological features on one Tour of Park Geology page. The Tour of Park Geology highlights fifteen geological features including fossils, caves, shorelines, and plate tectonics. Click on any feature on the Tour of Park Geology page to jump to more information about that feature and the park(s) that contain that feature.

Google Earth offers a great way for students to view national parks in the United States and beyond. Your students can explore imagery in Google Earth to learn about the topography of a national park. In a lot of cases there is Street View imagery available within national parks and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Your students might also benefit from viewing tours within Google Earth.To locate a tour you can refine a Google search by file type to .KMZ and then launch the tours that appear in your search results.

Over the years PBS has produced many videos about the National Parks. You can view some of those videos in their entirety on the PBS video website. Search on the site for "national parks" and you'll have a big list of videos to view. Here's a list to get you started.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Take or Create a Google Maps Tour of the Tour de France

The Tour de France started today. We may never ride in the race, but we can virtually tour this year's race route through Google Maps. Just as they have for the last few years, Cycling the Alps has published a Google Maps tour of the race. You can zoom in on the course, see the elevation profiles of the stages, and navigate through the stages using Streetview imagery.

Applications for Education
Rather than just viewing a tour of the Tour de France, have your students create their own virtual tours with the Google Earth Tour Builder. Students can use the Google Earth Tour Builder to create placemarks containing pictures, videos, and text about the unique aspects the towns in which stages of the Tour de France conclude. Click here for a video tutorial on using the Google Earth Tour Builder.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Good Google Earth Tour Builder Tutorial

Google Earth Tour Builder is a slick tool that Google introduced a couple of months ago. Tour Builder is a browser-based tool for creating Google Earth tours. Placemarks in your Tour Builder tours can include up to 25 images and videos, that's one of my favorite aspects of the tool. I published a video about using the new Google Earth Tour Builder shortly after it was made available to the public. My tutorial did not include using the tilt and planned locations aspects of the tool (aspects that I would introduce after students get the basics of tour building). Rich Treves who writes the Google Earth Design blog has published a tutorial covering those aspects that I left out. Rich's video is embedded below.

H/T to The Google Earth Blog.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Video - How to Create Tours With Google Earth Tour Builder

Earlier this week Google released a great new tool for creating Google Earth tours. Tour Builder makes it easier than ever to create Google Earth tours in your browser. In the video below I offer a demonstration of how to use Tour Builder.

Applications for Education
As I mentioned on Monday, Tour Builder could prove to be a great tool for students to use to create geo-located book reviews, to tell stories from their own lives, or to develop geo-located research projects. One of the US History projects that I've done with Google Earth is to have students create a series of placemarks about battles of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Tour Builder Makes It Easier Than Ever to Create Google Earth Tours

Google Earth is a great tool for students to use to explore the world. Building tours in Google Earth and Google Maps is one of my favorite activities for students to do to tell a story. It can take a while to understand all of the nuances of creating tours in Google Earth. Fortunately, Google recently introduced Tour Builder which makes it easier than ever to create tours in Google Earth.

To create a tour with Tour Builder you need to install the Google Earth Browser Plug-in and you need to have a Google Account. Once you have those two things and you're signed into Tour Builder just follow the clear Tour Builder directions to build your tour. The first step is naming your tour and adding a cover image. Next you will search for your first location then click "add to tour" to add the location to your tour. You'll then be prompted to add images, videos, and text to your placemark. Each placemark can have up to 25 images and videos. The images and videos will be displayed as a gallery rather than as a linear stack of images as is the case if you edit placemarks in Google Maps or Earth. Repeat the process of adding locations and placemarks until you finish telling your story.

Tours created through Tour Builder are private until you decide to share them. You can see my sample tour here.

Applications for Education
Tour Builder could prove to be a great tool for students to use to create geo-located book reviews, to tell stories from their own lives, or to develop geo-located research projects. One of the US History projects that I've done with Google Earth is to have students create a series of placemarks about battles of the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Coral Reefs and Math

This evening I stumbled upon a set of National Geographic illustrations depicting coral reef food webs. Students can scroll through the set of seven illustrations to learn vocabulary terms associated with each part of the coral reef ecosystem. The vocabulary is labeled on each illustration.

After looking at the coral reef food webs illustrations I jumped into another National Geographic resource. The Coral Reef Fish Survey Simulation is a lesson plan that combines information about ecosystems with a lesson about estimation. In the simulation students learn about four survey methods that students use to estimate fish populations. After learning about the four methods students use the Belt Transects method in a physical simulation conducted in your classroom (or another large room). The simulation is designed for elementary school mathematics lessons.

The Reefs At Risk project at World Resources International offers a Google Earth Tour of six coral reef regions around the world. You can watch the tour in the video below.

Monday, March 11, 2013

How to Create Placemarks and Tours in Google Earth

This evening Jim Wells and I will be teaching the first installment of To Geography and Beyond With Google Earth and Google Maps. One of the first topics that we'll be talking about is having students create digital stories in Google Earth and Google Maps. We'll be showing some of the tricks and nuances of the processes, as well as sharing some of our mistakes so that participants don't have to experience them too. If you can't join us for our webinar and just want some basic directions on how to create placemarks and tours, check out the slides below.

Friday, December 21, 2012

3 Ways to Explore Marine Life in Google Earth

Google Earth is a great tool for exploring many aspects of geography. One of the features of Google Earth that seems to be frequently overlooked is the ocean imagery. Using Google Earth tours can be a good way for students to learn about marine life and habitats. Here are three good resources that you can use for that purpose.

To get started take a look at a look at this list of ocean tours featured on the Google Earth showcase. Some of these tours will also work in the Google Earth browser plug-in. Learn about protected whale areas in the tour below.

The Encyclopedia of Life offers four Google Earth tours of interest to teachers and students. One that I particularly like is the Atlantic Bluefin Tuna Tour. The tour of the Artic Tern migration patterns is featured in the video below.

EOL Migration Google Earth Tour Video - The Arctic Tern from Encyclopedia of Life on Vimeo.

The Encyclopedia of Life also hosts an interesting interactive quiz using Google Earth. The Encyclopedia of Life's Google Earth Species Quiz (opens KMZ) presents players with images of an animal and the animal's name scientific name. Players then have to pick the place that the animal is from. If the correct answer is chosen, the player is zoomed to the correct location on the map. 

NOAA offers dozens of Google Earth files and demos related to weather and marine life. You can find the list here.

Bonus: Not Google Earth, but quite cool.
Ocean Tracks is an Australian website on which students can view the tracks of marine animals in an online 3D environment. The "tracks" part of Ocean Tracks shows you where in the world tagged animals are swimming or have swum. Ocean Tracks uses the Unity browser plug-in to provide animations of the underwater views of tracked animals. You can see what bluefin tuna, swordfish, sharks, and many other fish see in 3D.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Take a Google Earth Tour of the Largest Intact Boreal Forest on Earth

This morning I went poking around the Google Earth tour showcase looking for information about hurricanes. Although I didn't find what I was looking for, I did find a nice tour of Canada's boreal forest. The tour, produced by the Pew Environment Group, takes you through the largest tract of intact boreal forest in the world. You can play the five minute tour as a video or stop and explore individual aspects of the tour in Google Earth. You can grab the file here (link downloads KML file).

Applications for Education
If you're teaching environmental science this tour could be a good resource for highlighting the importance of preserving the forest and the animals that call it home. It's also a good resource for highlighting the role of forests in climate change mitigation.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Google Earth Tour of James Cook's Exploration of Australia

Well-constructed Google Earth tours can be excellent multimedia alternatives to textbooks. One such example of this is a collection of Google Earth files about Captain James Cook's exploration of Australia and New Zealand. The files contain animations and audio explanations of Cook's explorations of the coastlines of Australia and New Zealand. I learned about these files from the Google Earth Blog. You can read more about the construction of these files on the Google Earth Blog.

Download Cook's Exploration of Australia (warning, it's a very large file).
Download Cook's Circumnavigation of New Zealand.
Download Cook's Circumnavigation of South Island, New Zealand.

Applications for Education
These files could provide helpful audio and visual aids for teachers of history and world geography.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

AudioViator - Free Audio Tours of Cities and Landmarks

AudioViator is an excellent collection of audio tours of cities and landmarks all over the globe. All of the tours that I previewed are Creative Commons licensed and available to download for free. You can search for audio tours by keyword or use the map to browse for free audio tours. I used the map to find audio tours of Boston's Freedom Trail and Mount Rushmore.

Applications for Education
If you're taking your students on a field trip, take a look at AudioViator to find an audio tour that your students can use while on that field trip or in preparation for it. You could also use the audio tour files as part of a Google Earth tour. For example, you could take the Mount Rushmore audio file then have students create a visual tour in Google Earth to match the audio tour.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tuna and Terns - View Their Migrations in Google Earth

I've featured some resources from the Encyclopedia of Life in the past (here and here) and today I'd like to point out a couple of new things from EOL that I learned about through the Google Earth Blog. The Encyclopedia of Life has offered Google Earth files for a while. Two new (to me anyway) files that could be useful for science teachers are tours of Bluefin Tuna and Arctic Tern migration patterns.

The video below is of the Bluefin Tuna tour.

Applications for Education
The Encyclopedia of Life tours could be good supplements to your textbook information about migratory animals. Rather than just looking at the migration patterns students can learn a little about how the patterns are studied and why those animals migrate.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Google Earth Skills Quiz and Tutorials

This afternoon while trying to remember how to perform a small task in Google Earth I was forced to admit defeat and consult the Google Earth help page. While there I discovered something I hadn't seen before, I discovered Google Earth: Learn, Become an Explorer. Become an Explorer is a nine part series of tutorials, directions, and quizzes regarding Google Earth skills. The series takes users from the basics of navigation through advanced features of Google Earth. Perhaps the best way to describe Google Earth: Learn, Become an Explorer is as a guided scavenger hunt.

In case you need a reminder about why geography matters, watch this.

Applications for Education
Google Earth: Learn, Become an Explorer could be a great aid in teaching students how to navigate all of the great things available in Google Earth.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Google Earth Across the Curriculum
Free 33 Page Guide - Google for Teachers
Using Maps in an Elementary School Math Lesson

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Tour Ocean "Hope Spots" in Google Earth

Earlier today Google announced a new default layer for oceans in Google Earth. The new oceans layer includes hundreds of sites generated from data, images, and videos from organizations like National Geographic, NOAA, and dozens of others.

In the same announcement today, Google featured a new tour called Hope Spots in the Ocean Showcase. Hope Spots is a narrated tour of eight places around the world considered to be indicative of the health of the world's oceans and marine life. View the tour here or download it to view in Google Earth.

Applications for Education
The new and updated oceans layers and tours could be useful for anyone teaching marine biology and or oceanography. One of the things that I really like about using Google Earth and Google Maps in the classroom is that it provides a geographic context for whatever topic your students are studying.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Google Maps Labs - Try the Newest Options
View Glacier Melt in Google Earth
Quikmaps - Quickly Customize a Google Map

Friday, March 5, 2010

Learning About the Iditarod Sled Dog Race

The Iditarod sled dog race across Alaska starts tomorrow. The Iditarod presents teaching opportunities as it engages some students through adventure and other students through their interest dogs. I've compiled a short list of resources for teaching about the Iditarod.

Image credit: Flickr user

The Official Iditarod website is probably the best place to start looking for teaching resources. The Teacher's Resource page of the Official Iditarod website has 15 lesson plans and activities for classroom use. The Learn About page of the Iditarod website has some good background information about the race including lists of past winners, profiles of past winners, a photo gallery, and a glossary of musher (racer) terminology.

For your students who are interested in learning about the dogs used to pull the sleds over the 1100 mile Iditarod course, the American Kennel Club is a good place to find information about Alaskan Malamutes and Siberian Huskies.

The From Alaska Educational Program has five pre-made units of study about mushing (dog sledding). Each unit has articles, images, and quizzes about mushing. Three of the units also include video and audio clips.

The Discovery Channel offers 26 video clips related to the Iditarod race. The clips cover information about the dogs, the mushers, the sleds, and the history of the race.

In 2009 some folks at the University of Alaska produced a Google Earth tour of the race. You can open that tour by clicking here. The 2009 tour could be used as a model for having your students create a Google Maps or Google Earth tour of this year's race.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Virtual Tour on the Trans Siberian Railway

Google and the Russian Railways have partnered to create a virtual tour on the Trans Siberian Railway. The tour has a dedicated page on which you can explore the Trans Siberian Railway by clicking placemarks on a Google Map or by selecting place names from a list. Either way, clicking on a place name will advance a video shot from the railroad cars. The tour page also includes recordings of sounds, music, and audio books to accompany stops along the virtual trip.
The video below comes from the Trans Siberian Railway virtual tour.

Applications for Education
Beyond the uses in a history class, the Trans Siberian Tour could be useful for literature teachers to offer visual perspectives to students reading works of Russian literature.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Go Skiing With 2010 Winter Olympians

Just in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics Google has added some really neat Street View imagery. According to a post on the Google Lat Long Blog, Google strapped a camera to a snowmobile to record imagery of the downhill ski slopes at Whistler Mountain where the men's downhill skiing competition will be held. Check it out in the map below.

View Larger Map

Applications for Education
The Street View imagery of the ski mountains give students another good way to explore and learn about the 2010 Winter Olympics. You may want to couple these views with the 3D Olympic venue tours available in Google Earth.

If you would like some more resources for learning and teaching about the 2010 Winter Olympics, Larry Ferlazzo has started a good list.