Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Finding Cool Places in Google Earth and Maps

You can look at all kinds of interesting places in Google Earth and Maps if you search correctly and long enough. But if you're searching for something small and you don't know the coordinates, you might get very frustrated. That's where two sites that I recently discovered come in handy.

Google Earth Cool Places is a site that catalogs links and files for cool, interesting things found in Google Earth. You can search the database or just browse using the categories featured on the site's homepage. Take a look at the Statues and Monuments category to find the Arch in St. Louis or the Crazy Horse Monument in South Dakota.

MapLandia is a site similar to Google Earth Cool Places. The difference between the two is MapLandia offers the option to view places within the site using the embedded Google Maps.

Applications for Education
Google Earth and Google Maps are great resources not only for social studies teachers but also for mathscience, and literature teachers. Math teachers can use Google Earth and Maps for lessons in measurement. Science teachers may want to explore using Google Earth for monitoring CO2 emissions around the world. Literature teachers should explore Google Lit Trips to learn how students can create literature tours in Google Earth.

Peru's Puzzling Lines

The cover story on this month's issue of National Geographic is The Genius of the Inca. Throughout the issue there are stories, images, and graphics about the Inca and about other Ancient Americans. As always National Geographic has produced some good online materials to supplement and complement the new issue. One of those online resources is titled Ancient Americans.

Ancient Americans is a set of eight articles, image collections, and interactive animations. One of the interactive animations that I found particularly interesting is the Nasca interactive. The Nasca interactive features a map of geoglyphs created by the Nasca in Peru's southern desert. Click an image in the key to see the corresponding geoglyph appear. To learn how the geoglyphs were created explore the interactive animations Creating the Geoglyphs.

Applications for Education
The Nasca interactives could be useful supplements to the images students might find in a world history textbook. The interactives allow students to see the process of creating the geoglyphs found in Peru.

Kids Bowl Free Again This Summer

For the last couple of years bowling alleys across the US have given away hundreds of thousands of games of bowling to students. Kids Bowl Free is a program funded by bowling alleys to provide students with a safe and fun way to spend time during the summer (air conditioning is a nice too). To receive coupons for up to two free games of bowling per day, parents need to register on Kids Bowl Free. From there they can print coupons for free bowling. Each bowling center sets its own start and end date for the program so check the listings for a bowling center in your area. Learn more about Kids Bowl Free in the video below.

Here's a segment about Kids Bowl Free that appeared on NBC Nightly News.

National Geographic Video - Tsunamis 101

Violent Earth, produced by National Geographic, is a film about the causes of earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and hurricanes. It's an excellent documentary if you have the time to watch it. But if you're searching for a shorter video explanation of the causes of tsunamis, National Geographic has something to fit that bill too. Tsunamis 101 is a three and one-half minute video about how a tsunami is caused and why they can be so deadly. The video is embedded below.

Violent Earth is available to view for free in its entirety on Snag Films. The first three minutes of it is included in the video below.
Watch more free documentaries

Lendle, A Kindle Lending Service, Shuts Down

One of February's more popular posts was about the Kindle book lending service Lendle. In a legal move that doesn't make a ton of sense to me, Amazon has shut down Lendle by blocking Lendle's access to the Amazon API. In short, the service is shut down until further notice. You can read all about it on the Lendle blog.

If you're interested in some other places to lend and borrow ebooks, try Book Lending, Lend Ink, or Open Library