your personal virtual globe

So, I’ve been brushing up on Google Earth because we have some instructors interested in using it. The last time I worked with it, I just used it for looking up places, looking at the house I’m trying to sell (on Street View) and so forth. Much has changed in the interim. If you haven’t used Google Earth lately, now is a good time to check it out. You can now overlay historic maps (layers), create your own tours, record (with voiceover) your own tours and more – all within Google Earth.

If you’d like to check it out, here are some instructions and links to get you started (first download or update to Google Earth version 5 if you don’t have it):

  • To view a place on Earth, simply type in the place name or address in the search line (“fly to”) and press Enter on your keyboard.
  • In the column to the bottom left (under the Layers section), look at the layers you can click to add (such as 3D buildings, terrain, and more).
  • Under Layers, click on the + sign next to Gallery, and you will find ancient Rome, 360 Cities, and other interesting “tours.” Click on the box next to the selection you are interested in (if you are not “flown” to Rome immediately, then double-click on the name Ancient Rome 3D or type it into the search box). Once “in Rome,” double-click on yellow markers to view their location, and single click on a yellow marker to view more information about that site. TIP: Select 3D Buildings as a layer (from the Layer section) before you get started.
  • Take a sightseeing tour by clicking on Sightseeing in the Places section, then clicking the Play Folder button at the bottom right of that section. This is an example of a tour (you can build your own!)
  • Create your own tour or find more information in the user guide: http://earth.google.com/support/bin/static.py?page=guide_toc.cs
  • You can find a very nice self-paced tutorial for Google Earth here:
    http://earth.google.com/support then click on the link (“interactive game”) in the box titled Become an Earth Expert.
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