Google Earth – Travel the World From Your Classroom

Google Earth – Travel the World From Your Classroom

The Old Google Earth

I remember how completely amazed I was the first time I used Google Earth. I had so many ideas for using it in the classroom. Unfortunately having an entire classroom download and install the large program took up the better portion of a class. Once it was downloaded, it didn’t always perform smoothly on many computers, and it still had a pretty large learning curve.

The All New Google Earth

New, Much Improved, and Ready for the Classroom

To call this an update would be an understatement. The new Google Earth feels like a whole new program and it has addressed many of obstacles that made it less than ideal for classroom use.

No Software to Download

You now longer need to download software to use Google Earth. Just aim Google Chrome at and start exploring. It’s hard to believe that the web app seems to run smoother than the old downloaded program.

It only works with Google Chrome, but it works on PC, Mac, and Chromebooks. Mobile users will need to download the app, currently only available for Android. The iOS version is coming soon.

Improved Search

The search feature makes finding locations easier. Check out the GIF below to see the responsiveness of Google Earth when I search “Capital of France,” and “Birthplace of Albert Einstein.”

Google Earth - Search


Knowledge Cards

Knowledge cards provide images and additional information about the location you are viewing. Most locations also have additional knowledge cards that feature various points of interest.

Click on the knowledge card to learn more. You can go to the location featured on the knowledge card by clicking on the paper airplane icon. Clicking on the bookmark icon allows you to save a location to “My Places” for later reference.

Better 3D Experience

Google Earth’s 3D experience is better than ever. Just hold down shift and drag your mouse to explore the world in 3D.

Voyager – Mind Blowing Interactive Tours

Voyager has tours for everything, from exploring cities and museums to checking out penguin colonies and endangered species around the world.

Google Voyager

Google Earth Pro Is Now Free

Looking for more power? Download Google Earth Pro and get additional features like GIS data import, area and 3D measurement tools, the ability to make movies, and more.

Ideas for Your Classroom

Google has put together some great ideas for using Google Earth in your classroom. Check out their ideas for history, science, space science, math, and geography.

Looking for More Map Tools?

Check out Zeemaps and Visme’s Map Engine.

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Nick LaFave

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