Online Google Earth Tours

It seems like the widget that allowed you to embed Google Earth tours (with audio and motion) online isn’t working. We had at least one person in the county who wanted to be able to do this because they’d seen this Jimmy Buffet tour. Compared to teacher assessment and other bottomless problems this seemed pretty attractive, especially using the Buffet page as an example. I hacked off most of the extraneous parts and this seems to serve the purpose although there are a few more pits that ought to be carved off. You should be able to download the source HTML at this page. Once you do that it’s just changing two URL strings from what they are now (http://etechplace.org/debordenave/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Bon-Jovi-Tour_KCJ.kmz) to the URL for wherever your KMZ source file lives. The example is below in an iFrame and it will likely play automatically. My apologies for that.

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Bending Google Earth To My Will

This post is going to be a somewhat functional (how to get this to work) but will also attempt to sketch out some of the ways I problem solve as roadblocks occur. I don’t know that sketching out problem solving in this way will help anyone but I hope that it might. It’s been a while since I’ve done any serious work in Google Earth. I’m reorienting myself and learning a few things in the process. My initial goal was to get some easy content from Google Earth Layers (and now the integrated “Earth Gallery”) into folders and associated with some of our history standards- essentially easy interactive content for teachers who don’t want to search for it. Google Earth has never caught on like I believed it would/should and I’d like to jumpstart use of the program and provide more digital content for social studies in general. Roadblocks I found the addition of the “Earth Gallery” to be a mixed blessing, with the mix leaning heavily towards unfortunate. There is lots of good content there but it seems to be meant to stay there. I can’t find any way to copy that content to “My Places”- dragging it didn’t work, nor did control-clicking (right click equivalent) give me any options that would help at the folder or individual item […]

Pretty Formatting in Google Maps w/o ANY HTML Knowledge

I don’t like what plain Google Map or Google Earth windows look like when you enter text. They always end up too wide for me and I just want a little bit more style and formatting. It just looks better and that is part of why we use computers- to produce a professional looking product. So the question is how do you get students/profs/teachers creating better looking information w/o having a bunch of time sucked away by teaching them HTML? (Yes, I realize Google does a form of this here but it’s not set up for Google Maps and involves more hassle for many by introducing the idea of networked kmz links etc.) My solution is Excel. Excel can do all sorts of neat tricks with text. So I just built what is essentially a form with a few inputs (the ones selected for this project) and then used a bunch of formulas to wrap the HTML around the information that’s entered. This is a fairly simple example but it’s smart enough to cite the picture source and know if certain information has been entered so it doesn’t botch the html if the field is left blank. You can see what it does if you unhide the columns and view the formulas then tweak it to your heart’s content. Before […]

Google Earth – The Next Level

I found this KMZ file the other night. It’s really the greatest Google Earth file I’ve ever seen. It’s tracking bird flu but it’s doing it through, time, space and evolution. It creates a three dimensional representation of the changing aspects of the virus as it moves from carrier to carrier and place to place. There’s a video showing what it can do and explaining things here. The source file is over here. Why am I so impressed? Mainly because it’s a perfect representation of data visualization. It shows a completely different way to use Google Earth. Who would have thought to use a geography program to track the evolution of a virus? This kind of convergence is amazing and examples like this can lead to some amazing connections. It can also lead the way for other creators to start using this application in different ways.


ITRT Summer Camp – VSTE

Hey there VSTE ITRTs! Here are links to the resources used in today’s Google Earth/Maps, GPS session. I tried to cull things down a little bit to keep it from being overwhelming. If you want to check out all the links for Google Earth feel free to browse my del.icio.us account. There’s lot more stuff there. Google Earth First, you can get Google Earth for free here so go get it if you haven’t yet. Basic Google Earth Tutorials Google’s Own Basics Juicy Geography’s PDFs Adding Time– make your KML files change using the time line feature KML Files The Google Earth Blog– all Google Earth, all the time Google Lit Trips– Books with a geographic twist The BIG Keyhole Site– lots of everything including help Google’s Outreach Showcase– where Google shows off good examples Keep in mind you can search in Google Earth for KML files. Lesson Plans/Example Files (stuff I showed you) English Examples History Examples Math Examples Science Examples (kind of big 3MB) Neat Stuff Possibilities The Next Level Make Better Balloons Make Your File From a Spreadsheet– you can make KML files from a spreadsheet and they’re pretty! Google Maps A lot of features similar to Google Earth. It will allow you to embed video in the information bubbles which is nice and I like the […]

Google Earth – Proof of Concept Stuff

A while back I posted about using GoogleLookup to get data quickly and easily to make and put into Google Earth via Google Spreadsheets. The example file is at http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?key=pGAYO0Q5WpT8_Rsss6Uw2LQ&output=txt&gid=2&range=a1. It’s a network link. In Google Earth- click Add– Network Link and paste the URL into the Link box. Here’s some information on how to do this if you’re interested. Put Info into Google Earth from a Google Spreadsheet Things ended up being far easier than I anticipated. The last time I did a networked KML link from a spreadsheet (sounds way fancier than it is) I had to make it myself and go through a different service. Now Google has a nice template all set up to make things work well and it makes things pretty as well. Adding GoogleLookup to the Template So the next thing I did was play around a little with the lookup function. I didn’t do too much. I was just playing around to make sure it would work. This wouldn’t save you much time as it’s only five cities but it you wanted to plot all this information for 50 cities things would start to get a lot more interesting. I just added a few columns at the end of the spreadsheet and then set up the following formulas. I put the lookup […]


Edubloggercon 2007 Google Earth Session

This branched out into Google Maps, Sketchup and even Swivel. I heard about some great projects being done by 4th and 5th graders using sketchup to create Incan (or Mayan?) ruins and then putting them in Google Earth. I’m really interested in seeing the examples but don’t have a link yet. The most interesting part of the discussion to me was a reminder of the googlelookup function in Google spreadsheets. You can use it to look up latitude/longitude coordinates for cities it appears and the use it to create an xml file. The cool thing to do would be to generate that data, the city’s population, avg. temp etc. (whatever interesting data you can pull through lookup or manually) and then push it to Swivel. And then, and then, and then you embed the Swivel data in the info window for each city. It’s sad how exciting that seems to me. Besides that I got some good links to look at later which are posted in del.icio.us if you’re interested.


Whirligig MyMap Evolution Continues

So I’ve added a lot more to the Whirligig map since last time. It turned out to be an awesome choice for this project. Talk about a project that requires a close reading! I spent more time with this short book than I care to admit to. Almost everything in the Whirligig was accurate. It’s worth checking out the San Diego area for pure insanely psychotic detail and there’s some fun links scattered throughout as well as some great CC photos from Flickr. I crammed the map in below using MyMapsPlus which allows you to put the maps you create on other sites. It’s better in the larger view here. The interesting thing I mentioned to kids was that all the photos were from the actual places. I briefly presented the file to students in three classes and tried to stress that this was all real and it seemed to add an some additional dimension to the novel (I’m hoping next year they make their own files). The students seemed to like what this added to the book and it led to some good questions and some wasted time. Some of the kids couldn’t handle the blood alcohol calculator I linked to. There was also a decent amount of students looking up their houses. I don’t have a problem with […]

Whirligig on MyMaps

I’m working on do something similar to the awesome work over at Google Lit Trips using Google’s myMaps. The novel is Whirligig by Paul Fleischman- very powerful book that’s a quick read. It’s a great novel for this type of project (fiction but almost all real locations). The main character travels to the four corners of the U.S. (on a Greyhound Bus) as an act of atonement for killing a young girl in a DUI accident. I’ve got the main locations mapped (some real specific information in Chicago) as well as most of the route. It will continue to expand as the students progress through the novel. Check it out if you’re interested. I’ll take requests as well, so let me know if you feel something is missing. Now, what makes this useful? I figure you’ve got two options. You use it as a ancillary material to help get the students more involved in the novel. Let them explore the map and get them involved in explaining things and interacting with the information- otherwise it’s just a fancy map. You have the students add the information for the placemarks in Google Earth. Let them decide what is important at each location and

“My Maps” from Google (an actual example)

I figured after being so gushy about the My Maps option from Google I ought to make a good example. So here is a good start on a territorial acquisition map of the United States of America. I did it free hand based on a number of different maps I found on wikipedia and a few other places- so it’s not perfect and it still needs some work but I think it shows what you can do with little effort. Yes, I promise the writing will improve :). The map took about 45 minutes or so to make. Most of that time was spent looking at various maps. I also increased my speed after I figured out I could move points in polygons after I finished rather than having to start all over. I also made a quick screencast covering the basics of the My Maps tools.