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The Google Earth project

Today Jamie taught us how to use Google Earth. Our project was to go out and search for recycling bins and pin them on the map. It was so fun! We learned a lot of new things about Google maps, and also about recycling. For example, in the UK every home in the UK has this green box where they put their recyclable rubbish and a lorry comes to pick them up everyday. It’s pretty cool!
So while doing this project I figured out that mapping can make communities stronger. Mapping makes going to places easier, and connecting with the society much easier.

Maps help us know dangerous places. And maps SAVE TIME! Can anyone imagine life without maps? It would be so hard! Maps give you a picture of what the place looks like, and most importantly, maps help you when you’re lost.

Rahaf

Community mapping by the team


View Recycling around London Fields in a larger map

The team spent today making this amazing map of recycling points around the Digital Explorer office. From having never mapped before to creating a map that helps the community. Nice work! Well done all.

EU fishing fleet map

In the middle of making a series of resources on sustainable fisheries for the science and geography classroom and thought that I might have a play again with Ricardo Sgrillo’s excellent free Gooogle Earth tool, GE Graph.

You can easily make your own maps, using world border datasets, such as this one created by Valery35.

Download the Google Earth file, and have a play in your classroom.

Google Earth and the iPad

Lagging behind the curve slightly, we have recently been playing with Google Earth on the new Digital Explorer iPad and it’s a great tool and fun to use.

Of course, some things don’t work. Most of the nice styling that we put into the description balloons gets wiped and some of the formatting goes. YouTube videos that are formatted for HTML5 work but if they’re old and flash-based, then they don’t. We haven’t been able to get screen overlays to work either.

Quick note… if you are looking to download kml files from the web, then you need to do this using the Safari browser rather than any other browser you have installed e.g. Chrome. You’ll then be given the option to open the kml file in Google Earth.

We’ll be looking to develop desktop and mobile/tablet versions of our new sets of Google Earth resources for the coming academic year and hope to find time to spruce up some of the old ones as well.

School Grounds Projects using Google tools

If you want to do this for your own school all the resources are below:

Download manual (pdf, 2.6MB)
Download practice kmz file (kmz, 0.6MB)
Download lesson plans, slideshows, etc (zip, 21.4MB)

Google Geo Teacher Institute Dublin

Here are my slides for the presentation in Dublin this morning and the kmz file is downloadable as well!

Sea level rise and Google Earth / Maps

A great day with Priory School yesterday, examining the issue of sea level rise  in the Portsmouth area. We trialled a number of hands-on sessions, which were great fun and will write about these when we have media releases completed to use the photos of students working on the beach.

For now, here are some ideas that were jogged by looking at how ipads might be used to inform a walking tour of a coastal area.

The image below is of a map overlay created in Google Earth, showing the flood cells and sub-cells delineated by the council. Image overlays are fairly easy to create.

The Google Earth file was then saved and uploaded online. Pasting the url of the online file into the search box of Google Maps, allows you to see it as above. Note that you can use Google Maps in Earth mode so that 3D buildings show up and you can tilt the map.

We also created some polygons in Google Earth, again an easy thing to do. The different polygons were given colours and made opaque so that you could see the layers and the underlying imagery. You can see the key to the left below as well.

The ordnance datum in Google Earth and the altitude of the different layers is not quite nuanced enough to show localised flooding predictions on a 25, 50, 100 year timeline and looking to finesse these techniques before sharing more fully, but hope you get the idea.

Google Geo Teachers Institutes announced for London and Dublin, June 2012

Great news that the Google Geo Teachers Institute will be coming to England and Ireland this summer. The two day professional development events are free and are designed to help teachers get the most out of Google’s suite of Geo tools including Google Earth, Google Maps and SketchUp.

Dates for the events are June 13-14 in Dublin and June 20-21 in London. Both events will be held at the Google offices in those cities.

Teachers can apply online (closing date for applications is 30 April) and find out more in the recent Google Lat Long blog post.

At Digital Explorer, we’ve loved using Google Earth on our expeditions from the Antarctic to Morocco. Also have a look at our blog post 40+ ideas on using Google Earth and Maps in the classroom and our range of manuals to support the use of Google Earth and Maps in the classroom and beyond.

Look forward to seeing you at the events this summer.

A day in Edinburgh for Google Earth

Great to be up with the Scottish Council of Independent Schools this month in Edinburgh and have the chance to work with a great group of geography (and science!) teachers.

A few pointers for the attendees and anyone else interested in using Google Earth and GPS in the classroom:

Do be in touch if you need any other advice

Google Earth climate change map unveiled

The Google Earth layer prepared for the FCO and Met Office is featured on Channel 4 News. It is the most complex Google Earth layer that Digital Explorer has created to date and we are very proud that it has got such exposure.

We look forward to the layer being used in classrooms across the world to inspire young people to make a difference and seize the opportunity to develop green enterprise and technologies.

The layer can be downloaded from the FCO website.

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