GOOGLE EARTH
A Blakiston & Clarke Production © 2008
WHAT IS GOOGLE EARTH?
The Google Earth Community is an online forum which is dedicated to producing place marks of interesting or educational perspectives. It may be found on the Google Earth webpage or under the Help section on the program itself. After downloading a place mark, it will automatically run Google Earth (if not opened), and fly to the area specified by the person who placed it. Once there, you can add it to your "My Places" by right clicking on the icon and selecting "Save to My Places". Additionally, anyone can post a place mark for others to download; as long as you have an account.

Google Earth displays satellite images of varying resolution of the Earth's surface, allowing users to visually see things like houses and cars from a birds eye view. The degree of resolution available is based somewhat on the points of interest, but most land (except for some islands) is covered in at least 15 meters of resolution. Melbourne, Australia, Las Vegas, Nevada and Cambridge, Massachusetts include examples of the highest resolution, at 15 cm (6 inches). Google Earth allows users to search for addresses for some countries, enter coordinates, or simply use the mouse to browse to a location.

Google Earth also uses digital elevation model (DEM) data collected by NASA's Shuttle Radar Topography Mission. This means one can view the Grand Canyon or Mount Everest in three dimensions, instead of 2D like other map programs/sites. Since November 2006, the 3D views of many mountains, including Mount Everest, have been improved by the use of supplementary DEM data to fill the gaps in SRTM coverage.

BRIEF HISTORY
Many people using the applications are adding their own data and making them available through various sources, such as the BBS or blogs mentioned in the link section below. Google Earth is able to show all kinds of images overlaid on the surface of the earth and is also a Web Map Service client. Google Earth supports managing three-dimensional Geospatial data through Keyhole Markup Language.
Google Earth is a proprietary virtual globe program that was originally called Earth Viewer and was created by Keyhole Inc. a company acquired by Google in 2004. It maps the earth by the superimposition of images obtained from satellite imagery, aerial photography and GIS 3D globe.
The product, renamed Google Earth in 2006, is currently available for use on personal computers running all types of Operating Systems including Microsoft, Linux, Mac and FreeBSD. Google Earth is also available as a browser plugin for IE6, IE7 and Firefox. In addition to releasing an updated Keyhole based client, Google also added the imagery from the Earth database to their web based mapping software. The release of Google Earth in mid 2006 to the public caused more than tenfold increase in media coverage on virtual globes between 2006 and 2007, driving public interest in geospatial technologies and applications.


KEY FEATURES
Google Earth allows all types of people to travel for free around the world. It allows everyone to see the sights and in some cases get up close and personal allowing you to feel as if you are seeing in live action or 3D. You can zoom in and out or around with a full 360˚ panoramic view. In some of the larger ‘iconic’ places in the world you can even go under the structure or landform and see it as if you are below it.
Google Earth is very detailed and descriptive with what they offer. Not only do they take you to the place but give you all the information such as, what you can do whilst there, where to say as well as the latitude and longitude of the area.


EDUCATIONAL VALUE
Following are some questions that have been asked regarding the educational benefits and allowances of Google Earth.
Is it permitted to "redistribute" Google Earth in installing it to every computer in a school district?
Yes, Google has been known to give away Google Earth licenses to educational institutions, and included both Google Earth and SketchUp software for free in a large educational program for the state of New South Wales. In fact in Australia, over 2500 schools have received Google Earth Pro, a program of Google Earth worth over $450 donated to them.
What can Google Earth be used for in the classroom?
Ways of persuading kids to use Google Earth themselves and not only to engage through teachers
The use of Google Earth by children doing coursework
Encouraging teachers to set more tasks using Google Earth, Google Maps and SketchUp for homework
Allows students to explore other countries and lands in greater detail.
Gives them the feeling of being there when added with Street View.
Google Earth provides details and facts on certain areas. This resource is highly beneficial when it comes to research other cultures, countries and land formations.
When showing students a landform, you are able to see it in 3D, unlike an atlas that offers a birds eye view and maybe a photograph, you can fly around the landmass.


FUTURE LEARNING
Google Earth is a free and accessible tool from anywhere with an internet connection. Attached below are two Power Point Presentations which are tutorials for creating and downloading Google Earth. The first two presentations are about downloading Google Earth. The third is a short video on how to master the navigations of Google Earth.




http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=rd2uXE1fTI0


REFERENCES
Google Earth, (2008). Google Earth. Retrieved August 15, 2008, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_earth
Google Earth, (2008). How to use Google Earth. Retrieved September 02, 2008, from http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=rd2uXE1fTI0
Google Earth, (2008). ////Google Earth//// Plus licenses in schools. Retrieved August 15, 2008, from http://digitalexplorer.co.uk/2008/01/08/google-earth-plus-licenses-in-schools/

Google Earth Community, (2008). WWII, Places & Sites. Retrieved August 15, 2008, from http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/showthreaded.php/Cat/0/Number/439144/page//vc/1
Spatial Exploring, (2008). Isn’t That Spatial Exploring the World in 3D with Google Earth? Retrieved August 15, 2008, from http://education.usgs.gov/common/lessons/google_earth_in_education.pdf