10 Feb 2020

USING GOOGLE EARTH IN 3D AND FIELD TRIPS

Google Earth is a unique program of geo-mapping and tagging that uses composite imagery to create a comprehensive, interactive map of the world. Through weaving over a billion satellite and aerial photos together, the application offers a powerful tool that allows individuals and groups to monitor climate change, discover unknown geographic and ecological features, and document our past. This digital mapping tool continues to be a useful resource for governments, private organizations, and individuals who want to track and tag to myriad ends geographic data.

Google Earth is full of 3D images, curated video content and other features that either make you want to book a trip to some remote part of the world or just explore the Earth from your own latitude and longitude coordinates. Google Earth, released in 2005, was the world’s first widely available, interactive digital map. Google Earth offers 3D reconstructions, annotation software, and NASA satellite imagery dating back to 1984, allowing users to travel back in time digitally. The map is constantly being updated to reflect our ever-changing world as new images become available via satellite and aerial imagery. Many buildings could be seen in 3D in earlier versions of Google Earth, provided you checked off “3D Buildings” in the App’s Layers section. But you can see the entire planet in 3D in the newest release of Google Earth, well. Google Earth digitally stitches trillions of satellite and aerial photographic images together, using the highest quality pixels from each object to create the clearest view of any part of the Earth. Also, many areas have been rendered in 3D, created from thousands of aerial photos from different angles of the same place. A plane flies overhead in a tight pattern to gather pictures. Then a complex algorithm models the world and produces a 3D image with which users can interact.

Educational Insight

Training Resources for the Google Earth team are one of the main areas of focus right now. The new Voyager feature (not to be confused with the NASA probe), allows geotagged annotations, stories and videos to appear within Google Earth, providing the stories of people with a geographical and cultural context. Voyager can best be described as a magazine for Google Earth, Google has collaborated with” Sesame Street,” “Carmen Sandiego “and National Geographic to create interactive games, tours, and stories to help people get a better perspective on our world. “Each region of the world has its own unique’ Sesame Street ‘ characters. Today, kids are able to be taken on guided cultural tours of different regions across the world, led by that place’s own’ Sesame Street ‘ guide.” Moreover, people have been using Voyager to tell their own stories. Through annotating places where their own life events have taken place, individuals are able to document their personal histories, to share with others and maintain for posterity.

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