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The New Google Earth 9

Google recently released a serious redesign of Google Earth for both Web (Chrome) and Android and it now packs even more learning punch. (Versions for iOS and other browsers are in the works.)

Google Earth 9 invites users to explore stunning 3D maps of random and selected locations, view curated video content, and to choose from more than 50 interactive, guided slide tours led by scientists, documentary film makers and other experts.

So what’s new?

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 4.21.22 PM1. Voyager
Voyager offers virtual tours of fabulous sites across the globe in the categories of Travel, Nature, Culture and History.  There are currently more than 50 immersive stories with more being added each week.

Voyager visits include: Tanzanian Gombe National Park with primate expert Jane Goodall, an expedition to the waters off Baja guided by marine biologist Sylvia Earle’s, Museums Around the World, Following Charles Dickens, Hemingway’s Hangouts, Eclectic Outdoor Art, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Hidden Worlds of the National Parks, BBC Earth’s Natural Treasures, Explore London, the Grand Canyon, David Attenborough’s Birds of Paradise, Wonders of the Ancient and Modern Worlds, New York City, Urban Gardens, and more.

Among my personal favorites are . . .

This is Home: a close up view of five traditional homes around the globe, including a reed house, a Sherpa home, a Bedouin tent, an Inuit igloo and Greenlandic Illoq.  More homes are promised!

And if you work with younger children, don’t miss the multimedia Sesame Street Girls Around the World, featuring twelve role-model Muppets inspiring and encouraging girls all over the world.  The girls come from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria and South Africa.

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 4.28.52 PM

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 4.21.17 PM2. Feeling Lucky
If you are Feeling Lucky, roll the virtual dice and you will be randomly transported to any of 20,000 curated unexpected places. Once there, Knowledge Cards introduce interesting facts–largely from Wikipedia–and you may view more photographs in the form of a little slideshow.

Screen Shot 2017-04-26 at 4.28.11 PM3. 3D Imagery
Click on the 3D button in the bottom right corner menu to navigate a drone’s-eye view of sites around the globe. You may toggle between 2D and 3D views.

It’s super easy to share links through URLs or through social media (Facebook, Twitter and G+). Making the resources more flexible for use in instruction. You may create your own list of places to save in your Bookmarks, adjust the speed of your flying and, of course, zoom in and out.

As you explore, anytime you see a camera icon, clicking on it will bring up photo spheres of that space contributed by users.  The little people icon signifies the availability of street view content. Export and import KML files that allow you to add your own place marks to the space you are viewing.

Richard Byrne (FreeTech4Teachers) created this comprehensive tour of Google Earth’s new features.

And Nat & Friends, who regularly take us behind the scenes at Google, take us under the hood of Google Earth for a peak at how things work.

The new Google Earth is an interdisciplinary resource to share with history, ELA, language, art, science and global studies teacher friends. Curate this content in your inquiry projects to allow learners to explore cultures and spaces up close and personally.

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Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza

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