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Guest Russel Tarr

Google Earth

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Guest Russel Tarr

Using Google Earth in the History Classroom

1. Three things that Google Earth can do to enhance history:

All of the following, along with dozens of other examples, can be downloaded directly from http://www.activehistory.co.uk/google-earth (currently containing 124 resources, many more to follow this week!)

Terrain / Overlays

"Overlays" are maps which are scanned from a computer (or taken direct from the web) and then dropped over a historical site to give a much better sense of "place"; in addition, they can appear to physically "lie" over the landscape they describe, which is fantastic for sites where terrain made a difference (e.g. Vimy Ridge).

▪ London after the Great Fire

▪ Auschwitz

▪ Vimy Ridge

3d Models

A number of users have designed their own 3D models which you can "whizz" around from various angles. So far they are quite gimmicky, but they show what the software is capable of.

▪ Taj Mahal

▪ Leaning Tower of Pisa

▪ Great Pyramid of Giza

Tours

Flyovers are fantastic - a series of placemarks which can be arranged chronologically or thematically and then Google Earth "flies" from one spot to another. The first two examples here are good illustrations of the chronological approach; the third is a thematically-based one which could easily be adapted to other subjects.

▪ Assassination of JFK

▪ 1066: Year of 3 Kings

▪ Six Wives of Henry VIII

2. Obtaining existing resources - weblinks

In the first instance, it is a good idea to locate some resources to play around with that have been created already. The two sites I am using to build up my own searchable database are:

Google Earth "History Illustrated" community

http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/postlist.php/Ca...rd/EarthHistory

Google Earth Hacks: Historical Placemarks

http://www.googleearthhacks.com/dlcat40/Si...-Placemarks.htm

3. Creating your own resources - weblinks

Sketchup: 3D Model Creator

This freeware application allows you to create 3D models for Google Earth.

http://sketchup.google.com/

Tagzania: Networked placemarks

Sign up to this website to create collaborative tours with your students.

http://www.tagzania.com/

FlickrMap: Geotagged photographs

GeoTag your photos so that they appear as placemarks in Google Earth.

http://www.flickrmap.com/

4. A Classroom Case Study: Circumnavigation of Francis Drake

Available from ActiveHistory here.

This is my first attempt at a Google Earth "Flyover". It comes complete with 6 differentiated worksheets and 32 locations to visit, and gives some idea of how the application can be used in the classroom.

If you have any comments or questions, please let me know!

:)

Edited by Russel Tarr

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I seem not to be able to fiddle around with the opacity of layers. Is it the problem of the free version (4 beta) of Google Earth, or am I doing something wrong?

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Guest Russel Tarr

Nico,

Uninstall the Beta (ie "work in progress"!) version, and install the earlier version. You can change opacity of layers in this version very easily - there is a sliding bar on the left hand side of the screen.

Russ

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I have been playing around with Google Earth. It is great with American history but I have been disappointed with the aerial photographs of the UK outside London. Is there an alternative source for this aerial images?

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Nico,

Uninstall the Beta (ie "work in progress"!) version, and install the earlier version. You can change opacity of layers in this version very easily - there is a sliding bar on the left hand side of the screen.

Russ

Thank You Russel!

I was to quick to post!

It is great with American history but I have been disappointed with the aerial photographs of the UK outside London.
I'm quite satisfied with the results so far. A couple of months ago the resolution was not that good, but obviously Google has been working on maps in Holland. It's all a matter of time, propably.

The potential is there!

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Guest Russel Tarr

My latest Google Earth Tour is a Virtual Flyover across Tsarist Russia, which shows how low resolution imaging makes no difference to the historical purpose of the exercise.

It has been pinned as "number one post" by the Google Earth History community here.

Since being posted last week almost 500 people have downloaded it to have a look!

:lol:

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Thank you Richard and Russel. This was a great seminar with tools that I will definitely use. One of the things that I have found in later years is that my students geographical skills has become quite poor. Even though the resolution of some places in Europe isn't the best I can show them (with the help of Google Earth) where certain historical events took place (so I don't have another student putting Verdun in southern France). I know that different countries has their own "Google Earth". In Sweden we have the State Telephon Company providing us with maps:

Eniro - maps over Sweden

It would be interesting to find out if other countries in Europe have these maps as well. :D

Edited by Anders MacGregor-Thunell

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Guest Russel Tarr

Year 9 Google Earth Project: A Biased Account of the Middle East Conflict.

As part of our studies on the history of the Middle East Conflict, my students (aged 14) were provided with an timeline of events.

The class was then divided into two groups. One was instructed to produce a Google Earth Tour from an Anti-Palestinian perspective, the other from an Anti-Israeli perspective.

By doing so, and then comparing each other's work, they were able not only to familiarise themselves with the main events of this very important piece of history and current affairs, but were able to separate out facts from opinions, and appreciate how propaganda (adding opinion and "spin") and censorship (cutting out unwelcome facts) can be used by biased people to affect our perception of events.

Both tours are contained in the placemark attached here. This is their first foray into Google Earth and I know they'd appreciate some feedback!

The tours can be downloaded here.

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