Google Earth 4.3… Back to the Wow Factor

My love affair with Google Earth continues on at a torrid pace. Last summer my presentation at BLC, Moving Beyond the WoW in Google Earth tried to focus on the powerful learning that GE offers. This winter I created a series of tutorials for Atomic Learning.

This latest version of Google Earth brings me back to WOW! Improved 3D buildings, sun and sky enhancements, street view, embed support for the Mac and more. Just watch and then download.

Street View gets scary

I love the Street View feature in Google maps. Currently there are over 20 cities in the US that offer this close up view of all streets.  If you’re not familiar with Street View, check out these screencasts for more detail. 

I like the way this video combines Street View and humor. This is the kind of storytelling that works so well on the web. Short, funny and the remixing of familiar tools and themes.

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A Community Walk…Skype Me

This morning I worked with Grade 5 and 6 students who all have a tablet PC.  I’ve been talking to them about building networks and wanted to demonstrate mine in meaningful, fun, engaging way.

So I decided to take them on a tour, using some interactive maps and showed them the power of networks, open API (don’t worry I didn’t actually use that term) and personalized learning.

At 9:17 local time I sent out a tweet looking for help. In 2 hours we managed to talk with 10 different people from mostly North America, save for Jeff Utecht who was in Malaysia at a conference.  We got to have a brief chat with each one, found out a little bit about them and even asked one or two intelligent questions.   Using Community Walk (as you can see my community is not walkable) we created placemarks and I added some video snapshots as well.

Here’s the map we created on the fly.

Wedding map to share with guests
CommunityWalk Map – Skype Me

Kids were amazingly focused, running around the room helping each other, teacher laptop in hand right beside her students asking questions, looking like a learner herself, talking to people who help me learn. The students were customizing their maps and adding items of personal relevance and also making connections to the activities and whereabouts of the various guests.

A pretty cool morning.

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Video Adventures in Google Earth

The ability to add video in Google Earth is one feature I’ve been waiting for for quite some time. This takes the idea of location based learning one step further. My first attempt in using this was to take 10 of my youtube videos and place them on the exact locations of their filming.

Have a look in Google Earth. Or view them in Google Maps which is embedded below.  The wheels of every teacher should be turning.

View Larger Map

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Moving Beyond the WOW Factor in Google Earth

I had the privilege to present at this amazing conference. It was also great to have a number of my friends in my session as well as some new ones. While I felt a bit limited with the time and the speed of my connection, I had many positive comments (People are so nice).

Bob Sprankle was good enough to record the session and post it on his website as well. While I didn’t use a traditional slideshow, I do have the notes on my wiki.

Also, David Jakes posted his SkypeCast notes.

Flickr Image courtesy of Trevor Smith: