The song lyrics, “he’s got the whole world in his hands” become a virtual reality with Google Earth! I’ve been using it since 2006 when it was called Earth Viewer. It’s quite amazing to be able to ‘fly’ to any spot in the world and get hi-resolution imagery on your computer/projector screen. It’s almost like being there, believe me.
You can add many layers to the virtual map such as terrain, roads, 3D buildings and images. It’s getting better and better with the addition of 3D renderings of The Grand Canyon, Eiffel Tower, Red Square and many more. You have to see them to appreciate them. Here’s an example of how Downtown Tucson, AZ looks with the 3D buildings layer turned on:
It’s a very simple program to use and the best part is that it’s a free download available for Windows and Mac. Here’s how to install it:
1. Visit http://earth.google.com/ to download the program free.
2. Complete install and you are set.
3. Visit the brief video tutorials site that helps you get going. Here’s a sample:
That’s it! You can really use this as a teaching tool to transport your class to the destination on the globe you may be talking about, including Antarctica! I use it all the time, even more so now that it’s available for the iPhone & iTouch. See it in action as it zooms in to Pueblo:
Forget my hands, now I can have the whole world in my pocket!