Missouri State University

Google Earth



Google Earth

Caption: Representation of the Google Earth software

Google Earth is an interactive mapping application that allows users to navigate (or "fly") the entire globe, viewing satellite imagery with overlays of roads, buildings, geographic features, and the like. Educators can use it to assess and bolster students' visual literacy. Students can use it to develop a context for spatial and cultural differences globally.

See 7 Things you should know about Google Earth.


Google Earth Project Examples: (click to download)



Directional Controls

With Google Earth you use directional controls to control what direction you fly. You can view all the satellite imagery under your dynamic control.  You have full control of this, just as you would in a video game console or in your car. In fact even more, because you can zoom in, tilt your view from over head to horizontally driving across terrain. You can fly backward, or choose a compass direction. There are little tricks you'll learn like holding the right mouse button while pushing or pulling to zoom in and out. The video tutorials also go over these details even more thoroughly. You can see the directional controls in the screenshot below. The directional controls are along the bottom in gray.


Google Earth comes with a Local Search and a Business Search feature. Both have boxes where you can enter either an address or a more general search like "Indian restaurant in Wayne, NJ" to find anything you are looking for anywhere on earth. Both these searches utilize Google's powerful mapping technology, so you can see, print or email maps pr driving directions to and from anywhere. When you double-click on a business, you will get further information about that business like address and telephone number, or get driving directions.

Saving Your Locations

You have many options for what to do with your locations and searches once you've made them. You can create a placemark at a location for the future, you can print the entire page, you can email a map, driving directions or a placemarked location to your class.