Interactive Whiteboards in Australia

News, ideas and discussion about interactive whiteboards in education

Posts Tagged ‘google earth’

Ultra high resolution art work on Google Earth

Posted by rosiemacalpine on September 30, 2009

This one has been available for a while, but it is well worth a look.

Open up Google Earth. In the ‘Fly To’ box, type ‘Museo del Prado’ and click on the magnifying glass.


You will now fly off to the ‘Museo Nacional de Prado’ in Spain.


Zoom in until you can click on the ‘Masterpieces’ link at the front door of the museum. Click on this button.



Click on a picture to see it in high resolution. I’ve chosen ‘Emperor Carlos V on horseback’. Click on the picture to fly inside the museum.

image                          image

Then zoom in on the picture to see incredible detail. Below is a close up of the Emperor’s face. Notice the cracks in the canvas – amazing!


Remember that if you have an ActivBoard by Promethean, you can use the right click button on your pen to zoom in and out in Google Earth.


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Going back in time with Google Earth (part one: how to)

Posted by rosiemacalpine on February 9, 2009

Google Earth have released a significant new update which has some lovely new features (which all look fab on a IWB). To get the new update, go to the Tools menu in Google Earth and choose Check for Updates Online. Click the download button in the dialogue box which will take you to a web download. Once it’s downloaded, restart Google Earth.

One of the new features that I really like is the historical imagery feature. When you click on the clock button you get a sliding scale and you can explore the satellite imagery for different dates. So far, I’ve just seen dates ranging from 2002 – 2009, but apparently some parts of the US include imagery as far back as the 1950’s.


I then used this feature in a flipchart, so it was easier to compare the views. Promethean Activsoftware includes a feature called Magic Ink which allows you to see through a picture to see another picture hidden underneath. I used the camera tool to take snapshots of each view in of the map.

Then I stacked the pictures on top of each other (2009 picture on top) put the latest view on the top layer and then added a magnifying glass to see through to the 2003 layer. Look carefully at the magnifying glass in the picture. You will see half of a building in the magnifying circle (2003) which had been demolished in the rest of the picture (2009). image

I think this feature works really well as it allows you to directly compare different parts of the picture.
There’s a good post on the new features in this Google Earth version at the Google Earth blog.

If you have Activstudio or Activprimary software, you can download my flipchart showing this feature here.

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360Cities – fly inside the glass dome in Google Earth

Posted by rosiemacalpine on January 8, 2009

360Cities is a website (and now also a Google layer) which features VR panoramas from all over the world. For the uninitiated, VR panoramas are images that surround the viewer, as if you were inside the image and able to look around, up and down. The viewer feels as if they are within the environment and not  just looking at a static image. It’s an excellent way to get a sense of place when exploring different countries and cultures with your students.

EDIT: I would strongly recommend exploring panoramas using Google Earth, rather than the website which has a confusing and incomplete search function.

If you haven’t updated your Google Earth for a while, you’ll need to do this first. Go to the Help menu and choose “Look for updates online”. If you’ve got the latest version, you’ll be able to see 360Cities. In the example below, I’m looking at a panorama of the Kings Park walkway, which is in my beautiful home city of Perth, Western Australia.

Go to Places> Gallery> 360Cities. Then zoom into the map. At a certain zoom level, you will start to see red dots labelled 360.


Zoom in further to see all the panoramas in the area. Hover your mouse/ pen over the panorama to see a description.


Then double click on the red ball to fly into the panorama.You will zoom in, and then pause briefly before a 3D glass bauble of the panorama.


Then you will arrive inside the panorama. Use your mouse or pen to move around the environment. Don’t forget to look up and down, as well as to the side!


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NORAD tracks Santa

Posted by rosiemacalpine on December 15, 2008

NORAD, the North American Aerospace Defense Command, has been tracking Santa as he moves across the skies since 1955. Now that so many people have access to the internet, they also publish their data online. So anyone can log on and see the whereabouts of the Man in the Big Red Suit.

santaearthSanta doesn’t start travelling until Christmas Eve (obviously) but there’s some nice things to have a look at on your whiteboard. You might want to share the address with your class so they can have a look at home on the day, and see where he is up to.

When you visit the main site at, you can watch a video of Santa’s journey in 2007. Highlights include Santa swooping past the Eiffel tower, and swishing past the pyramids.

The Kids Countdown section of the site has some nice things too. When you visit Santa’s village, try the Christmas Tree light up game at the North Pole clock. It’s a good puzzle to solve as a group on the board, using problem solving and spatial planning skills. Middle and upper primary classes might want to use the How do we track Santa? as a starting point for investigation of radars and navigation devices.

This year, you can also view the route that Santa is planning to take on Google Earth. This post on the Google Earth blog explains how to do it. You can even add your house to the Google Earth route (if you want to make sure that Santa will pay you a visit). Visit Travel by GPS for instructions on this.

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Getting more out of Google Earth

Posted by rosiemacalpine on December 3, 2008

Admit it. When you first got your new IWB, was Google Earth one of the things you explored?

There’s nothing quite like spinning a massive globe on your whiteboard. I used Google Earth to look at satellite images of my city, explore maps, and take my class on a 3D tour of the Grand Canyon. But after that, I wasn’t sure what else I could do with Google Earth and eventually forgot about it.

My interest in using it in the classroom has been re-ignited by the following blogs: Google Earth Blog (not surprisingly, Digital Geography, and Ollie Bray, a Scottish geography teacher.

Google Earth has some amazing functions to explore on your IWB. To be honest, some of the content on these blogs is over my head (due to my lack of geography knowledge). But I’ve been picking up on interesting ideas which I’ll share here.

Firstly, it’s worth updating your copy of Google Earth as there have been lots of improvements. To do this, go to the Help menu> Check for updates online.


Here’s three quick easy things to do with the top menu bar of Google Earth in your classroom:


1. Sunlight view. Click this button to see what part of the world is in darkness at the moment. Then spin the globe or drag the time bar in the right hand corner to watch it change.


2. Sky mode. Click on this button to see constellations in Google.


3. Google Ruler. Find the part of the world you want to measure then click on the ruler. Choose the path option. Click on the start of your path, then click the globe every time you want to change direction. Google ruler displays the length of your path on the screen. Ideas for measuring in the primary classroom include:

  • My walk to school
  • Driving into the city
  • Popular local walks
  • Perimeter of the school

I would always use prediction first if doing these as a whole class activity. Children could write their predictions, or put their hand up to separate the class into groups [“Who thinks the perimeter of the football field is less than 400m? More than 400m?”]


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