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Best practices on how to design Google Earth tours for education

By
Richard Treves
Richard Treves
School of Geography and the Environment, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
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John E. Bailey
John E. Bailey
Scenarios Network for Alaska & Arctic Planning, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska 99709, USA
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Published:
October 01, 2012

Google Earth tours (GETs) are recorded flights around Google Earth. They are highly engaging to watch and have great potential for communicating spatially in a teaching environment. They also benefit from being easy for an educator to produce but they can be ineffective if they are designed poorly. With this in mind, in this paper we cover three main topics: (1) we consider how best to produce GETs, (2) we deconstruct them as a communication media and finally (3), we consider the larger educational context in which they are used. By reviewing literature relevant to these areas we produce 19 best practices for using GETs in education. The amount of evidence we can show in support of our best practices varies. Those that were generated by comparing GETs to the well-researched area of educational animations are highly reliable because they are based on empirical evidence. Those associated with the virtual flights between locations within a GET are more open to interpretation as they have been less well studied. We conclude that further work should be focused on investigating virtual flight within a GET.

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GSA Special Papers

Google Earth and Virtual Visualizations in Geoscience Education and Research

Steven J. Whitmeyer
Steven J. Whitmeyer
Department of Geology & Environmental Science, James Madison University, Memorial Hall, MSC 6903, Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807, USA
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John E. Bailey
John E. Bailey
Scenarios Network for Alaska & Arctic Planning, University of Alaska Fairbanks, Fairbanks, Alaska 99709, USA
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Declan G. De Paor
Declan G. De Paor
Department of Physics, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia 23529, USA
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Tina Ornduff
Tina Ornduff
Google Inc., 1600 Amphitheatre Pkwy, Mountain View, California 94043, USA
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Geological Society of America
Volume
492
ISBN print:
9780813724928
Publication date:
October 01, 2012

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