Most of you already know about my love for all things Google. Their stuff always works. It’s always high-quality. And for the most part, it’s always free.
One of my favorite tools has always been Google Earth. I use it a ton. It gives you and your students a chance to connect people & place and events & place. It provides big picture data and encourages problem solving. And it’s always been free.
Except for Google Earth Pro. Pro is, well . . . more awesomer. More features. More fun stuff like a HD Movie Maker. High resolution images. Extra layers not available on the free version. More measurement tools. So while it is more awesomer, Earth Pro would run you $399 for the privilege.
Google Earth Pro is now free.
Long time readers of History Tech already know how much I love maps. They know how much I love Google goodies. So they also know that Google Earth and Google Maps just might be the sweetest tools of all time.
And recent changes in Google Maps make the tool even better. They’ve created a separate map creation tool called Google My Maps that makes creating online maps easier while storing the completed maps in your Google Drive.
This fall, I’ve had the chance to work with all sorts of teachers and districts as they’ve moved deeper into the Google world. Google My Maps just adds another piece of Google goodness to the GAFE world.
With the new Google My Maps, you have the option to Read more
Most of us are very familiar with Google Maps, Google Earth, Google Tour Builder, and ArcGIS. Awesome tools all. But there are other tools out there to help you and your kids create and share maps.
They may not have the same cache and brand name awareness but these types of tools can be very handy. Play with them a bit and run them by your kids. You may be surprised. Read more
Google just keeps coming up with more cool stuff. And for all you map nerds, and history teachers, their new Maps Gallery is just the ticket.
Maps Gallery works like an interactive, digital atlas that lets you search for and find powerful, compelling maps. It’s much like the Gallery of tours you can find via the Google Earth tool. One of the biggest differences is that the Google Maps Gallery contains maps created by a variety of organizations, both public and private, and so you can find all sorts of maps, many mostly inaccessible to the public before now. Read more
We’ve got the National Geography Awareness Week. We’ve got Kansas Geography Day. But today in Hutchinson, it’s ESSDACK Geography Day.
Four times a year, an awesome group of middle school teachers show up here and we talk social studies all day. And, yes, it is lots of fun. One of the things we’ve tried to do during our sessions is to bring in outside experts from the different social studies disciplines. And today we have Lisa and John from the Kansas Geographic Alliance, sharing some sweet ideas and resources. Get the goodies from today here. Get all of their stuff here.
They shared the prediction that geospatial jobs will be one of the fastest growing jobs over the next 20 years. There is a huge need for kids who understand geography and how it connects to everything. It’s not about the what anymore, it’s about the where.
Need a bit of a taste of their stuff? Read more
The Google StreetView cars have mapped over six million miles of road around the world. And depending on your perspective, that’s either a ton (240 times around the equator) or barely getting started (just a tenth of the world’s possible 60 million miles of road.)
An article in a recent New York Time Magazine shared this information along with an interesting commentary on the state of digital maps. Adam Fisher, the article’s author, claims that over 20 percent of searches made using Google are “where” related and growing. It’s no longer just a matter of searching for the “what” – it’s becoming increasingly important to know the where. The StreetView cars, and the data they collect, are the new Google Search.
And it’s not just where. It’s something called “location-awareness,” the sort of geographical information that our phones and other mobile devices already require in order to function.
In the future, such location-awareness will be built into more than just phones. All of our stuff will know where it is — and that awareness will imbue the real world with some of the power of the virtual. Your house keys will tell you that they’re still on your desk at work. Your tools will remind you that they were lent to a friend. And your car will be able to drive itself on an errand to retrieve both your keys and your tools.
While it’s not exactly clear how or when we’ll get from what we have now to that sort of future, one thing is clear: Read more