Google Earth: Explore Our Planet in 3D

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By Scott Holm - Posted on 03 June 2010

Something you will learn about me over time is how much I love technology. I love to play with the newest gadgets and software, but what I consider to be my favorite piece of technology has actually been around for several years. I have yet to find something that impresses me as much as Google Earth, a free virtual globe that lets you explore our planet in great detail, or you can even take a trip the moon or Mars.

Now, a digital globe that you can explore from your computer is pretty cool, but what really makes Google Earth worthwhile is that you have the ability to turn on and off different "layers" of information from dozens of resources like Wikipedia, USGS, National Geographic and the BBC, among others. With the click of a button, you can enable layers that show the location of volcanoes or shipwrecks, and display Wikipedia or other links about the information on the map.

At a glance, many people might think that Google Earth is most useful for courses like Geography. However, the uses of this software go far beyond the boundaries of political and geographical boundaries. You may consider exploring the sites of major battles, the location of natural disasters or bird and whale migration paths. 

Google Earth is a great resource for students, parents and educators alike. The amount of information that you can discover and explore is very broad. On top of that, Google Earth can provide you with a nice alternative from regular internet searches depending on the topic by allowing you to explore and discover the world in 3D instead of from a search engine.

What other ways do you think Google Earth could be used to supplement a student's education? What layers do you think are the most valuable and are there any layers that you want to see? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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