Yesterday, Google announced the new google.com/earth web app... yes, that's right, a full featured, in-browser version of Google Earth that works across platforms (including Chromebooks!) without any downloads, installs or other hassles. Just browse to the site and launch the app. You and your students can then explore the Earth in all of its glory.
Not only can we now run Google Earth inside the browser, there are some new tools included in the updated version.
Knowledge Cards - In many places throughout the experience, Google will provide you with Knowledge Cards. These range from Wikipedia entries to key Points of Interest to explore and learn more about.
Voyager – The Voyager feature allows you to visit areas with a guided tour from experts on the region. Want to visit Japan? Take a quick, guided tour around the best spots to see in Tokyo with info cards that teleport you between locations as you click through. Explore the area in beautiful 3D renders and then, hit the Street View button to fly down to ground level. It is really, really cool.
Post Cards – Want to set up a custom series of sites for your students? You can now send a ‘postcard’ with a simple share link. On the Android and iOS app versions, this is basically a screen grab. But on desktop and Chromebooks, it is a link that takes your students directly to the spot (and view) on the map you were looking at. Considering all the different ways you could set up a view with Google Earth, the fact that this share takes them right to the exact view you had lined up is very nice.
I'm Feeling Lucky - What would any Google product be without the ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ button? Yes, it is silly, but roll the dice and discover an amazing thing you didn’t even know existed. Its fun.
How will you use the new Google Earth in your classroom?