Google Earth is an easy and effective way to make all sorts of interactive visual content. This powerful and easy to use program is useful for far more than just simple maps.
While the science and geographical uses are fairly self evident Google Earth has advantages in other areas as well. It’s been used to add historical and geographic context to literary works. There’s actually a site devoted to using Google Earth to enrich the reading experience located at Google Lit Trips.
There are huge numbers of Google Earth files available. It’s a great way to pull in recent content. You can search for Google Earth files by adding the following element to your search filetype:kmz. If you were looking for Google Earth files on natural disasters, your search would look something like this.
Google Earth is also being used in some really interesting ways in science. There’s an amazing file that tracks the evolutionary tree and geographic spread of avian flu. There’s a video here explaining the file and you can download the actual Google Earth file here.
Google Earth has amazing depth and breadth. When that’s combined with ease of use and a visually engaging interface you have a very powerful learning tool.