Google Earth for Geoscience Education

Curriculum for the Bioregion 2010 Geoscience Faculty Learning Community

Peter A. Selkin (

Ralph Hitz (

Resources for This Workshop

Cascade Volcanoes Tour Download KML
Tacoma Tide Flats Maps Download KML
Making Tours:
Building KML: Notes
Mount Saint Helens Rock Types: Spreadsheet, Fusion Table

Useful Links and References

Google Earth Download, Documentation, Forum (Google)
Google Educators Website
2010 GSA Penrose Conference on Google Earth Website
Teaching with Google Earth Website (SERC / Glenn A. Richard, SUNY Stony Brook)
Google Earth Pro Grants Website
Designing Google Earth Lessons Website (Steve Kluge, SUNY Purchase and Fox Lane High School, et al.)
Wernecke, J.  2009. The KML Handbook. Saddle River, NJ: Addison-Wesley. 368 pp.

Geoscience Data Sources

Google Earth Library (Matt Fox)
KML Geology (San Diego State University)
OpenTopography (San Diego Supercomputer Center)
Tectonics and Earthquake Data (USGS)
WaterWatch Stream Gauges (USGS)
GECensus (sometimes called "GCensus;" Stanford)

Case Studies

Emergent Models for Geoscience Teaching (Declan De Paor, Old Dominion University)
Geologic Map Interpretation Using Google Earth (SERC / Barbara Tewkesbury, Hamilton College)
Various Activity Ideas from Juicy Geography (Noel Jenkins, Somerset, UK; Note: Not all activities are Google Earth-Related)
Various Activities (Steve Kluge, SUNY Purchase and Fox Lane HS)

Building KML

KML Documentation (Google)
KML Interactive Sampler (Google)
Arc2Earth Community (ArcGIS plugin for KML conversion; Free)
and Superoverlay (Valery Hronusov; KMLer is an ArcGIS plugin, and Superoverlay is a standalone application; $30/ea)
Global Mapper (Full-featured GIS with KML output; $349)
OGR/GDAL (Command-line conversion programs; Free, but hard to use)