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Google Earth Lessons Blog » 2007 » December

Google Earth Lessons Blog

An Educational Resource for Teachers

GooglePages, On-line file storage for free!

Filed under: General — GELessons Blog Admin at 10:47 pm on Monday, December 31, 2007

One challenge in providing students with your cool educational Google Earth collections is actually distributing the collections to student workstations. If you are in a 1-3 computer classroom you can use disks or USB flash drives, but even so it can be troublesome. If you want your students to learn from the files at home it is even more challenging, especially if you don’t have access to your school’s website. Even with access to school servers, if the server isn’t configured to recognize KML or KMZ files you are in for a headache.

One option is to have your own web-space. That is where Google Pages can come in (assuming that the pages aren’t blocked by your firewall or internet filter)!

The free web space is available with a free Google Email account and is really easy to use. Just go to the My Account page and select the page creator option. You probably need to register for it first at http://pages.google.com

From there you can do all sorts of stuff, from changing the look and layout of your little ‘off-site web site’ to uploading your Google Earth files and images you may wish to use in your placemarks. The interface even offers some rudimentary image manipulation options.

If you don’t see the screenshots above, you probably won’t be able to use the site though since the images are hosted at my little ‘messin around’ Google Page.

When it comes to student access to the files you can just add your site link to the Favorites of your student computers and away you go!

Happy New Year, 2008!!

David

Geo-Photo Essay Tutorial Available

Filed under: General — GELessons Blog Admin at 10:48 pm on Saturday, December 29, 2007

Just a quick note…

Took some time today to crank out a video tutorial on how to easily construct a Geo-Photo Essay collection of placemarks. Designed for novice users and utilizing JetPhoto Studio although the principles are the same if you choose to use GeoSetter.

Click Here for the video tutorial. 18 minutes, 90Mb for the full thing, but it should stream OK. Click here to download the whole thing as an 85Mb .zip file for use over your LAN or on a stand-alone workstation.

Part of the reason I put it together is because I will be conducting a 6 hour workshop in mid-January covering a lot of aspects of a wide range of virtual Earth products and thought some video tutorials on CD might be nice for the participants. If you are in the Orlando area January 18th you are more than welcome to attend :-)

Enjoy!

David

JetPhoto Studio Kudos!

Filed under: General — GELessons Blog Admin at 3:14 am on Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I am all excited! This is so cool! (starting to get the little dancing around jitters with a ‘look what I can do!’ buzz going on)

I wrote last time about a new program I found called JetPhoto Studio, which is free, runs on Mac or Windows, but has a Pro version for a very economical $25. Well, I plunked down the $25 and got the Pro version and I couldn’t be happier! It is so cool!

Thumbnail view

After I started playing with it more, I found that it has to be, hands down, the best, easiest way to geo-reference pictures ever! Not only that, but it outputs Flash, KML, KMZ, reads from GPS units, integrates with Google Maps and GoogleEarth and even has its own web server software! It is so cool!

Output Options

If you have FTP access to a web server with PHP running on it, you can crank out cool web galleries with Google Maps/Earth content like this one (http://whatiwonder.com/jpserver) in minutes!

One caveat about that though, I tried it on this site and it was fussy, not showing the thumbnails and stuff, but it might be an issue with either my web host or with the version of PHP that is on it, the Google integration still works though. The developer is looking into it, so hopefully that problem will be fixed soon, but on a sister site it worked first thing and worked great! (12/25/07 Update: It was how I uploaded the files. They work now and the support people were great in solving the issue! GELessons.com can now host your educational albums if you don’t have your won web space!)

If you don’t have FTP access, just drop me a line. The whatiwonder.com site has been sitting empty for a year or more and still has a ton of space on it, so I would be happy to host the photos for your lessons if you don’t have other alternatives.

One thing that really impressed me about the software was how easy JetPhoto is to use. Having worked with many teachers over the years, many of them in the novice category tech-wise, I can see them actually using this and getting a quick grasp of the tools available. In fact I will use it as a part of a workshop I am running in January.

From an educational standpoint I don’t know that I would put it on student computers, but as a teacher it is a real productivity booster due to its ease of use.

Used in conjunction with everything from personal photos to curricular based images drawn from sites like United Streaming and www.pics4learning.com I can see how JetPhoto Studio will really be able to open up a lot of avenues for anyone teaching with GoogleEarth or Maps by substantially cutting down prep time for interactive lesson development. Try it! It is so easy!

Locating photos with ease!

Definitely the best $25 I spent this year! It is so cool!

Quick notes…

Filed under: General — GELessons Blog Admin at 1:43 am on Thursday, December 13, 2007

The number of applications that allow photos to be geo-tagged (have their longitude and latitude location encoded right into the secret code area that most people have no idea is there) is really becoming mainstream. The nice thing is that not only are they encoding the location, but the programs output GoogleEarth and Google Maps compatible files in a smooth, easy work flow. A couple of nice free ones that are really easy to use include GeoSetter and JetPhoto Studio.

GeoSetter is a work in progress, but what progress! Not only does it geotag photos, but it will read your USB GPS devise and merge the tracks, waypoints, etc. with the  image locations. Windows only, multi-language, 100% free, can be downloaded as a .zip so you don’t need administrative rights on your school computer to install it.

JetPhoto Studio is a sweet little program too, running under both Windows and Mac OSX. It is more tease-ware than freeware though as it will only allow you a limited number of GoogleEarth exports (15 collections can be tagged and exported before you have to pay the $25 Pro price). It has a really nice interface that the kids would have no trouble with.

Thanks to Frank Taylor over at the GoogleEarth Blog for keeping up a great site, today he had a blog entry about time animated Earthquakes and earlier had a great link to a Google Education in the UK which has put together a pile of wonderful lessons that can be used with GoogleEarth. Time permitting I will try to link them all in on the lessons page.

My latest fun thing to work with the kids on is not GoogleEarth related though, it is Scratch. Even the 7 year olds are starting to create neat content during their explorations. Sooner or later I will see if I can fuse GoogleEarth and Scratch. Might be a tough one since Scratch is Java and GoogleEarth is Flash, but there is a seed of an idea there that is waiting to bloom.

David

 

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