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Google Earth Lessons Blog » New version of GE - Beautiful, yet Brutal!

Google Earth Lessons Blog

An Educational Resource for Teachers

New version of GE - Beautiful, yet Brutal!

Filed under: General — GELessons Blog Admin at 12:56 am on Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Just released this evening, the new version 4.3 of Google Earth is amazing!

Screen shot of the new interface.

For teachers, however, my first impression is that it will offer mixed blessings.

Big changes:

There are all new navigation tools, there is the ability to display the day/night line (this is something I have wanted forever!!), dated images when available, and the ability to view the Google Street View images directly within Google Earth for the first time (it has been available for quite a while in Google Maps, select cities only).

The new look and feel are incredible and the new changes will not be without a significant impact!

My first impression after about 10 minutes of playing with it are generally all thumbs up, but the big, big downside has to be the Street View images. They just brutalize the network and the computer! I am running a fairly good Windows computer with tons of memory, and it brought my fancy computer to a crawl when the images were loading. I hate to think what it will do to a low end student computer when the kids activate Street View. There is no question, it is amazingly cool and really will bring the world to life for the kids, but I can just hear the IT department now complaining about the massive new load that Google Earth will put on the school’s network, and I can hear the kids wondering why the computers have stopped moving.

Overall though the folks at Google Earth have done a remarkable job that will provide teachers an even more powerful tool for teaching a wide range of topics, and for students to share their knowledge in immersive, creative ways!

Happy Earth Wanders!

David

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