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Google Earth Lessons Blog » Neat GE Alternative Developing!

Google Earth Lessons Blog

An Educational Resource for Teachers

Neat GE Alternative Developing!

Filed under: General — GELessons Blog Admin at 10:47 am on Saturday, May 10, 2008

Geo Geeks most likely are already aware of a great new tool but regular teachers might not know about NASA’s latest initiative, World Wind Java.

The new Java based World Wind allows for some really neat functions with more being developed every day by commercial and non-commercial enterprises alike. Since it is Java computer language based it will run on Apple, Windows or Linux computers and allows for innovative stuff like having a Google Earth-esque window in a web page among others.

Some caveats for teachers though:

1. It requires the downloading and installation of the Java applet, so in restrictive network environments you might not have enough administrative rights on your computer to use it. Ask your Tech people to see if there is a solution or if they can unblock you.

2. It needs the latest graphics drivers, meaning the computers need to be pretty up to date. I ran it on my fussy old laptop just fine, where Google Earth freaks out, so you are probably OK, but test it out first.

3. The updating of imagery seemed slower for me than Google Earth, so depending on your network, you might have more student downtime waiting for the imagery to appear.

Given the level of creativity of developers out there, this is definitely a remarkable new tool to keep an eye on that offers functionalities Google Earth doesn’t, and again, it is free!
http://worldwind.arc.nasa.gov/java/demos/ 

David

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