The latest version of Google Earth gives users the ability to create tours that include historical imagery, embedded YouTube videos, and audio narration. The process to create these tours is fairly simple and, depending on the complexity, they can be completed in a relatively short time.
Here are some simple steps to create a virtual tour that can be launched from a Notebook lesson.
Create and play tours of places and content, or create tours that record your exact navigation in the 3D window. You can also add audio.
- To record a tour, click the “Record a Tour” button in the toolbar or click “View > Tour.”
- The record tour controls appear in the bottom left corner of the 3D window. To begin and end recording, click the Record/Stop button (red dot).
- To add audio to your tour, click the Audio button (microphone). When you are finished recording your tour, it appears in the Places panel.
- When you finish recording, click the Record/Stop button. The tour then plays. To save the tour, click the Save button in the playback controls that re-appear. Your tour appears in the Places panel.
- To play a tour, double click the tour in the “Places” panel. To create and play a new tour of items in “My Places,” select the appropriate folder in the “Places” panel and click the “Play Tour” button. To create and play a new tour of a line (path), select the appropriate line in the “Places” panel and click the “Play Tour” button.
- The tour begins playing in the 3D viewer and the tour controls appear in the bottom left corner of the 3D viewer. To pause or resume the tour, click the Pause/Play button. To fast forward or go back on the tour, click the arrow buttons. To replay the again and again tour, click the Repeat button. Use the tour slider to move to any part of the tour.
- And the best part… you can change the view or turn on/off layers while the tour is playing!
Download a free file that will install a tour into your Google Earth. Having students create a Google Earth tour can be a great way to reinforce lessons in several different content areas. Using Google Earth on a Smart Board is already a fantastic interactive experience; the tours add an entirely new aspect that will encourage students to be creative and inventive.
NOTE: You have to have the latest version of Google Earth (5.0) installed to use the tour features.
Check back soon for advanced techniques to customizing tours based on height, angles, etc.