On Wednesday, January 11, 2017 Google is finally shutting down the Google Earth API. (please note – This is the web version of Google Earth; Google Earth on a PC will still work) The shutdown is over two years in the making (Google’s 2014 Deprecation Announcement). Geteach.com’s first several versions where based off this API. (History of geteach.com here) As stated many times before, Google Maps API has been a net gain for geteach.com; mainly because Google has engineers working on the service. However, there are a couple of features I will miss from the Earth API.

geteach.com Video Tutorial (Last Google Earth API version) – Published January 14, 2014

What I will first miss most with the plugin is historic imagery. This is where geteach.com could show the same place at two different times. This was great for looking at natural disasters. (See Videos Below)

Moore, OK Tornado – Published June 11, 2013

Historical Imagery-Warsaw – Published August 4, 2012

Second, and similar to the first, most missed feature will be the historic time slider that allowed students and I to create interesting change over time kml files. (See Videos Below)

Comparing Volcanic Ash with Air Traffic – Published March 31, 2013

Hurricane Sandy with Population Density – Published January 8, 2017

There were other ways I used to time slider. For example, the video below shows sea level rise. Every decade equals +/- 10 meters. (See Videos Below)

Sea level rise with Earth at Night – Published January 8, 2017

However, what I will miss the most about the plugin was in its ability to load and share .kml files. Part of the reason why I created geteach.com was to have a platform where I could have a base set of .kml files showing physical and human spatial characteristics. (see previous blog post) A lesser known feature to geteach.com is that students can import their own .kml files and compare their student created maps with each others or one of the base sets of maps.

Climate Regions Layer with student’s quick draw ecosystem layer

This feature is still available in the new “Google Maps” version of geteach.com. However, the Google Earth plugin did a much better job rendering .kml files created in the Google Earth client. This is especially true with image overlays and other raster files; something not easily done with the Maps API and nearly impossible to teach younger students. I am sadden to shut down my first website. Hopefully Google has something up its sleeve for 2017.