It has been a crazy couple of weeks, months, years! From my first glance at Google Earth for web to the present day, the same three ideas have circulated; explore, create, share. I am sure that I heard those in some chat at one time; or heard a version of them, but these ideas have percolated into my current framing of Google Earth.  With the initial release of Google Earth for web, several years ago, most users could only explore. Technically speaking, people could create and share with the web version from the start, but with the November 20, 2019 launch of creation tools it is now easy for everyone to explore, create, and share.

While Google Earth project templates allow for compelling stories with Google’s rich imagery in combination with media (images, YouTube) and text, using the “Switch to HTML” option in the info box might be a glimpse into the potential of this storytelling platform. It is with these two perspectives, one being an effective and easy entry point the other being a stretch, I share these early explorations and creations.

Most of the ideas for these creations come from my news feeds. Basically, I read a story and think that would work better on Google Earth.

Google Earth Project Template Stories

Man-Made Disasters (Link to Google Earth Story)

The idea for this story originated from this Medium post
Images and textual information come from Wikipedia

Human Trafficking (Link to Google Earth Story)

Human trafficking is one of the concepts for one of the courses I teach. With being such a large global issue, I figured the UN had resources that could help tell this story.

Changing Earth (Link to Google Earth Story)

One of my first Voyager like stories. The original file was created at SFO Airport during one of those all-day travel nightmares that went from a four-hour direct flight to a twelve-hour tour of America’s West Coast Airports.

Hungry Planet (Link to Google Earth Story)

Created a similar presentation my first year of teaching…Pre-Google Docs.
Peter Menzel, from the book, “Hungry Planet: What the World Eats.”

Aquaponics – A FAO Story (Link to Google Earth Story)

Every drop counts
How aquaponics and integrated agri-aquaculture farms are making smart use of water
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
Photo Credit: ©FAO/Valerio Crespi. Editorial use only.

Google Earth HTML Projects

Planet Money T-Shirt (Link to Google Earth Story)

I think the tweet went something like, “it would be cool if Planet Money T-Shirt was on Google Earth.” Challenge accepted. This Earth story uses HTML video tag with an on-time listener to move the camera.

My Austin (Link to Google Earth Story)

Originally, this was me goofing off a couple of winter breaks ago. It was my first attempt at a narrated story. It turned into a cultural landscape lesson for my students where they create their own perspective of Austin using Music, images, text, and of course…Earth’s imagery/streetview. This story is the foundation of Planet Money’s T-Shirt story.

Neighborhoods Worlds Apart (Link to Google Earth Story)

The spark of this story came from #worldgeochat. At the time I was trying to find a story that I could incorporate Google’s Maps API within a Google Earth story. Anyways, make sure to read and click the hyperlinks within the story.

US Geography Quiz: Draft (Link to Google Earth Story)

One common request is for Google Forms embed into Earth. Users can embed the form, but the sandbox will not allow the form submission. Anyways, after sitting through a team building quiz bowl at the start of the school year, I thought I would give a simple quiz a go. Please note this is a proof of concept draft.

Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl (Link to Google Earth Story)

Jerome Burg, founder and president, of Google Lit Trips is a one of my favorites. Jerome has been developing stories via Google Earth for years and is an expert storytelling through this media. With Jerome’s help and support, we adapted this Google Lit Trip.
Find all of Google Lit Trips Premier Edition Earth stories here.

For official Google Earth Education information visit

In addition, think about Joining the Earth Edu Community:!forum/earth-edu-community