It has been about five years since geteach.com’s last UI refresh. There are several issues that have been resolved. Watching students use the site in my classroom has brought on many of these changes, but some are just me wanting to tinker around. The most significant changes center around students using touch screens on their 11.6” Chromebooks.
Other changes have to do with scrolling of panels and creating a vertical split screen mode for modern, relatively large, smarty phones and/or tablets. As always, I am a one teacher shop that can only test on the devices that teachers can afford. So hopefully the new design works for your students. If not, the old version will be hosted here for the time being. https://geteach.com/back2020.html
Swipe above image: New larger and on-hover highlighted buttons
Swipe above image:“Select Map” menu has been reworked to better fit smaller screens
Swipe above image:Close Streetview icon added to panel’s header
Swipe above image:Added scrollbars to each panel to accommodate smaller screen sizes
Swipe above image:The importance of scroll bars. Allowing students to work with varying window sizes
“Layers” automatically toggles on after clicking a map set
New vertical view option which might not help a lot in landscape on a computer, but…
..pretty handy in portrait mode on my Note 8 (image above) and/or a tablet in portrait mode
One of the most requested features I get asked about is adding narration or audio to Google Earth Projects. Recently, I was fortunate to participate in a Google for Good 2020 session were Jordon Mears and I discussed how to approach adding audio to Google Earth Projects via Earth’s custom HMTL option. (Click here to watch full presentation – Free on-demand)
Thanks for those who watched the session. However, as an educator, I understand the need to offer a non-serial version and examples of our 15-minute conversation.
From here, I will take their “Try it Yourself” snippet and replace their mp3 with one of my own.
<source src="https://storage.googleapis.com/geteachkml4/Sound_Effects_Applause.mp3" type="audio/mpeg">
Your browser does not support the audio element.
Copy and Paste the modified code into Google Earth Web and hear it work.
Step 2: Spice it up!
<title>Simple Audio with One Image</title>
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
<link rel="stylesheet" href="https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Roboto:100,200,300,400,500|Roboto+Slab|Material+Icons" type="text/css" />
<link rel="stylesheet" href="https://code.getmdl.io/1.3.0/material.blue_grey-blue.min.css" />
<link rel="stylesheet" href="https://geteach.com/gti/drp/scripts/egew.css" type="text/css" />
<!--First media in Carousel--Best Image Aspect Ratio 3:2 Replace Image Source (src) bellow-->
<div class="mySlides fade">
<div class="caption" >Replace Caption</div>
<div class="content" id="content">
<!--Replace title text between div-->
<!--Replace mp3 source (src="youraudio.mp3")-->
<audio id="audioI" style="display:none" >
<source src="https://storage.googleapis.com/geteachkml4/Sound_Effects_Applause.mp3" type="audio/mpeg">
Your browser does not support the audio tag.
<span class="mdl-chip mdl-chip--contact audioPlay" style="width:85px;margin-left: 8px;">
<span class="mdl-chip__contact mdl-color-text--white" style="margin-right: 5px;"id="playIcon">
<span class="mdl-chip__text" id="playButton">Play</span>
<!--Replace text for description--Every <p> needs to have a class="text"--Any html works-->
<p class="text">Replace description...If you need a new paragraph the class="text"</p>
<!--Best image height for footer is 24px with a max-width of 145px-->
<!--If you don't want the footer is it best to delete the html within the logoLeft/LogoRight Div-->
<a href="https://twitter.com/geteach" target="_blank">
<img src="https://storage.googleapis.com/geteachkml4/logogeteachtemp.png" >
<div class="logoRight" style="display:none">
<script defer src="https://code.getmdl.io/1.3.0/material.min.js"></script>
There are several HTML files in the repository for you to use, modify, or recreate. You can reach me @geteach on twitter if you need help exploring, creating, or sharing this Earth.
GeTeach.com had a little spring cleaning this past week. The CIA World Factbook, along with UN’s Human Development Index, data was updated. As always, this biggest change looks to be Net Migration for Syria (Human Geography -> Demographics). Five years ago, there was a large negative flow out of Syria; now there is a relatively large inflow.
There are now over 190 map layers in geteach.com. New layers include percentage of Improved Sanitation (Human Geography -> Society), percent of population working in Agriculture/Mining, Industry, and Service (Human Geography -> Economy), and updated Population Density map (Human Geography -> Population Density), and Median Age (Human Geography -> Demographics).
In addition to new data, most of the thematic maps have new color gradients. Therefore, the maps, along with the legends, should be easier to process with new, more “modern”, colors.
The most immediate impact on my classes will be the addition of population pyramids located with Median Age, Total Dependency Ratio, Youth Dependency Ratio, and Elderly Dependency Ratio within the Demographic dataset.
These 2018 population pyramids are being served from a CIA Factbook host, so hopefully the agency does not change there urls, but having population pyramids in the site is a dream come true for my own teaching and learning; considering much of the course I teach is based on the unequal distribution of goods, services, and people across Earth’s service.
Another change worth mentioning is the inclusion of a small source/credit tag under legends. Geteach.com has always had a source/credit in the description box associated with each layer, but I was never comfortable with users have to click the “I” icon at the top right of each canvas to see the source of the map or data.
There are also numerous spacing changes with the styling. I doubt anyone will notice the 3-pixel margin shifts, but as a self-described pixel snob these items were truly bugging me. It is similar to painting a house or bedroom. The painter knows all their mistakes; even though it is never noticeable to any guest.
Well back to my real job…I hope teachers and students continue to enjoy at least one of the over 18,000 correlations; developing a deeper understanding of people’s relationships with their world and each other.
If you are new to geteach.com, here is a four-minute overview video of many of the functions already built into the site.
“Free site dedicated to help teachers educate and engage students using Google Geo Tools”
The above has been my mission statement for about ten years now. I should probably change ‘site’ to ‘sites’, but will worry about that later. As I am finally getting around to backing up some old project files, I noticed two things. One, my files are an absolute mess. Two, I have used a lot of Google Geo Tools over this decade; primarily oscillating between Maps API, Google Earth, and more recently Earth Engine. A friend once asked if I could put everything in one place. Looking at my files today suggest this will be highly unlikely. I try to use this blog to showcase work I think other students and teachers will be interested in. That stated, I don’t have an index of post for Google’s Geo Tools. Therefore, below are my favorite posts and projects organized around Google Geo Tools.
The one that started it all. As some people know, I am a big fan of kml and Google Earth; often calling it my gateway technology. With the web version of Google Earth, the future of this technology remains as current today as it was a decade ago.
Homage to Maps Engine/Maps Gallery: Many people don’t remember that Google had an amazing curated library of datasets that could be imported into geteach.com or opened within the gallery. That is before Google Deprecated the cool stuff. Some of the technology is still used with My Maps and I think Google Earth’s content creation. Those asset/map IDs look familiar;).
Google Earth Engine
Earth Engine took awhile to grow on me. Mainly because I kept having to recreate so much with the combination of deprecating and new technologies. That, and I have a day job teaching high school. However, over the past year I’ve taken a couple of weekends to create a few projects.
It looks like Google Earth Web has stopped supporting onclick events. Therefore the code snippets from the videos have changed to utilize event listeners. After some thought, I am not going to recreate vs code extension. This GitHub repository is where all the latest html files reside.
I was super excited when the Google Earth team launched content creation tool for Google Earth on Web. Mainly because these tools allow students and teachers an easy way to explore, create, and share their stories; their knowledge. I was equally excited the Earth team created a platform that allowed for custom HTML within these creation tools. With custom HTML, users can create narrated tours, quizzes, video stories, timing animations, etc. However, custom HTML adds complexity which requires a little extra know-how.
On occasion I get asked to create tutorials on how I create some of these special HTML Earth projects like quizzes. I am hesitant to create these for several reasons. First, I am a high school social studies teacher and not a developer. Yes, I have created some cool (my subjective opinion) Google Earth projects and have a successful Google Maps API website, but that is just me goofing off while attempting to find ways to engage my students. Second, I have been wrestling with how to meet the needs of the greatest number of people. The classroom gives educators and learners the space to cycle through feedback loops; a learning flow. This format does not allow for this immediate and meaningful feedback.
With these in mind, I came up with this tutorial blog/video series for creating custom HTML Google Earth projects.
The challenge: Create a three question Google Earth Quiz; choosing Google Earth Quizzes for this series because a number of people have asked.
Enjoy creating and feel free to share. Please let me know if you would like more tutorials on custom HTML for Google Earth on Web. You can find me on twitter @geteach.
Part I Setting Up a Coding Environment
For part I, we will create a coding environment that matches the instructional videos. If you already have a text editor you like (ie. Notepad++ or BBEdit) you will be fine. My assumption is that you already know a little about coding, so you will be able to follow along.