A combined effort between Steve Kluge at Fox Lane High School and myself ended with the development of a poster presentation at the Northeastern Sectional GSA Meeting demonstrating the usefulness of the powerful, yet user friendly, program of Google Earth.

NOTE: The GE tours here are all 'works in progress', contributed to this site by colleagues, teachers, and students. Feel free to take and modify, edit, expand, and improve any of them, and (please!) send them to Steve Kluge or Eric Fermann to be posted on this site or on it's mirror site at Fox Lane.

Poster Abstract

The increased availability of detailed satellite imagery creates a unique opportunity for Earth Science students to study landforms and landscapes, enabling them to literally broaden their horizons by including not only individual geologic features, but also boundaries and transition zones between regions dominated by different geologic processes. Since its release in the summer of 2005, GoogleEarth has provided an uncomplicated means of combining satellite imagery with geological and geographic information in dramatic fashion. While satellite visualization tends to grab the student's attention, it remains necessary to integrate these techniques into lessons that include inquiry-based learning activities. The authors have collaborated by beginning to create topical earth science lessons and laboratory activities using the free GoogleEarth software to enhance the conceptual understanding of topics ranging from plate tectonics, volcanoes, glacial geology, erosion and deposition in river systems, and meteorite impacts. These new exercises allow educators to keep up with advances in technology and supply students with the modern tools necessary to understand the fundamentals of geological processes.

Download the poster here:

I have broken the poster into 4 parts due to its large file size. Each file below is a .jpg file of significant size. Larger .pdf files are available, but are not convenient to post on the website.

Part 1 - Abstract/Introduction (1.9 MB jpg)
Part 2 - Useful Features (~2.3 MB jpg)
Part 3 - Application (~2.7 MB jpg)
Part 4 - More Useful Features/Summary (~2.3 MB jpg)

Using Google Earth

To use the links below, you must have Google Earth installed on your computer. If you don't have Google Earth, you can get the free software here. Follow the directions on their web page to install the program onto your computer.

How to Use Google Earth

I put together a small (25 page) 'manual' to introduce Earth science teachers to some of the techniques that make this program so usefull for classroom demonstrations. Feel free to download it here.

GE Manual for Earth Science Teachers (~1 MB pdf)


Google Earth Layer Sites

As the usefulness and interest in Google Earth grows, new layers are continuously being developed. Two sites I find very useful are:

More sites will be added here as I find them.

Useful Google Earth Layers

When I come across a particularly useful layer, I will post a link to it here.

Links For Earth Science Classes

Most of the following links are *.kmz files. Some are pictures (.jpg) or Microsoft Word (.doc) files. To view any of the *.kmz links below, save the appropriate link to your computer (right as...). Open the file in Google Earth.


TECTONICS (Volcanos, Earthquakes)

Sample lessons/activities from the GOOGLE EARTH WORKSHOP at Purchase College, SUNY (1/7/2006)



  • Sinkholes on the French coast (Thanks, Matt Wasilawski) (.kmz)
  • Karst in southern China (Guangxi Province - home of magnificent tower karst, solution valleys, etc. BROWSE AROUND!) (.kmz)








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