What is Google Earth?

Google Earth is a virtual globe program that was originally called Earth Viewer and was created by Keyhole, Inc. It maps the earth by the superimposition of images obtained from satellite imagery, aerial photography and GIS over a 3D globe. It is available under three different licenses; a free version, Google Earth, with limited functionality, Google Earth plus which includes a few more features, and Google Earth Professional intended for commercial use.
Google Earth allows users to search for addresses (for some countries only), enter coordinates, or simply use the mouse to browse to a location. Google Earth also has digital terrain model data collected by NASA's Shuttle Radar Topography Mission. This means one can view the Grand Canyon or Mount Everest in three dimensions, instead of 2D like other map programs/sites. In addition, Google has provided a layer allowing one to see 3D buildings for many major cities in the US and Japan. Many people using the applications are adding their own data and making them available through various sources such as the BBS or blogs mentioned in the link section below. (Wikipedia)

Where can you find resources?

What do I need to run Google Earth (besides a broadband internet connection)?

PC
Operating System: Windows XP
CPU: Pentium 4 2.4GHz+ or AMD 2400xp+
System Memory (RAM): 512MB
Hard Disk: 2GB free space
Network Speed: 768 Kbits/sec
Graphics Card: 3D-capable with 32MB of VRAM
Screen: 1280x1024, "32-bit True Color"

Macintosh
Operating System: Mac OS X 10.4.5
CPU: G4 1.2Ghz
System Memory (RAM): 512MB
Hard Disk: 2GB free space
Network Speed: 768 Kbits/sec
Graphics Card: 3D-capable with 32MB of VRAM
Screen: 1280x1024, "Millions of Colors"


Examples

Astronomy

Exploding Star Animation
exploding_star_n.kmz
Space Telescope Science Institute
What is a light echo? See one in action as a star called V838 Mon explodes. These Hubble Space Telescope images show the light from the star reflecting off the dusty material nearby in various stages, showing an animation of the explosion. You will need to switch to Sky in Google Earth 4.2 to view t...
Crab Nebula Animation
crab_nebula_n.kmz
Joey P. Wade
Located over 6000 light years from our planet, the Crab Nebula is the result of a supernova explosion first witnessed in 1054 AD. In this animation, created by Joey P. Wade, slides from a YouTube video have been overlaid and animated inside Google Sky. To view, press the play button next to the time...
On Mars
OnMars_MDIM_MOCNA.kml
The MGS MOC Narrow Angle layer contains most high resolution images from Mars on an USGS Mars Digital Image Model background.

Biology

AntWeb
antweb.kmz
AntWeb
Question. How many internet search engines have an ant name after them? At least one. AntWeb, based at The California Academy of Sciences has put together a KML file giving an overview of different ant species around the globe with each placemark showing a photo and link to further information. Appr...

Geology

Ecological Research on the Ancient Bristlecone Pines
bristlecone_pine_research_n.kmz
Abstract
Since the days of Charles Darwin, biologists have struggled with ways to represent our planet's incredible biological diversity on maps that convey both meaningful information and a realistic sense of scale. In recent years, this challenge has morphed into a search for mapping platforms that are available to help educate the general public, are easily accessible to both novice and established scientists, and are powerful enough to track and display biological data. Our research focuses on the population ecology of ancient bristlecone pine trees in California's White Mountain range, and we have found that Google Earth is an important tool for both expediting the everyday process of fieldwork and for educating the public about our projects. Google Earth has made it much easier for our team to share spatial data, to quickly view this data overlaid on aerial imagery, and has helped us discover key ecological patterns in the bristlecone pine forests.

Appalachian Mountaintop Removal

NationalMemorialMtns.kmz

Abstract

Mountaintop removal coal mining is changing the American landscape on a scale that is hard to comprehend unless you see it from the air. Anyone who has ever flown in a small aircraft over southern West Virginia or eastern Kentucky will never forget the experience of seeing the massive scale of destruction - mountain after mountain blown up and dumped into valleys as far as the eye can see.
Mountaintop removal affects more than mountains and streams, however; it is threatening to displace and destroy a distinctly American culture that has persisted in the Appalachian Mountains for generations. Appalachian people working to save their communities have long dreamed of ways to fly reporters, decision-makers, and thousands of other Americans over the Appalachian coalfields to see this destruction first hand - and then to visit their communities to hear stories of people who endure the consequences of what some have called "cheap energy."

Rising Sea Level Animation
changing_sea_level_n.kmz
Zoltán Büki
This file animates one scary potential effect of climate change -- rising sea levels. Will your house be underwater? Will the desert become an ocean? Use the time slider to see which locations will be submerged as the planet's oceans rise. Note: it's important to turn on the terrain in the "Layers" ...

Volcanoes of the World
gvp_world.kmz
Smithsonian Global Volcanism Program data for known or inferred Holocene volcanoes are now available as a Google Earth layer, displaying a photo (when available), geographic data, and links to more detailed information from the GVP and international volcano observatories or other websites focusing on regional volcanoes.

History

Early PA Migration
EarlyPAMigration.kmz
This is a living project. The intent is to enable genealogy researchers to see/visit PA as it existed from about 1750 through 1850. In addition, I attempt to provide additional links to related research.
Blog: http://apoetsblues.typepad.com/studentsofdescent/

Henry Box Brown
Henry Box Brown.kmz
A tour of his journey.

Literature

Mapping the Bible
Bible.kmz
Contains all the identifiable locations mentioned in the Bible.

Odysseus's Journey home : Homer's Odyssey
odysseus.kmz
Many peoples attempt to identify geographic places mentioned in the Odyssey.
We have chosen the traditional orthodox theory but there are many others.
the 13 annoted placemarks are numbered in the order of the journey.

Other

Paris Landmarks
Paris Landmarks.kmz
Find out here some of the greatest Places from Paris.  Monuments and other Places to visit.

Video
Columbia_York_Tour.wmv

Classes

Community Studies  –  Carlisle
Mapping Carlisle- New Americans.kml
Susan Rose senior seminar.

Extending Google Earth:

GIS & Google Earth:
http://arc2earth.com/
3D Modeling:
http://www.sketchup.com/
3D Warehouse
http://sketchup.google.com/3dwarehouse/

 

Others

Archaeology of Lower Egypt

This KML explores one of the most archaeologically interesting areas of the world - the Nile delta. The Egypt Exploration Society's Delta Survey has presented their fascinating documentation of this part of Egypt, enabling us to tour and feel a greater connection through textual and photographic information contained within the placemark description balloons.

On The Road With Jack Keroua

This KML contains a "geo-biography" of American poet and novelist Jack Kerouac. Paul Dorsey, a member of the Google Earth Community created this file which provides rich descriptions and photographs. This information, coupled with the geographical context of Google Earth provides a comprehensive overview of Kerouac's life and works.

On The Road - Sal Paradise

How people tell stories through KML is something that interests many of us. Previously, we featured a KML showing Jack Kerouac's "On The Road". This KML of the same novel, focuses on the main character; Sal Paradise and follows the travels across America. Each placemark contains information relating back to the relevant chapter, providing a better understanding of the places mentioned.

John Muir's Life

John Muir born April 21, 1838 was the founder of the Sierra Club, one of the largest conservation organizations in the United States. This file, created by the organization he founded, pays homage to the life of John Muir. Viewing tip: Turn on Terrain in your "Layers" section and re-live John Muir's experience of Yosemite National Park in California.

Henry David Thoreau's Cabin on Walden Pond