I get to present about Google Earth pretty frequently and mostly in the context of teachers whose schools or school districts have adopted Google Apps for Education. They come to my presentation with their new chrome books in hand hoping to find relevant ways to incorporate the information I provide into their teaching. Alas, among my first pronouncements in full disclosure is that Google Earth won’t work on the chrome book. I then have to qualify the statement and try to convince them that their time in learning about Google Earth is not wasted as it is an important development platform for activities they wish to publish in Tour Builder or Maps.
Glad to say that isn’t the case anymore. I can look out at the audience, ask’m to open their chrome book and go here:
Yep, that’s Google Earth in a chrome browser.
I can die now.
At first glance, the new interface seems like a totally stripped down version of the original. What few tools that exist are on the left side panel and they are limited, so developing on this platform seems like a difficult proposition.
I took this new baby for a ride last night. The first thing I wanted to know is if the lesson content I created and wrapped up into a KMZ file was going to transfer into this new environment. So, I picked my Regions of Virginia KMZ file and this is what happened:
It pulled in all of the content. I had to tell the chrome based version of it to allow KML/KMZ uploads first, which is just a preference setting, and then use the unfamiliar layer panel to show the items, but it pulled in all the placemarkers, polygons and content within.
There were some problems with formatting though. I had linked to some very large images (large in the sense of vertical and horizontal pixels) and the presentation frames in chrome GE did not expand the window to see the images. That’s an easy fix if you are developing content as one would just format the images in a valid display size. No big deal.
So that’s it. I need to get crack’n on my course, The Best Earth Ever, to incorporate this aspect of Google Earth into the content.
Oh, and there’s more. Google has provided some pre loaded content for teaching. Here’s a link from Tech Crunch which further describes what you can do: