Tuesday, August 14, 2012

London Olympics Time Tour Teaching Idea

Despite being no fan of athletics normally the London Olympics running in my city hooked me in over the last couple of weeks so I thought I'd do a teaching HowTo as my way of honoring the whole event.

Part of the Olympic Park in London with 3D buildings turned on

Teaching Idea:  In the tour below you can see that you can use a tour to fly back in time as well as flying place to place.  One of the interesting parts of these games has been the regeneration it promises to bring the east end of London so my idea is a little sequence to see the history of the site in 1945 and in the present.

Open the following file in Google Earth and double click the tour in the places column to play it.

     Olympics Time Tour.kmz

Obviously this 'time tour' idea can be applied elsewhere but its very dependent on what historical imagery exists for any place - you have to go and look to see what historical imagery is available for any location (howto video on using historical imagery)

How To:
1]  Fly to London and pick a  high altitude view.  This is used to remind students the location of the site, its all too easy to have students confused about what country/city they are in.

2] Create a placemark (howto if you don't know).  I've used the text   L O N D O N as putting it in capitals with spaces puts over the idea that we're not marking a place here, more a whole area.  Your placemark automatically captures the view on screen at the moment of its creation.

3] Fly in to the Olympic park area (search top left,  may help here).  Pick a view that captures most of the park, then create another placemark.  Call it 'Olympic Park - 2012'.

4]  Now turn on the history feature.  Its a button on the top bar of the screen with a clock and a backwards arrow.  Move the slider that appears top left of your screen to the far right, you should see that you can go back as far as 1945 and that your screen shows a black and white image from this time.

5] Create another placemark and call it 'Olympic Park - 1945'.  Google Earth automatically captures the time if you've used it.

You now have 3 placemarks with 3 associated views.  We want to move between the three views, to do this, find the placemarks in the places column (left of the screen).

Each placemark is made up of a tick box (turns the point on and off), followed by an icon which is then followed by the name.

6] Double click the icon associated with the L O N D O N placemark to be flown to its view.

7]  Now try it with the London 1945 placemark.  If you are not at that location already you will be flown there but Google Earth will also change the imagery so that you see the view at that time.

8]  If you are presenting this to a class you could just double click from high view, to current park view to 1945 view but thats a lot of double clicking.  Better to pre-record it as a tour which we'll do next

9] Create a folder in the Temporary places folder by:
   Click 'Temporary places' in the places column > right click > Add > Folder

Call it 'Time tour'

10] One by one, drag your three placemarks into the folder.

11] Now click the video camera button top of the screen, this will start the tour record bar in the bottom left of your screen.  Click the red dot button and Google Earth will record what you do.

12] Tick your three placemarks so they are visible if they are not turned on already.  Double click London, 2012 and 1945 placemarks icons in turn so you are flown between them.

13]  Click the red dot button again to stop recording.  Google Earth will immediately play your tour back to you again, if you are happy with it, click the disk icon and it will save in your places column.

14]  Make sure your new tour is in the 'Time tour' folder.  This folder now contains all the elements you need for your tour to play.  Right click the folder > save as and save it somewhere.  You can now send that file to others who can play your tour.

Its important to put all the placemarks in a folder and save the folder as otherwise they won't show in the tour if someone else opens it.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Simple or Complex Map Icons

Over at my other blog I've just posted a response to a Google IO talk.  In the second half of the post I discuss whether you should use simple symbol icons (e.g. circles) vs picture icons (a simplified icon showing a wolf) which is relevant to Google Earth.