This weekend has been a busy one as I put together two presentations for a local conference next week.
JOSTI (Jefferson Overseas Schools Technology Institute) is an annual meeting hosted by our local sci/tech magnet school for educators from American schools in other countries and co-sponsored by the State Department’s Office of Overseas Schools.
Tomorrow I’ll be doing a short session called Blog It Yourself, which is all about putting together a blog, wiki, or other content management system, mostly drawn from my experience as a pseudo-geek who can follow directions.
Tuesday I’ll be doing my half-day workshop on using Google Maps and Google Earth, which is basically the same one I’ve done half a dozen times in the past year.
If you’re interested in either of these topics and would my notes and materials, it’s all here.
However, don’t look too closely until later in the week. Being the
perfectionist procrastinator that I am, I’ll be adding and rewriting information right up to the last minute (and probably after).
Google let loose with Earth version 4.3 today and overall the application seems to load a little faster and feels even smoother than before.
The most noticeable change is the redesigned navigation tools which now have a classier look and also take up less room in the interface.
Another something new is a button that adds a daylight/dark layer to the globe with a slider to move time across the map. Very cool.
In this edition the coders have also added the Street View feature from their web-based maps which allows you to see street-level photographs from major cities.
With the layer turned on, you’ll see a camera icon on cities that have this feature. We’re still waiting for the DC pictures to be added.
I haven’t had time to peek into all the corners of the new edition but I’m sure the Google folks have some hidden gems in there. They always do.
And since I’ll be doing another Earth workshop later in the month, I guess I’d better start digging.
While many classrooms still have the pull-down or bulletin board-sized map of the world, increasingly these days we teach our students about the world using online mapping technology such as Google Earth.
But whose version of geography are we using?
Case in point, the Chinese government is not happy with the almost 10,000 web sites in that country which use “unapproved” maps.
Maps “…that make mistakes such as labeling Taiwan a ‘country’, wrongly drawing national boundaries, or omitting islands such as the South China Islands, Diaoyu Islands and Chiwei Island.”
So, will Google, the company whose motto is “Don’t be evil” adapt Earth to fit the Chinese version of the world, use the US version, or create multiple realities?
As the media focuses on China as the site of the 2008 Olympic Games, these interesting questions about censorship and more will be raised.
Hopefully, we will take some time from test prep to include our students in the discussion.