This week I sat in on a course run by the Royal Geographical Society to train teachers to use Google Earth in their classes. The course was excellent and will run again in October and is highly recommended. In talking to some of the teachers we soon got on to the topic of the impact that Google Earth has had in exciting their students, and the extent to which their preferred images to Cartographic view of the world.
As a teaching tool just creating a tour and visiting places without any labels displayed is very powerful, asking students to describe the shape of the landscape, patterns of settlement and of course trying to recognise the locations is fascinating.
Last week I saw this same effect in a different environment visiting the Swiss Museum of Transport Swiss in Lucerne. For an aviation anorak such as myself, this is well worth the visit, but for all geographers you must visit the swissarena, a 1:20 000 scale photo mosaic of all of Switzerland on the floor of a dedicated building.
This is just amazing.. constructed from nearly 8,000 images and detailed enough so that you can see individual buildings it is a huge hit with children visitors and is a brilliant tool to understand the geography of Switzerland.
We really must make the most of this opportunity, new technology has made geography interesting again.. lets make the most of it and move beyond the LandRanger extract !!!
Written and Submitted from the Terminal 2, Heathrow Airport, London using the BTOpenzone wifi network.