• Screenshot of the new Google Earth

    Welcome home: Google launches new, web-based version of Earth with enhanced tools for learning and exploration. 

Four-and-a-half billion years ago, the Earth formed. Around 1.9 million years ago, homo erectus began exploring outwards from Africa. In 1991, the Internet provided a new way for modern humans to explore the world. Now, as of April 18, we can explore anywhere in the world from any device, anytime, anywhere with the new Google Earth.

Google Earth–not to be confused with its navigation-focused cousin, Google Maps–specializes in superior 3D visualization of the world, among other features. If you used Google Earth in the past, you probably found your house, explored Mars, and maybe even used the flight simulator to pass the time on a slow day at work. All of that functionality was great, but it required having to download the desktop version of the app. Removing layers was time-consuming, and not being able to share your work with others left a little something to be desired. The new version of Google Earth is browser-based, meaning it can be run smoothly on any device. 

Feed your curiosity (and easily fill an afternoon) with the new Voyager feature, which combines storytelling with exploration, and enjoy Earth's seamless integration with the rest of the Google tools that we know and love.

To help teachers and students make the most of this powerful new learning tool, Google has assembled an all-star team of teacher-trainers to develop and deliver workshops–some of which Canadian Geographic Education will be hosting under the guidance of yours truly, one of only a few proud Google Geo Education Trainers. Become a member of Canadian Geographic Education today to stay in the loop about upcoming opportunities.

"The New Google Earth has the potential to radically inspire students in their exploration of this increasingly accessible content. Our K-12 infrastructure is ready to leverage the web-based Google Earth for student learning and investigation of the vast connections between Geography, STEM, and the Humanities" says Micah Shippee, a social studies teacher and member of the Google GETN Network.

Michelle Armstong, Regional Director of Ed Tech Team Canada adds, “With New Google Earth, students can now go virtually anywhere in our world without leaving the classroom." 

Below, check out some fun ways to use the new tool; now, if you will excuse me, I have a whole new world to explore.

Seven things to discover with the new Google Earth

1. Get some inspiration for your garden by checking out these amazing urban gardens 

2. Take a 3D tour around St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City, whose cornerstone was laid on this day in 1506

3. Match your desktop background to your outfit today with the Earth View tool 

4. Seamlessly explore Parliament Hill through Street View imagery right in Google Earth 

5. Explore somewhere different by clicking on 'I’m feeling lucky,' (the dice icon on the sidebar) and share your favourite location using the new share feature, also on the sidebar

6. Watch recent RCGS Gold Medallist Sir David Attenborough discuss the amazing Birds of Paradise in Papua New Guinea

7. Plan your next vacation by adding locations to your places by clicking the ribbon icon on the sidebar