Sunday, July 22, 2007

Smithsonian-Google Earth Mashup!

The Smithsonian has done something interesting with a current exhibit Encompassing the Globe: Portugal and the World in the 16th and 17th Centuries. Oh they have their usual lavish web exhibit, with concise text and arresting maps and images from the exhibit. You can click and zoom on most of the images to explore them closely. What is new about this exhibit is that the Smithsonian has created a Google Earth file to go along with it. By clicking on this link you will load the file (presuming that you have already installed Google Earth) and can explore Portugal and its overseas empire. It is really an innovative way to bring history to the web.

It is easy to imagine a thousand historical topics that could get this treatment in Google Earth--almost any war, exploration, the travels of an individual (where is the Mark Twain Google Earth file?) As a teacher I am already thinking about how to teach a seminar on say Westward Exploration and have each student pick an explorer and create a Google Earth file, all of which could be brought together at the end of the class.

(Via the Google Earth Blog).

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