Google Earth Professional Free For Educators

gep Google Earth is often pigeon-holed as niche software for those teaching geography or for the hobbyist with a keen interest in GIS applications. Google Earth has much more to offer the classroom teacher than the obvious geography connections. I will not attempt to enumerate all of the uses in this post. I did find the following links to be very helpful for incorporating Google Earth: http://www.shambles.net/pages/learning/GeogP/gearthplan/, http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/ubbthreads.php/Cat/0, http://googlelittrips.com/, and http://www.google.com/educators/p_earth.html.

According to Google, Google Earth Professional offers “high-quality printing, image export, movie maker, data importer, premium support, and measurement tools.” (http://earth.google.com/support/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=21407) The real advantage of Google Earth is the resources you can incorporate into the software. Look for “Google Earth Pro plug-ins” with your favorite web browser if you would like specific functionality from the software. You can start with perusing http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/top-plugins-and-resources-to-make-google-earth-more-fun/ and http://www.gearthhacks.com/downloads/. All of this comes at a price though – $400 a year to be exact. However, Google is offering the professional version of their software absolutely free to educators.

Be sure to check out the Google Earth “how to” from Hall Davidson at http://www.halldavidson.net/GoogleEarthHD.pdf.

Steps For Applying For a Free Educator Account:

1. Download the Google Earth Professional trial version at https://registration.keyhole.com/choice_kh_initial.html. Make note of your Google Earth trial account user name and license key.
2. Send an email to GEEC@google.com from your school email account expressing your interest.
3. Wait for the reply from Google. They will send a short application for you to complete in email format.

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