Where on (Google) Earth #55?

Apparently Kent has given up on blogging, if not solving WoGEs. That’s too bad – we need all the geology bloggers we can get, IMHO.

With all of the Where on (Google) Earth’s I’ve won and posted, some think I might have seen it all. Not so. I never thought I’d see pink imagery in Google Earth, nor did I expect to find this particular geologic feature in the place I found it. Who knew?

I’ll invoke the Schott Rule (Post time: 23:55 CDT), though I suspect it won’t be necessary this time.

For the newbies: Identify the location of the feature (latitude and longitude will do) and describe the geology as best you can. We’re pulling for you!

Where on (Google) Earth #55

Where on (Google) Earth #54?

I found Brian’s Chinese folds, so it’s again my pleasure to send you off to the far corners of the (Google) Earth. Coastlines are pretty easy to recognize in traditional map view, so I’m showing this one obliquely. It’s still probably not gonna be too hard to find, so I’ll invoke the Schott Rule (post time: 1:20 am CDT), in hopes of giving the newbies a chance.

What do you suppose came out of that hole in the foreground? Find the location and the answer will be as plain as the noses on their faces.

Where on (Google) Earth #54

Where on (Google) Earth #51?

After two volcanoes, it’s time for a river…

I intend the following quote as a (slightly misleading) clue to the location of WoGE #51, rather than a political statement: “The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much.” Take from it what you will.

Identify the location to claim the right to post WoGE #52, the geology to demonstrate your understanding of the Earth, and explain the multilayered nature of the clue to establish that your grasp of literature is on a par with your knowledge of current events.

Old school map view…

Where on (Google) Earth #51

…or is it?

Using Google Earth to Teach Geology

I first discovered Google Earth back when it was still Keyhole and Google had just bought them up. For the past couple of years I’ve had a free academic license for Google Earth Pro and it has become one of my favorite teaching tools. I regularly use it during lectures to illustrate landforms, discuss geologic events in the news (earthquakes, volcanoes, etc.), and to simply enhance the geographic context of photos. This year, as part of the license renewal process, Google has requested that I share some of my successes with the Google Earth user community. I’m pleased to have the opportunity to do so. What follows are just a couple of the ways I’ve used Google Earth to teach geology.

My idealized use case for Google Earth is one that I’ve yet to actually achieve, though there’s a good chance I’ll be able to finally realize it this semester. My Intro Geology classes generally follow a traditional lecture format, though I often try to mix it up with videos, clickers, and other innovative interactive techniques I’ve learned in large part through the excellent NAGT Cutting Edge workshops. Normally when I teach about geologic process and landforms such as alpine glaciation my lecture will include plenty of photos and a good deal of arm waving, but has traditionally included no significant student interaction beyond my conversational lecture style. What I’m hoping to do this semester, now that a significant number of students are bringing wireless enabled laptops and tablets to class, is to limit my traditional description of alpine glacial features to the first 35-40 minutes of class and then use the final 15 minutes to ask students to go out in Google Earth and find these alpine glacial features for themselves. It’s a very simple exercise, but it requires students to synthesize the material that I’ve been discussing in order to know where to go looking for these features and then recognize the different elements when they find them. Ideally I’d end the class by asking students to each e-mail me a placemark of an alpine glacial feature of their choice, using the description box of the placemark to give a brief account of geologic origin of the landform they’ve identified. In addition to enhancing student engagement with the topic by invoking an active learning style, students would get a chance to experience the joy of discovery in a virtual field experience that I cannot otherwise duplicate here on the high plains of western Kansas. Alpine glaciers are almost the ideal scale of geologic feature to explore in Google Earth, though they are by no means the only one. One could easily adapt this exercise to river systems, coastal features, volcanoes, and regional geologic structures such as anticlines and synclines, to name just a few.

I have also begun employing Google Earth as a component of a number of the “GeoChallenges” that I’ve begun offering this semester. The very first GeoChallenge of this semester offers students credit for solving one of the ongoing “Where on (Google) Earth?Google Earth Placemark” challenges that were pioneered by Brian at his Clastic Detritus blog. Already this semester I’ve had two Intro Geology students successfully solve the Where on (Google) Earth challenge in (relatively) open competition with the general geoblogosphere. Another GeoChallenge invokes Google Earth to get students to explore the geology of their hometown. I expect to offer many more GeoChallenges this semester that involve Google Earth in some way.

Finally, I also used Google Earth extensively last spring in teaching an upper level geomorphology class. Students were given weekly assignments to investigate different types of landforms and I strongly encouraged them to cite examples using placemarks in Google Earth. Although student response to the use of Google Earth in this class was not as enthusiastic as I had hoped, I believe that with refinement this class could make excellent and extensive use of the Google Earth platform.

I’ve certainly got other ideas for using Google Earth for teaching geology (virtual field tripsGoogle Earth Placemark, for example), but it’s time for me to listen now. How are you using Google Earth to teach geology (or any other course)? Got any other ideas for using it that you’d like to bounce off the community before putting into practice? I’d love to hear your ideas and questions.

Where on (Google) Earth #49?

Well, since I conquered the Swiss Alps, it’s my turn again to send you off on a journey of discovery.

I don’t think this one will prove too hard to find, so I’m invoking the Schott Rule (post time 0:05 am CDT) to slow down the veterans a bit. The geology is interesting and deserves a good explanation.

As has been my habit recently, the view is an oblique anaglyph:

Where on (Google) Earth #49

By the way, how many of my viewers actually have red-blue glasses to view these anaglyphs properly? Let me know in the comments.

As we approach WoGE #50, don’t forget that you can keep up date with a list of all past winners via the following Google Earth network link: http://ron.outcrop.org/kml/WoGE.kmz