Introduce Google Earth (5-10 min.)
Free desktop software, available at earth.google.com
Different from google maps, mapquest in that 1) not a web map; must download
and install, 2) More powerful in terms of the amount of data that can be displayed,
3) 3d geographic model, vs. 2d (show google maps)
Geographic information software, great for data visualization
Navigation overview: pan, zoom in, zoom out, tilt, spin the earth – intuitive
Satellite/aerial photos and sea floor elev from google server, rendered at the level
of detail determined by the user.
Sidebar overview 1) Data overlays from server, or local files, 2) Gazeteer 3)
Geographic information software rich with information and visualization
How it can be used for teaching (10-15 min.)
Geography - dozens/hundreds of geographic concepts – illustrate a few
Scale – Geographic scale is a fraction, where one unit of something on a map
represents a corresponding amount in the real world, or on the ground,
represented as a fraction. 1/1,000,000 vs. 1/10. Much larger number, i.e. large
scale. Continental, national, regional, municipal, neighborhood, site/property.
It’s like taking the globe that’s over in the corner and replicating it digitally: not
just at the scale the globe is, but at all scales large and small.
Historical – land use change – possible classroom exercise: zoom to a city, or
latitude, longitude coordinate. For what years is imagery available for this
location? Describe how the land change from 1977 – 2007? Find historical
population data and analyze – does the population trend match the pattern on the
Map navigation (turn on grid)– think about how the earth is modeled. What
countries does the equator pass through? What is the range of latitude?
Longitude? Find the latitude longitude of my house at? Measure the width of the
road in front of your house?
Interactive capability lends itself nicely to classroom exercises. Add placemarks,
save as kml, email to students. Have them fill out the answers and send back as
kml. In addition to teaching geographic concepts, it would introduce them to the
concept of sending and receiving digital information.
Visualizing Global Oil (15-20 min.)
Pipelines – locations, attributes, data source.
Origin, destination, flow direction, multi-national information not collected.
Marine pipelines not collected.
Geographic or spatial correlations : climate map overlay. Disprove the misconception: All the world’s oil is found in the desert.
Population density overlay – show and explain the map legend.
Do oil pipelines follow population centers?
Oil Consumption – Another thematic map, just like population density, depicting a specific subject or theme geographically.
Visualze the individual country consumption totals, don’t want to be limited to
just 10 catagories. Since GE understands elevation, in the 3d model that it is, wouldn’t it be nice to extrude each country to an elevation equal to the amount of oil it consumes? Turn on 3d. Much more dramatic way to visualize a geographic theme – actual amounts are drawn, not just 10 catagories, outliers can be identified.
Is there a more representative way to visualize this data? We know China has a huge population, around 1.5 billion, with a consumption rate ranking? Is there high consumption rate depicted on this map simply due to the fact there’s a high population?
Introduce another fundamental of geography: Normalization by population Change to per capita map, check China again.
Oil Production – show 2d, 3d. Range in values, or disparity is much less with raw production levels.
Oil production per area – another fundamental geographic concept –
normalization by area.