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University of Utah Library Guides

Google Earth: Introduction

An introductional guide to Google Earth with skills and tips for creating geospatial projects using the software.

What is Google Earth?

Google Earth is a combination of multiple databases and web engines working together to turn your computer into a window of any location on the planet.


This process is achieved through the use of:

  • High-Resolution Satellite Images
  • Elevation Data for 3-Dimensional Modeling
  • GPS Navigation for Street-Level Viewing

Google Earth offers a multi-disciplinary approach to presenting your data/information in a geographic context utilizing maps, narrated tours and 3D animations.  Google Earth can be used to display many types of data or information that are not necessarily considered geographic data.  What this means is that any information that can be conveyed geographically can be displayed using Google Earth, with some exceptions depending on the information.

Useful Across Multiple Disciplines

Google Earth offers a multi-disciplinary approach to presenting your data/information in a geographic context utilizing maps, narrated tours and 3D animations.  Google Earth can be used to display many types of data or information that are not necessarily considered geographic data.  What this means is that any information that can be conveyed geographically can be displayed using Google Earth, with some exceptions depending on the information.


How can you tell if your information can be conveyed geographically?  A good key is whether your information can answer questions such as:

  • What
  • Where
  • When
  • How

If your information can answer one of these question, the chances are very good that Google Earth can be used to present it.  It only becomes a matter of designing a way in which the information can be presented, accessed and visualized efficiently.


The only questions that can not be answered geographically are questions of why (example: Why did this happen? or Why did it occur this way?).

Benefits of Using Google Earth

Google Earth is easy to use

Large amounts of useful information are available for projects that are continuously being updated and made available for use in your project.

Different methods for presenting information allow you to convey large amounts of information while cutting down on the need for additional presentation software.

Excellent educational tool with the ability to create and explore projects from multiple disciplines through an interactive visual experience.

Google Earth is a great research tool with many resources available at your fingertips.

Google Earth offers you the ability to create, display and present your data or information in a geographic context.  This allows your information to be presented in a way that conveys more meaning while engaging the viewer with an interactive learning experience.

Subject Specialist

Justin Sorensen
Contact:
GIS Specialist
Geospatial Project Consultant

Digital Scholarship Lab (1705M)
J. Willard Marriott Library
Website / Blog Page
Marriott Library Eccles Library Quinney Law Library