University of Vermont

Center for Teaching and Learning

Google Earth

What is it?

Google Earth (GE) is free software that allows users to explore a virtual globe of the Earth (as well as the sky, moon, and Mars), turn information layers on and off, explore street views around the world, and create maps that can be shared with other users of GE.

GE mapping options range from inserting simple placemarks or drawing routes, to creating rich information layers, “tours” along a timeline, and importing images, video, or GIS data.

Who can use it?

Students in a variety of disciplines—from the sciences and humanities to education and agriculture—benefit by exploring information from a place-based perspective and developing geospatial literacy.

How to begin teaching with it?

Each Fall and Spring semester, the CTL presents a workshop on how to create maps with GE, providing examples of how to incorporate it into course assignments in various disciplines. See our events calendar to register. For questions or a consultation about teaching with GE, email Inés Berrizbeitia.

Or just dive in! The resources below provide links to download and learn to use the software. This list only begins to tap the resources made available by a vibrant and active worldwide community of users.

How to Add Images to a Google Earth Placemark Description

To embed images in a Google Earth placemark "balloon," you'll need to create a small amount of HTML code. To start, the image must be posted on the web. Then:

  1. Using Firefox, go to the page that displays the image and right click on the image itself. Choose "Copy Image Location" to capture the image's address, know as the URL. NOTE: Other browsers may refer to this option as "copy image URL" or "address"
  2. To add the image to Google Earth, either create a new placemark or edit an existing placemark. To edit an existing placemark, right click on a placemark and choose:
    • "Properties" (on Windows) or
    • "Get Info" (on Mac)
  3. Paste your image's address (URL) into the description field. The following HTML code must be added to display the image. Copy and paste the code into your description field and enter the information indicated in red.

    To simply embed an image:
    <img src="paste image URL here">

    Float image to right (or left) of descriptive text:
    <img src="paste image URL here" style="float:right; margin:10px;">
    Add your descriptive text here...

Add link to descriptions with HTML
To add a link:
You may paste the URL into the description field and it will be converted to a hyperlink, however if the URL is too long, it you can create a more user-friendly link in the following way. Copy and paste this text and fill in as noted:
<a href="paste URL here">enter link title here</a>
This code:
<a href="">University of Vermont</a>
looks like this:
Create Paragraphs and Basic Formatting

Create paragraphs:
<p>paragraph here</p>

Formatting basics:
<em>italic text here</em>
<strong>bold text here</strong><br>

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