A Land-Use-Planning Simulation Using Google Earthby: Alec M. Bodzin and Lori Cirucci

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Google Earth (GE) is proving to be a valuable tool in the science classroom for understanding the environment and making responsible environmental decisions (Bodzin 2008). GE provides learners with a dynamic mapping experience using a simple interface with a limited range of functions. This interface makes geospatial analysis accessible and feasible for classroom use. Therefore, the authors developed a four week land-use-change curricular unit in which students use geospatial information technology tools including GE and other remotely sensed images to investigate modern-day land-use issues and land-use change over time.

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Reviews (2)
  • on Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:10 AM

This very detailed article explains a unit on students researching a location for a SuperMart store that has a minimal impact on the environment. The main tool they use is Google Earth. The article includes an analysis form, a problem statement rubric, and an activity worksheet. Rational for decisions that students make are included in the article. This activity as stated in the article takes 3-4 weeks but can be done in less time by changing aspects of the unit. It would be an excellent environmental study for a middle school course.

Betty Paulsell  (Kansas City, MO)
Betty Paulsell (Kansas City, MO)

  • on Fri Sep 09, 2011 9:30 AM

Students interact with Google Earth to plan for a location for a big box superstore. This six day activity has students use Google Earth to investigate and evaluate the features of different land sources in this activity. Their focus is on ‘smart growth’ issues and involves creating a plan and then presenting it. This is an excellent and relevant problem based learning activity that engages students in using technology to solve a real-world problem. Everything is presented for the teacher and the student.

Adah  (San Antonio, TX)
Adah (San Antonio, TX)

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