Google Earth For Earth Day

Earth Day in Google EarthToday is Earth Day. A time to sit back and think about our wonderful planet, and some of us will be out picking up some trash, or just enjoying nature. For those of you stuck inside due to weather, work, or other reasons – perhaps you might want to spend the day exploring our wonderful planet through the power of Google Earth. Here are a few links of stories from Google Earth Blog (GEB) describing environmental related content available for viewing in Google Earth:

  • Basic Tips on Using Google Earth

  • Environment LayersGreenpeace,
    ARKive (endangered species), Unicef (water and sanitation), UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme)

  • Rising Sea Levels – Animations showing what would happen if ice melting caused seas to rise too high – e.g. New York City.

  • EPA Air Quality Report – US Environmental Protection Agency’s air quality report for Google Earth – called AirNOW

  • International Polar Year – Collection of content for Google Earth about the Earth’s poles, and science projects ongoing to study the arctic environment. Part of the International Polar Year project.

  • Sea Ice Melting – Dramatic animation of data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center showing ice extents from 1979 through March of 2008 on both poles. See other GE data from NSIDC.

  • Google Earth Outreach Showcase – See environmental and science content for Google Earth.

  • Amazon Indians Using Google Earth – Primitive indians learn to use GPS and Google Earth to help protect their rainforest – true story!

  • Upper Green Valley – Issues of gas drilling impacting the environment in one location

  • Neighborhood Fights Logging With Google Earth – Neighbors in Santa Cruz, California successfully stop a logging plan by using Google Earth. Read the full story.

  • Blue Marble Add-On – This file lets you view a prettier image of the Earth from NASA for Google Earth. It shows the view of the Earth from space, with or without clouds, based on the current month. The clouds are closer to real time – updated every 15 minutes. The picture of the Earth and clouds disappear automatically as you get closer so you can see GE’s built in satellite imagery without interference.

About Frank Taylor

Frank Taylor started the Google Earth Blog in July, 2005 shortly after Google Earth was first released. He has worked with 3D computer graphics and VR for many years and was very impressed with this exciting product. Frank completed a 5.5 year circumnavigation of the earth by sailboat in June 2015 which you can read about at Tahina Expedition, and is a licensed pilot, backpacker, diver, and photographer.


  1. Happy Earth Day! I wish I could spend the whole day outdoors, but I had to settle for my lunch hour out at the park! 🙂 Here’s my greater contribution to the cause…I’ve put together a website that offers information about global warming that you and your readers are welcomed to visit. Great post, and have a great Earth Day!

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