Using Google Earth to teach math

We love to see ways that Google Earth is being used in classroom settings around the world. Frank first showed some uses for this back in 2006 and we’ve shown you other ideas over the years.
Most of those ideas revolve around geography, as you’d expect, but today’s example is a way to use Google Earth to help teach math! As explained in the Primary Ideas blog, they’ve come up with two ways use use the “ruler” tool to work on math skills.
Calculating Area and Perimeter

The ruler too can be used to measure the dimensions of the school playground, a football pitch (see below), a child’s garden, the courtyard of Buckingham palace or even The Pentagon, anywhere really! This can be either as a whole class on an interactive display, with everyone calculating areas and perimeters based on the measurements taken or as individuals taking measurements on computers or hand held devices.


Converting Lengths

I’ve usually done this converting between centimetres, meters and kilometres, but it can also be used to practise converting metric to imperial or vice versa. The example below shows how the length of one side of the Pentagon can be measured and then converted into various different units of measure.


They get into more detail on these items in the full blog entry, which I encourage you to check out.

About Mickey Mellen

Mickey has been using Google Earth since it was released in 2005, and has created a variety of geo-related sites including Google Earth Hacks. He runs a web design firm in Marietta, GA, where he lives with his wife and two kids.


  1. very Interesting article.
    In my side I am applying Mathematics, Geometry and Fibonacci sequence on earth mouvement.

  2. "Sailor Man" says:

    Excellent idea to inspire math concepts.
    For those of us who are blue water sailors, a series of applied navigation exercises using trig functions would be most welcome. Since the world is mostly salt water, trig/navigation concepts would enhance marine environment awareness. By the way, sailing is the first form of solar craft transport.

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