The Google Earth Balloon Maker

Google Earth is an amazing tool for education.  Frank has shown off educational uses for Earth a number of times over the years, and we’ve seen other examples such as schools allowing the use of Google Earth on exams, students using SketchUp to model their cities, and many others.

Mike Macfaddan, a Technology Coach in Chicago’s Lake Villa School District 41, loves Google Earth but has found a big issue that he’s trying to solve:

I’ve worked with a number of teachers in the past two years to show them how they can incorporate GE into their lessons. 

I’ve found that students and teachers benefit greatly when they create original virtual field trips using GE as it forces them to take ownership of their learning and demonstrate real mastery of the content, but I’ve found that in order to make nice looking GE balloons, you basically need to know HTML and CSS – which most of our students and teachers do not.

To help address this, he’s created the Google Earth Balloon Maker.


In short, it’s a WYSIWYG tools that generates the necessary code to build high-quality information balloons in Google Earth, without requiring the educators to know how to write the code behind them.  It’s a fairly simple tool, but could be quite useful in many situations.

You can watch the video below to learn more, or visit to try it for yourself.

Great work Mike!

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. Thanks so much for posting this! I hope your readers find it useful.

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