Humanitarianism and Education
Google Earth has been applied in multiple fields, such as Humanitarianism and Education.
There are two main forms of humanitarian intervention: Short-term and long-term.
Short term humanitarian intervention involves disaster response. Google Earth has been used to quickly gather and display images of sites damaged by natural disasters within a couple of days. Some prominent examples include Hurricane Katrina and the Earthquake in Haiti.
However, with long-term intervention, whether Google Earth is effective or not does not have a clear answer. The wide availability of Google Earth has been the focus of humanitarian groups in order to incite public response about humanitarian issues. Some of these organizations have created information layers to explain their agenda and provide information. One prominent example is Crisis in Darfur formed by the United States Holocaust Museum. This information layer integrates information of destroyed villages and stories of victims and survivors with regions in Darfur. Although there has been great public response, there are issues concerning whether such information layers are indeed having an impact on the political situation. For example, violence and genocide in Darfur still occurs despite the existence of Crisis in Darfur. Additionally, the content of the layer may also influence the lack of influence.
Because Google Earth is easy to use, capable of representing 3D imagery, and open for people to create information layers, Google Earth is a powerful tool for education (Tuttle, Anderson, & Huff, 2008, p. 1488). There are multiple KMLs that discuss varying effects of climate change and future changes in the Earth due to climate change. In addition to science, there are also KMLs for literature education. With Google Lit Trips, you can download a KML that keeps track of the setting and setting changes that occur throughout a particular novel. The possibilities are endless.
For more information on humanitarianism:
Information about Haiti Earthquake (shows some imagery)
Levinger, M. (2009). Geographical information systems technology as a tool for genocide prevention: The case of Darfur. Space and Polity, 13(1), 69-76.
Parks, L. (2009). Digging into Google Earth: An analysis of crisis in Darfur. Geoforum 40, 535- 545
For more information on education:
Projects for Environmental and Earth Sciences: Impact of Climate Change This provides multiple KMLs documenting and predicting climate change and its impacts.
Rakshit, R., & Ogneva-Himmelberger, Y. (2008). Application of virtual globes in education. Geography Compass, 2(6), 1995-2010.
Tuttle, B. T., Anderson, S., and Huff, R. (2008). Virtual globes: An Overview of their history, uses, and future challenges. Geography Compass 2(5), 1478-1505