One of my reads this morning landed me, with interest, at a new Google experiment. In this case, it’s called Tour Builder. It was released for Remembrance Day and there are some nice tours already in place to explore.
I thought that I would explore it a bit and see what I could do.
You may recall a blog post here from a few years ago “My Childhood Community“. In the post, I took you for a tour of where I grew up highlighting some of the things that I remembered from my youth. It was a fairly long post and there were a number of screen captures from Google Streetview to show what I was remembering as I took you around town.
I thought, after playing around with Tour Builder, that this would be an interesting way to display the tour.
Off I went. The results appear below – I had moderate success. Not complete success, I will admit. There was at least one location that was misnamed and some of the original locations didn’t quite display properly. I tried editing and re-editing but wasn’t able to claim 100% success. However, the site is still an “experiment” so it’s bound to get better. I think it’s a significant enough resource that you need to tuck it away, play with it, and watch it as it matures.
Creation of the tour is something that’s very Google in look and touch. In many ways, you’ll feel like you’re editing a Google Presention.
The organization on the left feels like a slide deck. Only this time, instead of adding a slide, you’re adding a location. Once the location is added (search or just find it), you can edit the content.
To “enhance the story”, I went back to the original post and used the imagery that I had previously captured and to “tell the story”, it was just a matter of going back to the original blog post for content. This seemed to work very well, except that Clinton Public School was actually identified as Holmesville Public School. A quick edit gets past that!
The right pane lets you navigate within Google Earth to a particular location. Now, Clinton is not in the high resolution area of Google Earth so I tried to use Streetview to zoom in at the various locations at street level. I had some good results and some not so good. You’ll see if you actually play the tour.
I was surprised that I couldn’t embed the tour at this point. However, I can point you to the tour. It’s located here.
The potential for the Tour Builder is huge! There are all kinds of ideas for use in the classroom from community to history tours. Of course, you’ll want to assign research activities to do along with the tour. Keep an eye on this one; it has huge potential.
- Google Earth Tour Builder lets you tell stories through maps (engadget.com)
- Free Technology for Teachers: Tour Builder Makes It Easier Than Ever to Create Google Earth Tours (freetech4teachers.com)
- Google wades into personal trip planning with Tour Builder (tnooz.com)
- shared: Drop A Pin, Tell A Story With Google’s New ‘Tour Builder’ Tool (readwrite.com)
- Google Launches Tour Builder (outsideonline.com)
- Tour Builder: Google wants you to tell your stories using Google Earth (thenextweb.com)
- Google Earth Tour Builder Helps you Tell Stories Through Maps (techpp.com)