For media folks like me, the cool, interactive graphical program that is Google Earth has always had a Holy Grail–inserting moving media so it plays right over the terrain, as still images will do. We’ve gotten a lot closer with two new features, one with mixed blessings. First, Google Earth now has a YouTube layer. In the layer panel on the left hand side, under the Featured Content star, you can access the YouTube layer. Click the layer to activate it, and camera logos appear across the landscape. Click on one and a video that has been geotagged in YouTube now stream directly from YouTube into Google Earth–kind of like Geocaching physical objects. The video do launch over the terrain, at least in Windows. Much like the Panoramio and the old Flickr layers we’ve talked about before, the order of the assets is whimsical. Don’t explore this if you need to get up the next day. It is the usual mishmash of junk, and the Discovery layer is way more useful for instruction. In fact, YouTube is (appropriately) blocked at many schools. But if we can find a way to use this feature to create a tagged layer for Discovery Education streaming videos then we might really have something. Tipped by a Twitter post, I watched Dean Shareski work on ustreaming through Google Earth. So it’s possible to peek through that streaming hole. But whether that will replace webcams and iChat and their ilk will be determined by classrooms in the next year. After Google bought YouTube, this sort of integration was inevitable. Like finding Fox movies in MySpace (see the coming blog).
Thanks to DEN media maven Brad Fountain for sharing how to embed instructional streaming videos into Google Earth. He writes ” Okay, I think most of us have wondered if this could be done. Take a look…what you see below is a screen shot from Google Earth with video from Discovery Education streaming imbedded… For a small finders fee (or you can simply follow directions on the attachment) you, too, can wow your friends and associates with this great trick.” Attached is his doc, which includes a cut-and-paste that readers of this blog have come to love. Burns me that you beat me to it, Brad…. 🙂
The link below will work for week. When WordPress lets me upload files, I’ll repost them here. This is Brad’s how-to.