Holding out on the Olympics

I have to apologize for not sharing this eariler; I’ve been holding out 🙂

Cyberschilling, one of the moderators on the forum, shared with me an awesome Google Earth map for the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics. It not only shows you the venues and other important locations, but it also provides background information on the sports, locations, and links to more information on the Torino Olympic website. I was planning on just using the nbcolympics.com and the torino2006.org websites with my students, but with the discovery of this amazing map we’ve been zooming in from space to look at the Olympic stadium, the bobsled runs, and the twists and turns of all the alpine events. Even now as I type this post I’m watching the Men’s Snowboard Cross on TV while getting a true bird’s eye view of the course on Google Earth.

While it may sound like just a fun diversion, it’s a powerful learning tool. You can use the Google Earth measuring tool to measure distances between venues, the length of courses, and even turn on the 3D terrain feature to carefully plot routes down the mountains. For those not using Google Earth yet; CLICK, don’t scroll, on over to the Google Earth site now and download it (it’s FREE) as you’re sure to find at least a dozen uses for it in your classroom within just 30 minutes of playing with t (just remember that it does require an active Internet connection to run). Bud has a few recommendations, but it’s really a tool you have to play with (and yes, it very much seems like playing) to understand how great it is. I’ve been using the program all this year as a way for my students to each have their own interactive globe and am currently setting up a “mystery country” game for them that will involve being able to manipulate the globe and locate countries based on minimal information.

Like I said though, sorry for not passing this info out sooner, but enjoy the Official Torino 2006 Winter Olmypics Google Earth Map direct from Google. Just click on the KMZ file in the post to download it to your computer. If you haven’t used Google Earth much before, KMZ files are the default file for Google Earth like documents are for Word. Just open the KMZ file once you have it downloaded and it will take you right to Torino, Italy on Google’s globe.