A while back I added a blog post on how to use Tour Builder to create a tour and then open that tour in the new web version of Google Earth (see here: Create your own Lit Trips (and more) for Google Earth). As awesome as that was, there was a bit of a pain point near the end when you needed to export the Tour in a special KML format, then change some settings in Google Earth, then finally find and load the exported tour. Not a deal-breaker, but still a bit of a hassle.
Well now that process just got a whole lot easier! Thanks to a Google+ post by Michael Fricano, I learned that Tour Builder now has a simple menu option that will open your tour automatically in Google Earth. All with the click of one button!
See below for directions on how to do this, as well as a sample Tour to try it out with, and also details on an upcoming webinar where we will be diving deep into these tool.
From Tour Builder to Google Earth.
As mentioned above, Tour Builder (at https://tourbuilder.withgoogle.com/) is an excellent tool for students to create tours:
- It is web-based, so nothing needs to be installed and it can be run on Chromebooks.
- It is easy to use with little to no learning curve.
- For each location you add to your tour, you can include images, videos, text, links, dates, and custom icons.
- Locations can be put in order, and have their order changed as needed.
Although you can view the final product right inside of Tour Builder, it can be more immersive and engaging to run the tour in Google Earth, where you can easily zoom in and out and fly around the 3D-rendered world. It used to take several steps, however, to get the tour from Tour Builder into Google Earth. Not any longer! Here's all you have to do now:
- Create a tour as normal in Tour Builder.
- Or open a tour someone else has created and shared with you.
- Next click on the menu button in the top right corner (the three horizontal line button, or "pancake stack").
- Then click "Open in Earth".
That's it! Google Earth will now launch and the tour will be loaded and ready to run.
In addition to the process being easier, the actual tour layout gets a face lift as well. When opened using the new method, the annotations for each location appear in a panel on the right side of Google Earth, with easy arrow navigation, just like in the "Voyager" feature.
Compare that to the old layout you get if you import the tour as a KML/KMZ file. In the old layout the annotations for each location appear in a floating window that doesn't always fit the content properly, sometimes fails to provide scroll bars, and doesn't always load the images.
Simply open the shared tour with the link here: https://tourbuilder.withgoogle.com/tour/ahJzfmd3ZWItdG91cmJ1aWxkZXJyEQsSBFRvdXIYgIDAtZbSpAsM
Then click the menu button and "Open in Earth" as described above to launch the tour in Earth.
If you would like to learn more about making and taking tours with Tour Builder and Google Earth, be sure to sign up for my free webinar coming up in October:
Google Tour Builder for any Subject
October 17, 2017 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm EST
Webinar link - http://ti.apps.sparcc.org/videopd/20171017-tour-builder (click to register and watch live webinar)
Description: Google's Tour Builder is an easy to use but powerful tool for students to create virtual tours, including locations, images, videos, descriptions, hyperlinks, and more. These tours can be used in any subject area such as retelling the events from a novel, tracing the locations of a historical event, visiting different biomes or landforms around the world, and more. Tours can be viewed by others in Tour Builder, or even imported into Google Earth for a full 3D experience. Learn how you and your students can make and take virtual tours with Google Tour Builder.
Post by Eric Curts. Bring me to your school, organization, or conference with over 50 PD sessions to choose from. Connect with me on Twitter at twitter.com/ericcurts and on Google+ at plus.google.com/+EricCurts1