Geography homework | Geography homework help

Google Earth uses two file formats: KML and KMZ. A KMZ file is a compressed Keyhole Markup Language (KML) file used to store location information, text links and other data used in the Google Earth mapping application. KML and KMZ files are essential the same, except that the KMZ is a compressed version of a KML.

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 Open Google Earth.

 Open the KMZ file “Getting Started” in Google Earth. 

You can use one of the following methods to open the KMZ file:

·          Click directly on the KMZ file; or

·          Select from the menu options File > Open, and browse your drive for the KML or KMZ file to open; or

·          Open Google Earth, and use the shortcut “CTRL + O” (using a PC) or Command key () + O (using a Mac), search for the file, and open it.

If you have a MAC computer, please see the next section.


For Mac OS Users

If you have a PC, you can skip this section

The Mac operating system (OS) associates file extensions, such as DOCX or TXT or HTML, to specific programs. The KMZ files on your Mac computer might not associate to Google Earth.

To associate KMZ files to Google Earth:


1.       Go to the Mac Finder application and select a KMZ file.

2.       Go to the menu bar and then click Perform tasks with the selected item.

3.       In the menu, select Get Info.

Figure 1. Get Info option



4.       In the Info window, click Open with.

5.       Select Google Earth.

6.       Click Change All. This action changes all KMZ files to open in Google Earth.

Figure 2. Menu select options



7.       Click Continue. This action confirms that you want all KMZ files to open in Google Earth.

Figure 3. Continue option



Structure of Modules

This manual is a compilation of 20 stand-alone modules covering various sub-fields and topics in physical geography. While the content in each module differs, the structure among them is similar.

Each module contains two components:

·         The first component is the lab component, which includes the lab instructions, topic content and questions.

·         The second component is the Google Earth KMZ file that you will download and then open in Google Earth. For all of the modules, Google Earth is an integral component, as you will use it to learn physical geography.

All modules (with the exception of this module) have the following structure:

·         A list of key terms and concepts.

·         A series of measurable learning objectives you should acquire after you complete the material.

·         A series of vignettes that introduce you many of the main topics in the module, and include hyperlinks to videos and websites.

·         A physical geography topic from a global perspective.

·         Two to four sections that explore relevant themes and content in more detail.

Each module contains approximately 40 questions, and takes approximately 1.5-2 hours to complete.




In this module, we will cover many of the common Google Earth functions used in any physical geography lab module. Information regarding these and other functions can be found at the Getting to Know Google Earth website at the following URL:

You will learn the following functions and terminology in this module:


Table 2. Functions and terminology



·         3D Viewer

·         Toolbar

·         Folders

·         Layers panel

·         Navigation controls

·         Opacity

·         Places panel

·         Search

·         Tour



KML and KMZ File Formats



·         Elevation Profile



·         Grid

·         Historical Imagery

·         Sidebar

·         Status bar

·         Scale Legend



·         Elevation Exaggeration

·         Latitude Longitude

·         Ruler



3D Viewer

The 3D viewer is the main viewing pane in Google Earth, and contains the Google Earth imagery (the globe). Viewing preferences – zooming in and out, imagery shown, 3D terrain, kmz files activated, and so on – affect what displays in the 3D Viewer. Surrounding the 3D Viewer are the Sidebar (to the left), the Toolbar (above the Viewer), and the navigation tools (to the right within the Viewer). Additional information such as scale, historical imagery, and coordinate data appear within the 3D Viewer space when activated.


Figure 4. Google Earth 3D Viewer.
Google and the Google logo are registered trademarks of Google Inc., used with permission.







The Sidebar is the main pane for all activities in the Google Earth labs. Specifically, the Sidebar displays the Search, Places, and Layers panes on the left side of the Google Earth application window.



Figure 5. Google Earth Sidebar.
Google and the Google logo are registered trademarks of Google Inc., used with permission.



To show and hide the sidebar click View > Sidebar, or press Control + Alt + B, or click the Sidebar button (  ) on the toolbar. Mac users press Alt +  + B.

 Follow the directions to show and hide the sidebar.

QUESTION 1: What happens to the earth when you turn off the sidebar?

A.     The Earth rotates

B.     The Earth remains in the same position

C.     The Earth moves you to your current location

D.     The Earth disappears


Places Panel

The Places panel enables you to manage what displays in the 3D viewer. It is the middle panel in the sidebar window and can be collapsed. This is the primary panel that you will use in this course when you navigate Google Earth, and where the KMZ files are found.

 If you have not yet done so, open the KMZ file “Getting Started” so that it shows in the Places panel in the Sidebar.


When a file is first opened, it will be located under Temporary Places. If you close or exit out of Google Earth, you will be prompted to save the file. If you save the KMZ, it will show up next time under My Place in the Places panel.

Figure 6. Save to My Places option.
Google and the Google logo are registered trademarks of Google Inc., used with permission.



In addition to saving a KMZ, you can remove or delete it.

To delete a KMZ, click Edit > Delete, or highlight the KMZ file and press Delete .


Figure 7. Delete KMZ.
Google and the Google logo are registered trademarks of Google Inc., used with permission.


 Expand GETTING STARTED and then LAYOUT. Click Places Panel. Read the description and view the how-to video.


Question 2: How do you expand or collapse the Places panel?

A.     Right click on panel and choose expand/collapse

B.     Double click on the panel

C.     You cannot expand/collapse the panel

D.     Click on the blue triangle beside the word “Places”

 Uncheck the Places Panel folder.




The KMZ file contains various folders and files. Folders in Google Earth are similar to folders in most file management graphic user interface (GUI) environments. Specifically, there are parent folders and child folders.

Parent folders contain child folders. Both parent and child folders can have check boxes or radio buttons to make the folder active. Check boxes enable you to select any or all of the child folders. With radio buttons, you can select only one child folder at a time. Click on the triangle to expand or retract the folders.

Links are blue and underlined. Links open windows, animations, and web pages in the 3D Viewer window or web browsers.

For each parent folder, the scale in which you see the imagery is correct (that is to say, there is no reason to zoom in or out unless otherwise noted). There will be times where you will be prompted to double-click a folder to zoom the imagery to the correct scale within the 3D Viewer window.

 Double‑click and select FOLDERS. Read the description and view the how-to video.


QUESTION 3: Which of the following is true?

A.     Parent folders must contain child folders

B.     Child folders can exist without parent folder

C.     Radio buttons allow for more than one parent folder to be active concurrently

D.     Check boxes allow for more than one child folder to be active concurrently

 Uncheck the Folders folder.




The Search panel is located above the Places panel in the sidebar. While the Search panel and the Places panel allow for search functions in Google Earth, the Search panel enables you to type in and search for a specific address or location.

The Search panel accepts the following syntax:

o        Place name (e.g. Eiffel Tower, Yosemite)

o        Organization name (e.g. Wiley Publishing)

o        Address (Street, City, State, Country)

o        Zipcode or Postal Code

o        Latitude/Longitude or UTM coordinate systems

 Double-click and select Search. Read the description and view the how-to video.


Question 4: Type “Wiley Publishing” in the Search panel. Which of the following is the correct address?


A.     111 River Street Hoboken, NJ

B.     405 Lexington Avenue, NY, NY

C.     1145 17th Street NW, Washington, DC

D.     1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain View, CA


Google Earth saves recent search terms. To clear your search history, click History > Clear History (Note: You might have to scroll to the bottom of the list if you have several searches), or click on the X found on the bottom right hand side of the Search panel.


 Expand Search Panel and then expand Now you try it – Search panel and follow the steps.

 Expand Now you try it – Places panel and follow the steps.


Note: For long names within a KMZ file, it might be necessary to expand the width of the Sidebar by placing the cursor between the Sidebar and the 3D Viewer and moving the Sidebar toward the 3D Viewer.


QUESTION 5: Which of the following is true? (Check all that apply)


A.     You can search for a city by entering latitude and longitude

B.     You can search for a location by entering its name

C.     You can search for any word within a given KMZ file

D.     There are two Search functions in Google Earth


 Collapse and uncheck the Search Panel folder.



Layers Panel

The Layers panel is located below the Places panel in the Sidebar. The Layers panel enables you to show and hide geographic information provided by various agencies and other resources. Example layers include roads, weather, national parks, photos, map imagery supporting various global issues, and more.

 Double‑click and select Layers Panel. Read the description and view the how-to video.


QUESTION 6: Which folder has Volcanoes data?


A.     Weather

B.     Gallery

C.     Global Awareness

D.     More


 Expand Layers Panel and then and expand Now you try it. Make sure the check boxes are selected in order to zoom to the marked location.


QUESTION 7: What is the principal city west of the marked location?


A.     Rome

B.     Milan

C.     Italy

D.     Corse


 Collapse and uncheck the Layers Panel folder.




At the top of the Google Earth 3D Viewer is the Toolbar. The Toolbar enables you to use to buttons to engage and disengage functions that you can also find in the drop down menus. Consider these buttons as shortcuts to popular functions in Google Earth.

The following list identifies the Toolbar icons and their menu equivalents:

Table 3. Toolbar Icons



Menu equivalent

Sidebar button

Show or hide the sidebar

View > Sidebar

Sunlight button

Display sunlight

View > Sun

Placemark button

Add aplacemark

Add > Placemark

Sky button

Display sky, moon, and planets

View > Explore > Earth, Sky, Mars, Moon

Polygon button

Add a polygon

Add > Polygon

Measure button

Measure tool

Tools > Ruler

Path button

Add a path

Add > Path

Email button


File > Email > Placemark, View, Image

Image Overlay button

Add an image overlay

Add > Image Overlay

Print button


File > Print

Record a tour

Add > Tour

Googlr Maps button

Display the view in Google Maps

File > View in Google Maps

Historical imagery button

Historical imagery

View > Historical Imagery


 Double‑click and select TOOLBAR. Read the description and view the how-to video.


QUESTION 8: Which of the following icons allows you to display the location of day (daylight) and night (no daylight) at any given time on Earth?


A. Sky button

B. Sunlight button

C. Googlr Maps button

D. Historical imagery button

 Uncheck the Toolbar folder.

Navigation Controls

The navigation controls, located in the top right of the 3D Viewer, enable you to pan, tilt, and zoom, the map imagery. The controls display fully when you move your mouse over them.

Note: If your navigation controls are hidden, select View > Show Navigation > Automatically from the menu options.

 Double‑click and select Navigation Controls. Read the description and view the how-to video.

 Expand Navigation Controls and then expand Now you try it and follow the steps.

QUESTION 9: Which function does not have a navigation control icon?

A.     Move around (pan)

B.     Look around

C.     Tilt

D.     Zoom

 Collapse and uncheck the Navigation Controls folder.


Keyboard Shortcuts

You can move the Earth and its imagery around in the 3D Viewer environment. As you become more familiar with Google Earth, you may wish to use keyboard shortcuts, particularly for navigation.

 Double‑click and select Keyboard Shortcuts. The table provides some common keystrokes for various navigation tasks.


Table 4. Keyboard Shortcuts


PC Keystroke

Mac Keystroke

Move to the left.

Left arrow

Left arrow

Move to the right.

Right arrow

Right arrow

Move up.

Up arrow

Up arrow

Move down.

Down arrow

Down arrow

Rotate the Earth clockwise

Shift + left arrow


Shift + left arrow


Rotate the Earth counterclockwise

Shift + right arrow

Shift + right arrow

Tilt the viewer to the horizon

Shift + left mouse button + drag down

Shift + down arrow

Tilt the viewer to the top‑down view

Shift + left mouse button + drag up

Shift + up arrow

Zoom in

Scroll wheel, + key, or PgUp

Scroll wheel, or + key

Zoom out

Scroll wheel, – key (both keyboard and numpad), or PgDn

Scroll wheel, or – key (both keyboard and numpad)

Display or close overview window.


Command/Open Apple Key + M        


QUESTION 10: Which two are true?

A.     To move the globe toward the West, press W on the keyboard

B.     To move the globe toward the East, press E on the keyboard

C.     To move the globe toward the South, press S on the keyboard

D.     To move the globe toward a North orientation, press N on the keyboard

QUESTION 11: What happens if you press the letter “r”?

A.     Open the Help menu

B.     Place latitude and longitude grid over the viewer

C.     Reset the view to North and the tilt angle top down

D.     Bring the image to the default zoom of the entire Earth

 Uncheck Keyboard Shortcuts folder.



Within the Panels layer is the Opacity icon and slider. The Opacity function enables you to set the transparency of images in the 3D viewer. The icon and slider set at the bottom of the Places panel.

 Double‑click and select Opacity. Read the description and view the how-to video.

 Expand Opacity and then expand Now you try it and follow the steps.

 Expand Now you try it and answer the following questions:


Question 12: What do you see when you slide the Adjust Opacity to the far left?

A.     The Google Earth image

B.     The thematic map overlay

C.     No change

D.     All images disappear

Question 13: Where would you place the Adjust Opacity slider to see both the Google Earth image and the thematic map?

A.     All the way to the right

B.     All the way to the left

C.     Turn off the opacity function

D.     Approximately in the middle

 Collapse and uncheck the Opacity folder.

 Collapse and uncheck the LAYOUT folder.





File, Edit, View, Tools, Add, and Help are the six menus found along the top of Google Earth. Within these menu options are several functions used in the lab modules. While many of these functions have more than one pathway (that is to say, there is usually a menu option and a shortcut option), the following are a list of functions used in the lab modules, with the predominant menus noted.

Table 5. Menu Options




Elevation Profile

Edit, Tools


Status Bar






Scale Legend



Historical Imagery






Elevation Exaggeration



Latitude and Longitude



Units of Measurement






Elevation Profile

Paths in Google Earth have an elevation characteristic which you can view in a cross‑section format. The elevation profile shows you a cross section of the topography and computes the distance, relief, and slope of the profile line. You can move the cursor along the elevation profile to see the slope of the line at a given location.

 To view the elevation profile:

·          Select the path line item in the Places panel and then click Edit > Show Elevation Profile, or

·          Right‑click the path line item in the Places panel and then click Show Elevation Profile

Google Earth displays the profile at the bottom of the 3D viewer. To close the elevation profile, click the X in the top right corner of the profile window.

 Expand MENU OPTIONS and then double‑click and select Elevation Profile. Read the description and view the how-to video.

Note: To answer questions, you will have to know how to change the units, if necessary. Sometimes questions will ask for British units (for example, miles and feet) and sometimes questions will ask for metric units (for example, kilometers and meters).

 To change the Units of Measurement:

1.      Click Tools >Options

2.       Go to the 3D View tab and change the measurement to Feet, Miles, or Meters, Kilometers

3.       Choose Feet, Miles for this portion of the lab, and then click OK.

 Expand Elevation Profile and then expand Now you try it and follow the steps.

Question 14: What is the approximate length the profile (choose the closest number and unit)?

A.     Approximately 243 miles

B.     Approximately 246 km

C.     Approximately 312 meters

D.     Approximately 514 feet

Question 15: What is the maximum positive slope?

A.     2.1%

B.     4.1%

C.     7.8%

D.     29.3%

Question 16: What is the maximum elevation?

A.     243 feet

B.     3815 feet

C.     11861 feet

D.     12323 feet


 Collapse and uncheck the Elevation Profile folder.


Status Bar

The status bar enables you to view coordinates and elevation of your cursor location. In addition, the imagery date and streaming status are provided. These data are displayed at the bottom center in the 3D Viewer.

 To display the status bar, click View > Status Bar.

 Double‑click and select Status Bar. Read the description and view the how-to video.

 Expand Status Bar and then expand Now you try it and follow the steps.

Question 17: Zoom out until the outline of the globe is visible. What happens to the coordinates if you pan off the globe and into space?

A.     There are no coordinates shown

B.     There are negative coordinates shown

C.     There is an error message

D.     The coordinates shown equal zero

 Collapse and uncheck the Status Bar folder.




The grid feature displays or turns off the coordinate system you are using (for example, latitude and longitude) in the 3D Viewer.

 To display the grid:

·          Click View > Grid, or

·          Press Control + L. Mac user press  + L. (Because this is known as a toggle, press this key combination repeatedly to engage or to disengage the function.)

 Double‑click and select Grid. Read the description and view the how-to video.

 Expand Grid and then expand Now you try it and follow the steps.

Question 18: How do you turn off the grid? (Check all that apply)

A.     Press Ctrl + L on a PC

B.     Press Esc on a PC

C.     Press  + L on a Mac

D.     Press the undo button

 Collapse and uncheck the Grid folder.


Scale Legend

The scale legend displays in the 3D Viewer and continually updates as you move around, and zoom in or out. You can configure the units of measurement in the scale.

 To display the scale legend, click View > Scale Legend. The legend displays in the bottom left corner in the 3D viewer.

 Double‑click and select Scale Legend. Read the description and view the how-to video.

 Change the Units of Measurement under Tools >Options to Meters, Kilometers in the 3D View. Then click OK.

 Expand Scale Legend and then expand Now you try it and follow the steps.

Question 19: Approximately how many meters is the distance represented by the scale bar?

A.     1400 meters

B.     400 meters

C.     120 meters

D.     1250 meters

 Collapse and uncheck the Scale Legend folder.



Historical Imagery

The historical imagery function enables you to view historical imagery for a given location. Specifically, you can view the change of features, both natural and manmade, over time and space.

 To use historical imagery:

·          Click the Show historical imagery button () on the toolbar, or

1.        Click View > Historical Imagery.

2.        Use the slider to view images from multiple acquisition dates.

Some location images go back prior to satellite technology; for example, Las Vegas from 1950. For fun, do a Google search on historical imagery to see what other Google Earth users have discovered.

 Double‑click and select Historical Imagery. Read the description and view the how-to video.

 Expand Historical Imagery and then expand Now you try it and follow the steps.

Question 20: What significant land-uses changes did you observe?

A.     Golf course added

B.     Agriculture increased

C.     Road network increased

D.     Human settlement increased


 Collapse and uncheck the Historical Imagery folder.

 If still active, click the X in the top right corner of the Historical Imagery slider in the 3D Viewer.



The ruler enables you to measure length of a line or a path. A line is a distance between two points, while a path is a measurement of distance of multiple points connected by straight lines.

 To use the ruler:

1.        Click Tools > Ruler, or click Show Ruler () on the toolbar.

2.        Select the tab for the shape that you will measure (Line, Path).

3.        Select the units you want to use (for example, feet, meters, miles).

4.       Go to the 3D viewer and begin measuring. As you draw, your results display in the Ruler window.

5.        Click Save if you want to save the line/path you created.


 Double‑click and select RULER. Read the description and view the how-to video.

 Expand Now you try it – line and follow the steps.

Question 21: What is the approximate length of the line (with the correct unit of measurement)?

A.     205 miles

B.     330 km

C.     330 miles

D.     205 km

 Expand Now you try it – path and follow the steps.


Question 22: What is the approximate length of the path (with the correct unit of measurement)?

A.     205 miles

B.     330 km

C.     330 miles

D.     205 km

 Collapse and uncheck the Ruler folder.

Elevation Exaggeration

The elevation exaggeration function enables you to get a more pronounced view of natural features that have a noted elevation change (for example, mountains and canyons).

 To set the exaggeration level:

1.        Click Tools > Options. Mac users click Google Earth > Preferences.

2.        In the Google Earth Options window, click the 3D View tab.

3.        Enter a value in the Elevation Exaggeration field. 

Note: The lower the number, the smaller the vertical exaggeration. Conversely, the higher the number, the more pronounced the vertical exaggeration. Typically, 2 is best integer to use to show exaggeration for most labs (decimals are permitted). However, during tours or flyovers, you might want to set a lower exaggeration setting (0.5-1).

 Double‑click and select ELEVATION EXAGGERATION. Read the description and view the how-to video.

 Expand Now you try it and follow the steps.

Question 23: What is the elevation exaggeration when you apply “Restore Defaults” in the 3D View tab?

A.     0.5

B.     1

C.     2

D.     3


Question 24: When is the elevation exaggeration the greatest?

A.     0.5

B.     1

C.     2

D.     3


 Collapse and uncheck the Elevation Exaggeration folder.


Google Earth enables you to configure how latitude and longitude coordinates display at the bottom of the 3D Viewer.

 To configure latitude and longitude coordinates:


1.        Verify that the status bar is enabled; click View > Status Bar.

2.        Click Tools > Options. Mac users click Google Earth > Preferences.

3.        In the Google Earth Options window, click the 3D View tab.

4.        In the Show Lat/Long section, select the option you want. The following table shows the latitude‑longitude types for Iceland:

Table 6. Latitude Longitude

Lat/Long Selection


Decimal Degrees

lat 64.963051° lon -19.020835° elev 0 ft

Degrees, Minutes, Seconds

64°57’46.98″N 19°01’15.01″ W elev 0 ft

Degrees, Decimal Minutes

64°57.783′ N 19° 1.250′ W elev 0 ft

Universal Transverse Mercator

27 W 593447.78m E 7205799.22m N elev 0 ft


 Double‑click and select LATITUDE LONGITUDE. Read the description and view the how-to video

 Expand Now you try it and follow the steps.

Question 25: Which Show Lat/Long selection displays measurements in meters?

A.     Decimal degrees

B.     Degrees, Minutes, Seconds

C.     Degrees, Decimal Minutes

D.     Universal Transverse Mercator

Question 26: What are the latitude/longitude coordinates of the Central Park markers in Decimal degrees?

A.     43. 77°N, 70.97°W

B.     40. 77°S, 73.97°E

C.     43. 77°S, 70.97°W

D.     40. 77°N, 73.97°W

 Collapse and uncheck the Latitude/Longitude folder.



The tour function enables you to control the tours (flight simulations) of the Earth.


The tour control panel appears when you start any of the tours in the course. The buttons are similar to any video or audio device with rewind, play, pause, and fast-forward controls.


Note: Some Google Earth functions are not available when the tour control panel is open; consequently, close the tour control panel after viewing a tour.


 Double‑click and select TOUR. Read the description and view the how-to video.


Question 27: What icon appears in the folder when you are watching a tour

A.     Folder icon

B.     Dots with lines icon

C.     Video Camera

Google Earth icon

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