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New markup creation tools make Google Earth a free storytelling platform

In addition to being a fun way to explore the globe, Google Earth has always been big in education. Google is now turning Earth into a platform for storytelling with new creation tools that let you markup the world.

Google wants Earth to become a “storytelling canvas” that lets you “create a map or story about the places that matter to you.” These creation tools are accessed by clicking the new “Projects” tab in the sidebar and creating one.

After adding a location by search or dragging a pin, you can attach images, text, videos, and customize other properties, including colors, pins, and choosing the right 3D view to frame. In addition to places, you can draw lines, shapes, and Street View.

All work is saved to Google Drive and supports standard collaboration. Once complete, there is a “Present” view that flies you from location-to-location while displaying all your notes on top. In addition to the web, the final project is available on mobile and tablet devices with the Google Earth app for Android or iOS.

These new capabilities — available for everyone — build on the web redesign of Google Earth in 2017 and the curated Voyager collection that’s limited to a select few. It’s also a more user-friendly version of Google Earth Studio for professionals.

For nearly 15 years, people have turned to Google Earth for a comprehensive view of our planet. But our mission has never been to just show you a static picture of the planet; we want to bring the world to life. With new creation tools now in Google Earth, you can turn our digital globe into your own storytelling canvas.

The new Google Earth creation tools have huge potential for educators assigning projects to students. Google also touts how it can be leveraged by non-profits and even individuals that want to create interactive projects where physical location plays a key role. These expanded capabilities are available today.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: