I discovered this quite by accident once when Google Maps had just added the Satellite Pictures to their site.
Go try it yourself: Go to the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Click on Satellite. Do you see the Mid-Atlantic Ridge System? What Google's done here is spectacular! You can show your kids the bottom of the ocean!
You can show them the Mid-Atlantic Ridge!
You can show them tons of others things, too:
- The Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean where the Pacific Plate is subducting under the Eurasian Plate.
- The Juan de Fuca plate as it subducts under the North American Plate.
- The Andes Mountains where the Nazca Plate is subducting under the South American Plate.
- Northern India where the Indo-Australian Plate is Colliding with the Eurasian Plate, thus forming the Himalayan Mountains.
- Iceland where two plates are moving apart, splitting Iceland in half. NOTE: When in Iceland, click on Terrain, which shows where the glaciers "should" be. Then click back on "Satellite" to show how much is actually left. Astounding.
- Go to Hawaii. Show them how most of the Hawaiian Islands are undersea volcanoes formed by the Pacific Plate moving over a Hot Spot.
Click on "More" on the upper-right hand area and see Photos or Wiki entries.
Now, if you have a projection system hooked up to a Smartboard or big screen, you have just an ideal setup! When I've done this, my students were absolutely glued to the screen! They loved it.
Only thing is: be prepared for them to ask to see their own homes!NOTE: The YouTube video at the beginning of this blog entry is not from Google Maps, of course, but shows the ocean as it appears on Google Maps. This video would also be a great teacher tool! Project this on your Smartboard/Big Screen! Let it play to the end and then "surf/browse" along the bottom for all sorts of great videos, including one called, "Approaching a Trench."
CONSIDER THIS: Add Google Maps to your Plate Tectonics unit!
FUN LINK: Click here for Google Maps.
Click here for Google Maps Guide for Teachers.