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Application of Virtual Globes in Education



The advent of virtual globes and online mapping has generated interest in spatial representations of data among many non-geographic communities, including educators and researchers who have very little to no expertise in geospatial technologies. In this article, we give a state-of-the-art survey of existing virtual globes and review the existing teaching applications related to them. We focus on the four most popular virtual globes (Google Earth; NASA World Wind; Microsoft Virtual Earth Earth; and Skyline Globe), illustrating their various applications and comparing their capabilities, with a particular emphasis on educational aspects. We also explain the distinction between the virtual globes and various online mapping applications, such as Google Maps mash-ups.

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