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Mapping and GIS Lessons for Poets, Historians, and Scientists: Google Earth Activity 1

CS-X Module created by Emily Fairey, Brooklyn College OER Developer

Google Earth: Placemarks, Paths, Layers, and Legends

Prerequisite: Download and Install Google Earth Desktop Pro.


  • Think of a particular question you wish to answer or situation you want to illustrate using pins and paths. 
  • Create at least two pins (hyperlinked, styled, illustrated).
  • Create a path between two pins (hyperlinked, styled, illustrated).
  • Save path and pins to My Places in Google Earth. 

Learning Objectives

  • Become familiar with the tools and features of the Google Earth interface.
  • Consider what types of GE map tools can answer which sorts of questions.

Discussion Questions

  • What do you think of the usability of creating paths and pins in Google Earth ? How easy was it to do?
  • What do you think of the appearance of the paths and pins in Google Earth ? 
  • What advantages and disadvantages are there to heavy hyperlinks and illustrations, and even multimedia in digital maps?

Learning Outcomes

  • Develop enough practice with GE be familiar with the interface.
  • Learn about the possibilities as well as limitations of GE. 















Make a Second Placemark:

Choose a place within walking distance of the first placemark, so that you can create a path that would be walkable in the real world.

Here is the Maryland Monument of Lookout Hill, famous for George Washington's quote: "Good God! What brave fellows I must this day lose!"


Here is the same monument seen through the GE interface. To find this I "entered" Prospect Park (via GE) in the rough location of Lookout Hill, and searched for the monument. Then I dropped a placemark manually on the spot.


Maryland Monument, Google Earth