Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Google Lit Trips: Cool Technology

by Kiirsi Hellewell

I know it’s not my regular posting day, but I found this fascinating.

This just in yesterday from the School Library Journal:

“As many of you must know, Google Earth allows you to zoom down to images of real places on the world in fine detail. You can view places down to the level of actual streets and houses, and, if you use the “terrain” tab travel through an animated rendering of the geography. Jerome realized that you could trace the journey described in any book, fiction or nonfiction – whether the Joads in The Grapes of Wrath, or, as you will soon be able to see on the GLT sites, the Selma marches described in Betsy’s forthcoming book Marching For Freedom – on a master map, then allow visitors to view those actual sites, along with guiding captions, historical images, and links. Google Earth, he understood, would allow students to experience and explore the physicality of places they previously could only outline on traditional 2D maps.”

Jerome Burg, founder and creator of Google Lit Trips, has used the Google Earth technology to make it possible to actually see and follow the path literary characters take in their books.  Available right now, for example, is a Lit Trip for these books:

Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson

Big Anthony: His Story by Tomie dePaola 

It looks like the website is constantly being updated and parts of it are a work in progress, but it’s definitely something to keep an eye on as it grows and progresses.  Google Lit Trips—what a cool idea! 

3 comments:

Paul West said...

Interesting and fun.

Cathy Witbeck said...

What a fun idea. Thanks for the heads up.

Scott said...

Very cool. I've done a little of that on my own, especially for books set in foreign countries. I'll have to check this out, and do more of it on my own.