Edited by Pierre Benckendorff and Anita Zehrer
Chapter 13: Integrating Google Earth into the lecture: visual approaches in tourism pedagogy
In disciplines such as geography and tourism, maps are inherently important, and knowledge of space and place is central to understanding key concepts such as regeneration. It has been noted that using visuals in the classroom further emphasizes practical and theoretical subject content. The purpose of the chapter is to overview the practicality of visual approaches by focusing on and providing examples of integrating Google Earth into the classroom for lectures and seminars. Images and perceptions of places can be transformed through visual learning techniques and technologies. Google Earth is a readily available resource and many academics have used this technology for research, but it is equally applicable to use in lectures to show ‘on the ground’ examples of the content being covered in class – to elaborate using up-to-date or more recent/relevant examples from around the world. Using this visual technology, educators have another way to display course content visually. It is possible to virtually visit and interpret places using satellite imagery and Google Streetview or to have learners add interpretations by labeling points or adding lines in Google Earth to address the complexities of examples to facilitate discussion. Several examples are used in this chapter: the first uses an example of an existing .kmz file with preselect points to navigate to different areas and the use of historical imagery (using Glasgow and Pittsburgh as examples). The second subsection gives overviews of a few examples to use in a seminar where learners make interpretations of the landscapes and input their perspective on regenerated areas in cities and uses of space around visitor attractions.
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