Teach the World

Expanding knowledge through geography

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Experience the stories in 3D with the Google Earth plugin

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Google Lit Trips: Making a world of difference

The very best books transport their readers to another time and place, while additional references to real world geography, history, culture and politics can enhance the reading experience even further. Have you ever wanted to get right inside the life of a book’s character? More than one million visitors have done just that thanks to Google Earth and Google Lit Trips.

Pairing the exploration of geography with great literature, Google Lit Trips are free downloadable files that mark the journeys of characters from famous literary works on the surface of Google Earth. At each location along the journey are placemarks with pop-up windows containing a variety of resources – relevant media, thought-provoking discussion starters and links to supplementary information about real world references made in the story.

The Lit Trips "Grapes of Wrath" download enables readers to follow Steinbeck's epic journey in Google Earth.

"Google Lit Trips brings the power of modern geographic technology to the reading experience while focusing student engagement on creating connections between the stories they read and the world they live in." - Jerome Burg, Founder of Google Lit Trips

In this way Google Earth is able to “three-dimensionalize” the reading experience by placing readers inside the story, and contextualizing the story in the physical world. A free tool intended to bring learning to life, the project has grown into a community of Lit Trip developers and contributors who share their work freely to the benefit of the world’s educators and their students. In turn, teachers and their students can contribute virtual expeditions of their own making for use in other classrooms.

Learn more about Jerome Burg and his Google Lit Trips vision.