Monday, January 26, 2009

Interesting Places in Google Earth

If you haven't poked around on Google Earth, you should. It's free, and shows pretty much every square inch of this planet. (Plus it interfaces seamlessly with SketchUp, which enables you to place any model anywhere on earth.)

This link is a bit old, but it contains some pretty amazing views within Google Earth:

These views go beyond the typical crop circles most people look for! My favorite is the Arizona farm with an enormouse homage to Oprah Winfrey:

The webpage linked above provides the latitude / longitude coordinates for each view, so you can enter the exact location in Google Earth and check them out for yourself. Very fun!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Using Google SketchUp to create 3D Paper Shapes

Here's a fun tutorial I ran across, which shows you how to create a buckyball out of folded paper.

In essence, you download the buckyball model from the Google 3D Warehouse, and use a SketchUp plug-in to "unfold" it. Then you print, cut, fold, and tape.

I have a similar exercise in my Free Teacher Guide, which doesn't require you to download any models or use any plugins. You can start with any 3D shape you want, and take advantage of groups for doing the unfolding. (The exercise is in the Math category, Grades 6 - 9.)

For a printable version of my exercise from the Teacher Guide, click here.


OK, this is my first blog post ever! I'm hoping this space will become a valuable resource for those in education, and for anyone who wants some ideas and info on 3D design and its real-world applications. Welcome!