Google Earth Tourbuilder


Name: Google Earth Tourbuilder
$: Free
Examples: North Korean Prison Camps Exposed (featured image), The Syrian Refugee Crisis From Above
Level: Beginners
Use For: Telling a story with a geographic component


Google Earth Tourbuilder allows the user to tell a story by showing the viewer information associated with different locations and time periods on Google Earth. The user can control the style of the map by choosing whether to show borders and labels, roads, 3D buildings, and 3D trees. The user can also add a map that is in KML or GME format. The introduction slide summarizes the story and can outline the time frame if desired. The user can add locations to the map and rearrange them as desired. There are various options for connecting the points in the story on the map. For each location the user can choose the zoom and orientation of the map and what kind of icon is displayed. The user can also choose to display either a street view or historical imagery. The user can add a description of the location as well as dates and up to 25 photos and videos.


Google Earth Tourbuilder can be used by those without prior mapping experience and free for anyone to use. The tour can only be viewed on Windows and Mac OS X 10.6+. The viewer must install the Google Earth plugin before they can view the tour. The tour can be shared through a link. Google Earth Tourbuilder allows the viewer to zoom in and out exploring the area as they wish, this is not possible with StoryMap JS. However, it can be viewed on fewer devices and has high quality imagery which can be difficult to load without high speed internet.