How I Use It
I would use Google Earth both for vector addition practice and visiting "locations" relevant to the topic of discussion. Students can find displacement vectors between two locations of interest to them. They can then find at least one other pair of locations that have the same displacement vector. Vector addition can be taught using this app as well. For example, a student can create a virtual trip from Baltimore to Disney World in Orlando, Florida, then on to Los Angeles. The student can then draw a scaled vector map of the trip and use the scaled map to measure the net displacement vector. Google Earth can then be used to find the actual net displacement and a percent error can be calculated.
This is an excellent teaching tool for Physics students on all levels. It is easy for them to use. They can "visit" the birthplaces of famous physicists, sites of important scientific events and even practice vector addition on a virtual "Earth"!