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California Missions 4th Grade

Students will create a virtual tour of four California missions using Google Earth, web images and information from the internet.

Students may record narration for playback with the tour, or use the visual tour as part of a class presentation.


You will need:

  1. Google Earth > = 5.0 to record a tour.
  2. California Missions kml file. Download
  3. California Missions - Google Earth Worksheet. Download


Step One: Download the California Missions .kml file and open it in Google Earth.

This file has all of the California Missions mapped and placemarked on Google Earth. Students can review all of the Missions and then choose which four they want to use for their tour.

Example: Here is the kml file opened in google earth showing the locations of all of the California Missions.

California Missions in Google Earth



Step Two: Display only the four chosen missions.

Uncheck to hide, or right click and delete the missions that are not going to be in the tour.


California Missions Google Earth How to 2



Step Three: Add one image to each of the four mission placemarks for the tour.

In the places pane on the left, right-click on a mission and select "properties" (Windows) or "Get Info" (Mac). This allows you to edit the placemark.

To add an image to the mission placemark use this standard html code:

<img src="http://somewebsite.com/beautifulpicture.jpg">

The red part is the html code that allows images to be displayed. The blue part is the actual web address of the picture you want displayed. Use google image search for each of the four missions. Copy the image's web addresses and enter it along with the html code as shown inside the red circle below. Add one image for each Mission of your tour.




Step Four: Check all of your placemarks for proper image display.

Click on each of the California Mission links in the left hand Places pane. Make sure every image is displayed when the link is clicked. Check images for sufficient size, not too big or too small. Check images for sharpness and clarity. If you need to, go back and get better pictures. If your pictures don't show up, double check your html code <img src=" "> and your image address. Remember the image address goes between the quotes.


California Missions Google Earth Tour How to



Step Five: Record and Play The Tour

Google Earth Standard version 5.0 allows you to record a tour and play it back in the google earth application. Students can create and share tours they create simply by saving and sharing the .kml files they create. Google Earth Pro version has a movie maker feature to allow the creations of movies that can be played by windows media player or apple quicktime.

To record the tour click the camera button.

Google Earth Record a Tour


Near the bottom right of the Google Earth screen are the controls for recording the tour and recording audio.

Google Earth Tour Recording


Begin recording and click your links or placemarks on the screen and Google Earth will record the screen actions. Click the Record button again to stop. After recording stops, the tour player appears.

Google Earth Tour Player






California Missions - Google Earth Worksheet. download

California Missions Google Earth Worksheet


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