GEOG 1100
Exploring the World Through Google Earth
Sea surface temperature and night lights data
In this visualization created by Google Earth, warmer colors indicate hotter sea surface temperatures and white clusters show areas of high population density.

Social and environmental changes are occurring at rates never before witnessed in the history of humanity. Geographic data have revolutionized our view of the physical and human processes causing global change, and Google Earth has greatly increased our ability to access and visualize these data. This course uses Google Earth as a tool to investigate important geographic processes that are responsible for global change phenomena. Some of the topics we will examine during the semester include:
  • Remote sensing
  • Earth's energy budget
  • Atmospheric and oceanic circulations
  • Climates and climate change
  • Population
  • Urbanization
  • Transportation
  • Energy resources
  • Water resources
  • Natural hazards
Downtown Salt Lake City
A view of downtown Salt Lake City, including 3-d buildings rendered by Google Earth

In lecture we will discuss the science behind these topics.  Self-guided labs will use Google Earth to analyze datasets related to each topic.  This is a great class for anyone interested in environmental issues, environmental changes at regional and global scales, and interactions between humans and the environment.

This class fulfills the physical/life science exploration (SF) requirement.