Carlton Kids, £6.99, ISBN 978-1-78097-113-1
Puzzle Gamebook, 2012
History of the World with Google Earth is a scavenger hunt activity book as well as an introduction to Google Earth. Mind you, using any Google device these days means giving them all your personal data, including things that you don’t want anyone else to know such as your browser history and the contents of your other Google email account, so you may want to take note of that before handing Google Earth (which, incidentally, only works on the other Google personal data-mining device known as the Chrome browser) to your kids.
Also, this one was published in 2012, a lifetime ago when it comes to online stuff, so the Google Earth today looks different from the version described in this book. While the basic functionalities work, you may need to sit by your kid to figure out some things in this book that are not-so-obvious on the latest iteration of Google Earth. That or you will have to convince your kid that it is good enough to just have an aerial view of some of the most well-known historical locales in the world without doing the fancy extra things described here.
Yes, this one teaches your kids have to key in the coordinates to view places such as Wartburg Castle in Germany, the Temple of Karnak in Egypt, Pompeii in Rome, and such with a few token Asian mentions like the Forbidden City in Beijing to assure kids that the Earth doesn’t cease to exist beyond the boundaries of the US and Europe. Not sure why Detroit is mentioned here since its historic value is apparently it was somehow the center of the 20th-century industrial revolution in the US (that’s what it says here), but perhaps Penny Worms doesn’t want American kids to feel excluded.
Of course, this will be a thin book if it only contains instructions and coordinates to be keyed into Google Earth, so William Ing comes up with some lovely picture spreads portraying each location during a pivotal time in the past. Kids will be asked to look for things in these pictures and they are also encouraged to compare the illustration to what they see on Google Earth. The latter may want the stationary Google Earth 3D image more disappointing in comparison, but hey, kids are simple, easily distracted creatures, so maybe they will still have fun.
Another benefit of using History of the World with Google Earth is that it will also teach kids the value of GPS and using Google Earth to get images of various people’s residences, so that they can make lovingly detailed doxing posts on places like Kiwi Farms and /pol/ but that’s for the future. For now, let the kids have fun looking at 3D images of places Mommy and Daddy will never be able to afford to fly them there personally.
Cantankerous muffin who loves boys that sparkle, unicorns, money, chocolates, and fantastical stories.