Google Earth Voyager Stories


Take your students on a journey around the world with Google Earth Voyager Stories. Follow the paths of our World Explorers, discovering the places these famous adventurers recorded many years before. Each stop on the voyage is contextualized with background information, including video clips and primary source visuals, and many of the stops along the way have fantastic 360 street views that show students what these places look like today. Each grouping of Voyager Stories follows the lesson plans included in this collection. So pack your bags and get ready to go on your virtual adventure! 

  • Explorers: Early Global Connectors | Google Earth Voyager Stories

    During a period of only 150 years, the recorded travels of three remarkable explorers expanded human understanding of vast parts of the world. Marco Polo, Ibn Battuta, and Zheng He heralded from different continents and undertook their decades-long journeys for different reasons. Yet, their personal fortitude, diplomatic skills, and keen curiosity connected cultures previously unknown to each other, paving the way for trade, innovation, and the exchange of ideas. Retrace the expeditions that changed our understanding of the world in this interactive Google Earth Voyager story.

    Grades: 3-4,6-7,13+
  • Explorers: Age of Encounter | Google Earth Voyager Stories

    During the late-fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, knowledge of Earth’s geography grew in leaps and bounds. Christopher Columbus, John Cabot, and Amerigo Vespucci introduced the Americas into recorded history. Vasco da Gama was the first European to sail through the Indian Ocean to Asia, and Ferdinand Magellan and Francis Drake circumnavigated the globe. 

    This century of global exploration saw different peoples interacting with each other for the first time—allying, trading, warring, and enslaving. These encounters set the course for the modern, globally interdependent world. Retrace the expeditions that changed our understanding of the world in this interactive Google Earth Voyager story.

    Grades: 3-7,13+
  • Explorers: Vikings | Google Earth Voyager Stories

    Around the year 1000, five hundred years before Christopher Columbus crossed the Atlantic, Eric the Red and his son Leif Ericson founded settlements in Greenland and North America. Historians now recognize them as two of the greatest explorers of all time, and consider Leif Ericson to be the first European to reach the New World. Retrace the expedition that changed our understanding of the continent in this interactive Google Earth Voyager story.

    Grades: 3-7,13+
  • Explorers: North America's Great Waters | Google Earth Voyager Stories

    During the seventeenth century, four French explorers plied North America’s great waterways to chart and traverse the center of the continent. The explorations of Samuel de Champlain, Jacques Marquette, Louis Jolliet, and Renee de LaSalle linked together the St. Lawrence River, the Great Lakes, and the Mississippi River, opening the interior of North America to European settlement and trade. Retrace the expeditions that changed our understanding of the continent in this interactive Google Earth Voyager story.

    Grades: 3-7,13+
  • Explorers: Lewis and Clark | Google Earth Voyager Stories

    After Thomas Jefferson doubled the size of the United States with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, he assembled an expedition to explore this vast territory. Leading the expedition were two former army captains -- Meriwether Lewis and William Clark.

    Braving unfamiliar territory and dangerous conditions for more than two years, Lewis and Clark successfully crossed the entire western United States, mapping the territory and discovering its resources. Retrace the route that changed our understanding of the continent in this interactive Google Earth Voyager story.

    Grades: 3-7,13+