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Weekend Websites #84: Planet in Action

Posted by on January 6, 2012

Every Friday, I’ll send you a wonderful website (or more) that my classes and my parents love. I think you’ll find they’ll be a favorite of your students as they are of mine.

planet in action

Use Google Earth to play with the planet


Planet in Action


6th grade+


Geography, more


The fascinating geniuses at Planet in Action use Google Earth to power some of the greatest toys I’ve seen around the internet. When you visit their site, you can:

  • Drive a ship. You can select the Queen Mary or a container ship or several other options and drive them throughout the globe. You can even set it to drive while you sleep so you can see how far it got when you awake in the morning.
  • Drive the A-Team van. It’s right out of the movie and the same promo they offered on their website prior to the movie’s release (because the PIA guys programmed it)
  • Explore six different areas, from the Swiss Alps to Hollywood to EuroDisney to Mt. St. Helens and more. It’s a low-altitude fly-over that’s more exciting than even Google Earth’s Flight Simulator. It’s Open Source, so it’s free.
  • Build a business as a helicopter pilot
  • Moon Lander game–Climb aboard and take control of the “Eagle” and see if you can match Neil Armstrong’s flying skills.

If you’re creating a library of virtual tours for your school, be sure to visit this site.

Dinther Product Design (creators of Planet in Action) is a small Australian-based company that started by creating simulations for game companies and grew from there. Today, according to their website, they can’t even share details of some of their projects.

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Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and author of two technology training books for middle school. She wrote Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a tech columnist forExaminer.comEditorial Review Board member for ISTE’s Journal for Computing TeachersIMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s seeking representation for a techno-thriller Any suggestions? Contact Jacqui at her writing office, WordDreams, or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

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