Google Earth *PRO* is FREE for Educators!

Posted on Feb 20, 2007 by kjarrett 77 Comments

UPDATE: 3/16/201o

Thanks to Barry Hunter, I just learned that the most current information about how to obtain Google Earth (and Google Sketchup) free can be found on this page: Maps & Earth Grants for Non-profits. If you are an educator and want these tools, that is the place to go!


UPDATE: 11/1/2009

Good morning all!

Did you know that Google Earth Pro is *FREE* if you are an educator? Yep! Basically, all you have to do is download the PRO trial version at and then follow these instructions, direct from Google:

Our program involves outreach and distribution of Google Earth Pro to qualified educators affiliated with (employed by) lower, middle, and upper grade schools, accredited community and four year colleges, universities and graduate schools, selected vocational training programs, certain education oriented NGOs, public access museums, and academic libraries.

This wide distribution of Google Earth Pro is provided for one full year as a means to increase the use of Google Earth in core curricula.

In return, we ask for your yearly contribution to one of two forums facilitated by the Google Earth Community: (geared towards K-12) and/or There, you will be joined by other educators seeking collaborative opportunities with their peers for the benefit of students. Whether it be information in the form of a lesson plan, detailed testimony outlining your successes, or questions for fellow teachers, these contributions will foster incentives for creativity and innovation which that can ultimately evolve into Google Earth enhancements geared specifically toward curriculum development.

To apply, please return your updated application to Should your organization qualify you will receive notification via email with detailed instructions on setting up your account and contact information for Google online tech support.

Information required:

  1. Your name (key contact person)
  2. Organization / Institution
  3. A brief description of the Institution / Organization
  4. Full mailing address
  5. Telephone number
  6. User name (complete email address that will be assigned to the license key)
  7. Institution’s web address
  8. Your Institution’s Tax ID (if applicable)
  9. Your Institution’s 501©3 number (US only, if applicable)
  10. A description of the intended application including grade level(s), discipline(s) or subject.
  11. What features in Google Earth Pro are important to you and how do you wish to use them in your classroom.
  12. Number of computers you are requesting to download this software on.
  13. Prior license key information [if a renewal].
  14. URL or description of contribution to Google Earth Community or Google for Educators message boards

We look forward to working with you to create a one-of-a-kind, global resource for educators.

Google Earth Education

PLEASE NOTE #1: Applicants are required to download the free, 7-day trial version of Google Earth Pro at before applying. Please be sure to include your Google Earth trial account user name and license key above. Once you have provided this information, Google will (eventually!) get back to you with a key for the full Pro version that will be valid for a year. I am not involved with the process, I am just passing information along.

PLEASE NOTE #2: I have no way of knowing this but I suspect that ACTIVE MEMBERS of the above communities are going to be MORE LIKELY to get Google Earth Pro licenses approved most quickly. So if you are already using Google Earth with your students, TALK IT UP IN THOSE FORUMS, PEOPLE!

That’s it! Why get the PRO version? Because it supports some CRAZY MAD AWESOME plugins that will really enrich your lessons. Here are a few examples…

Teaching World History? How about taking a look at the Earth as it existed in 1790? (above, left). How about the Middle East in 1861? Maybe you’re studying Lewis & Clark’s expedition … how about an overlay of their route onto modern-day North America, complete with present Interstate highway markings? Yep, it’s all here in the PRO version, and that’s just the beginning. You maintain all the features and functionality with “regular” Google Earth – zooming, tilting/panning, place lookups, and more.

The following text is straight from Google:

For professional and commercial uses, Google Earth Pro is the ultimate research, presentation, and collaboration tool for geographic information. If you’re using Google Earth for business purposes, Pro is the version for you. Pro includes all features available in the free version of Google Earth, plus the following:

  • An area-measurement tool (that measures square feet, miles, acres, radii, etc.)
  • Data importing, which allows you to ingest up to 2,500 locations by address or by latitude/longitudinal coordinates
  • The highest resolution printing and saving capabilities, which enable larger, clearer printouts (up to 4,800 pixels)
  • Movie maker, which allows you to export movies of zooms and tours
  • GIS data import, which allows you to drag and drop SHP files, GeoTiffs, etc.
  • Premium printing, which enables you to print high-resolution images up to 11″ x 17″ (4,800 pixels)

Hope this helps,