Using Presentation Files in Google Earth

Tom Taylor


Most students are already familiar with presentation software and know how to create slides in programs such as PowerPoint.  This tutorial describes how to upload a PowerPoint file as a Google Presentation, then embed it into a Google Earth placemark.


First, create a presentation using PowerPoint.  Keep the presentation fairly simply.  There should only be simple formatting with text, and pictures.  Avoid complex animation, and don’t embed audio or video.

When you save the file, I’ve found it works best to save it in Office 2003 format, rather than a later version.  This tends to prevent problems with compatibility with Google Presentation files.  Once the file is saved, then open your Google Docs and upload the PowerPoint file.  The file should appear in your list of documents.


You can create a file in Google Docs by selecting “Create New” and “Presentation” from the list.  You can add slides, backgrounds, text, and images much as you can with PowerPoint.

Once you have a presentation file in Google Docs, open the file in the editor.  Below is one I did which contains information about the old Echo Valley Amusement Park in Northern Greenville County.

You can further edit the file, or we could go ahead and prepare it for use in Google Earth.  Before the file can be used in Google Earth, it must be published.  Click on the “Share” button and select “Publish/Embed.”

Once you make your selection, you will be taken to a page that lets you choose options for embedding and will provide you with the embed code..

If it’s not open already, start Google Earth.  Zoom into the location that you want to mark with a placemark.  Since this presentation was about Echo Valley, I found that location in northern Greenville County in South Carolina.  Create a placemare on the location.  Give it an appropriate name, then click in the Description box.  Press CRTL and V to paste the presentation code that you copied earlier.

Click on OK to finish creating the placemark.  Now, when you click on the placemark either in the Places box or on the map, the presentation will start.


You will need a separate presentation file for each placemark you plan to create.  This lends itself to collaborative projects.  Assign each student a location, then have them do a presentation either in PowerPoint or in Google Docs.  This can also be used to create collaborative virtual tours.