For this activity, you will be taking your classmates on a journey through time and space.  You will be organizing a virtual tour of one of the city states of Renaissance Italy using Google Earth.  You will be able to choose between Vatican City, Florence, Genoa, and Venice.  Alongsidea partner, your assignment is to record the specific features of the city-state of your choice, the geography which helped make the state successful, its trading partners, and its trade routes.  

1. Open Google Earth.


2. Create a folder in “My Places” by right-clicking on the “My Places” folder and choose “Add” then “Folder” in the drop-down menu.  Name your folder “_______________ City-State”. (Add your specific city-state in the line)


3. Locate the city.


a. Type the city-state name into the “Fly to” field in search panel.

b. In the “Layers” menu, uncheck all of the layers except the geographic and building features. 

c. Zoom out using the minus sign in the top right hand corner to get layer. Examine the geographic features, such as mountains and bodies of water to get an idea of the physical environment of the area.  This will help you determine the physical geographic reasons why this city-state was successful.


4. Add Placemarks.


a. Click the “Add placemark” button in the toolbar above the viewfinder.  It looks like a pushpin.  This will bring up a dialogue box and a pushpin will appear in the centre of your screen.  If you need to relocate this marker, just click on the marker and drag it to the new location while the dialogue box is open.

b. In the “New Dialogue” box, type in 

     i. the name of the city-state in the “Name” line.

     ii. In the “description” box, add a description of the city-state 

c. Add a second placemark to indicate what role the climate played in making this city-state successful using the same procedure.  Think about temperature, rainfall, seasonal weather, etc. (e.g., political structure, special features, etc.) and how and why the city-state came to be influential in the Renaissance period.

d. Add a third placemark to indicate the role that geographic features like rivers/mountains had in making this city-state successful.

e. Add a fourth placemark to indicate the role that the city-state’s location in relation to other areas had in the successfulness of the city-state and the trading partners it maintained.

f. Add a fifth placemark to indicate the role that the social/political structures had in making this a successful city-state.


To edit your placemarks, you can right-click and choose “Properties”.   You can edit the icon to a more appropriate symbol by clicking on the pushpin at the top right corner of the dialogue box.  Once your changes are made, click on OK.


5. Trade Routes


a. Indicate the trading partners of your city-state by adding a placemark for each location.

b. Choose “Add Path” from the toolbar at the top of the page.  This allows you to add the same amount of information as the placemarks do.  Include a description of how long during the year the trade route would have been open, and through what means that trade route was used (river, foot, sea, etc.). 

c. To draw the route, right click on the pathway in the “My Places” menu.  You can choose the color of your route line as well as the thickness of the line.  Click on the first place marker, hold down the mouse button and follow the path to the next place marker.  


6. Play your file


Once you have followed all of the above steps, you are ready to view your creation.  Just highlight the folder in the “Places” menu and click on the play arrow underneath.