Flying Through the Crusades

Page history last edited by Robert Kingly 13 years, 1 month ago


Project Description

This project will teach you how to make animations in Google Earth of flying over the earth along a path. You will also measure the distances between points on Google Earth and use Excel to calculate the total length of the path.


Part 1 - Maping the Crusaders' Route


In this section you will examine a map of the crusaders' routes and then plot cities along their way on Google Earth. You can use these plotted cities to create an animation of flying over the land the crusaders traveled.



  • Take a moment to look at this map of the first crusade: Source Map - Wiki Commons: Map of the First Crusades This is our source map for this activity. We will plot the cities from one route on this map and calculate the distances between them.
  • Open Google Earth.
  • Press the "control" key and click on the "My Places" icon. Go to "add" and then to "new folder". When prompted, name your folder "MyName's First Crusade Folder". Leave the description blank.

  • Google Earth changes the order of points as you copy them into your Crusades's folder, so you will enter the cities you want to fly between in reverse order. Copy the last city (Jerusalem) off the list at the very bottom of this page and paste it into the search box on Google Earth. Hit the "return" key. The search box should look like this after you search for the first city.

  • After you search for a city, it should be listed with a check box next to it. Click on the white space to the right of the name, and push the apple key and "c" key to copy the city. Then click on white space to the right of your crusades folder and push the apple key and "v" key to paste the city into your list. There is a small bug in Google Earth, where you will need to click on something other than your folder name, and then click on the folder name again for the arrow next to the folder to appear. If you do not see a little triangle next to the folder name after you copy in your first city, you did not successfully add Jerusalem to your folder.
  • Repeat the copy/paste process through the list until you are done. After you have done the first four, your folder should look like this:

  • Take a moment and open your StarrLocker.
  • When you finish adding all of the cities, save your work by pressing the "control" key and clicking on your folder. A menu will pop up and you should select "save as". Save your list of cities to your StarrLocker. The menu should look like this:


  • To play your crusade tour, click on your folder name and then click on the play button at the bottom of the window. To move between cities faster (or to maintain a more consistent level of zooming in, click on the cross hairs of the next city on the list before Google Earth can fully zoom in).


Part 2 - Calculating how far the Crusaders Traveled


In this section you will learn how to use the ruler functionality in Google Earth and approximate how far the crusaders traveled from France to Jerusalem.



  • Highlight the distances template found her: here and copy it into an Excel spreadsheet. The column with the cities name may be too narrow and you will have to widen it to prevent the names from overflowing.
  • Find the first pair of cities you want to measure between and zoom in so that you can view both in your window at the same time.
  • Click on the "Tools" menu at the top of the window and select the Ruler.
  • Click on the first city in the pair. The ruler should leave a red dot where you clicked. As you move your mouse to click on the second city, you may notice a yellow line connecting your mouse to start city. Once you click on the second city, the ruler window will display the distance between the two points. Record this value in your spreadsheet next to the cities' names.
  • Continue measuring the distances between city pairs.
  • When you finish recording all the distances, click on the cell next to "Total Distance". Type "=sum(" and then use your mouse to highlight the column of distances. Once the numbers are highlighted, type ")". The finished version should look like this but with different numbers:




Programs & Files


Cities to Plot - The Crusaders Route

  • Lyon (Lyon, France - be careful not to confuse with Lyons, France)
  • Turin (Torino, Italy)
  • Pisa (slightly off) (Pisa, Italy)
  • Genoa (Genova, Italy)
  • Rome (Rome, Italy)
  • Bari (Bari, Italy)
  • Durazzo (Durres, Albania)
  • Ochrida (Ohrid, Macedonia)
  • Thessalonica (Thessaloniki, Greece)
  • Constantinople (Istanbul, Turkey)
  • Calehedon (Pendik, Turkey)
  • Nicomedia (Izmit, Turkey)
  • Nicae (Iznik Turkey)
  • Dorylaeum, (Beylikahir, Turkey)
  • Philomelian (Aksehir, Turkey)
  • Iconium (Dedeler, Konya Turkey)
  • Heraclea (Pozanti, Turkey)
  • Tarsus, Sultanate of Roum (Tarsus, Turkey)
  • Antioch (Antioch, Syria)
  • Homs (Homs, Syria)Sam
  • Tripoli (Tripoli, Lebanon)
  • Beirut (Beirut , Lebanon)
  • Sidon (Sidon, Lebanon)
  • Tyre (Tyre, Lebanon)
  • Acre (Akko, Israel)
  • Jaffa (Yafo, Israel)
  • Jerusalem (Jerusalem, Israel)



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Comments (1)

Adleer said

at 2:47 am on Jul 1, 2010

That is great and informative article. Many useful article about the first crusade at http://crusades-medieval.blogspot.com/2007/10/first-crusade.html

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