A colleague of mine has been using Google Earth with her students this year. They use it in their reading groups to follow the characters' travels in the books that they read. I thought, what a wonderful way to help the reading come alive for the students!
And this got me thinking. Why not do the same thing in my own personal reading? I love to read historical fiction, mainly books that deal with English history. Right now I am reading The King's Grace, by Anne Easter Smith, which tells the story of the two princes in the Tower during the reign of Richard III. I have for a long time recorded the interconnectedness of the historical figures that I encounter. I have a large family tree, which helps me keep track of how each is related to one another, and I use it to even connect historical figures from one book to another. I also like to use Wikipedia as another source to add background to my reading.
But now I am thinking that I need to add a new dimension to my reading. I want to try following my characters' travel through Google Earth. How wonderful it will be to know where Middleham is in relation to Westminster Palace or Sheriff Hutton, for example. And who knows. One day I might just have the opportunity to actually visit some of these places!