Google Earth has been downloaded more than one billion times. That’s a lot.

How big is one billion?

They’ve done the math:

One billion hours ago modern humans were living in the Stone Age. One billion minutes ago, the Roman Empire was flourishing. If you traveled from Earth to the Moon three times, your journey would measure one billion meters.

. . . we’ve reached our own one billion mark: Google Earth has been downloaded more than one billion times since it was first introduced in 2005. That’s more than one billion downloads of the Google Earth desktop client, mobile apps and the Google Earth plug-in—all enabling you to to explore the world in seconds, from Earth to Mars to the ocean floor.

To celebrate, Google created OneWorldManyStories, a site dedicated to highlighting the many ways that Google Earth has been used over the last few years. Learn about people like Professor David Kennedy of the University of Western Australia, who’s used Google Earth to scan thousands of square kilometers in Saudi Arabia and Jordan. Professor Kennedy has discovered ancient tombs and geoglyphs dating back at least 2,000 years, all without leaving his desk in Perth. Architect Barnaby Gunning, after the April 6, 2009 earthquake near L’Aquila Italy, encouraged his fellow citizens to start rebuilding the city virtually in 3D. Their online urban planning will aid city planners and architects. Retired English teacher Jerome Burg created Google Lit Trips, which uses Google Earth to match places in famous books to their geographical locations, encouraging students to create connections between the stories they read in school and the world they live in.

It’s a great place to get ideas and brainstorm a bit about how you might use Google Earth in your own classroom.

I’ve put together my own small page of Google Earth stuff that might also be useful. Head over there when you’re done at OneWorldManyStories.