If you attended one of my sessions with that or a similar title, thank you and I hope the time you spent was valuable. On this page you’ll find the links to the resources we played with along with my notes and other materials for you to continue exploring Google’s geographic related tools. If you have any comments or questions, please write.
Google says their mission is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful”. A large part of that information can be represented and channeled through maps. And the mapping tools Google provides can be used in a variety of ways to help your students learn.
The slide show I used during the session, which was basically my outline, is here. You are welcome to use it (and any other material I have posted on this site) for personal use. Remember that I revise these pages every time I do a new session so everything is subject to change.
Maps is Google’s general purpose location tool that can do much more than just get you from place A to place B. Maps includes a large and growing collection of photographs, including the 360° imagery known as Street View. For even more detail, click the Earth box to see high resolution “satellite” views of an area, some even in 3D. Most features of maps, including Earth view and Street View, are available on their smartphone and tablet apps.
Complete details for using Google Maps is on their help page.
Street View is Google’s collection of street level photographs taken by their 360° camera array. In recent years they have added many miles of images that are far off the street, such as trails in the Grand Canyon and the coral of the Great Barrier Reef.
For much more about Street View, including how you and your students can easily create and post personal Street View images called photospheres, take this deep dive into Street View.
This introductory video will give you a good overview of how to use My Maps.
Here are the My Maps examples we looked at. You can make a copy in your own Drive account if you want to modify a map or just take a closer look. For more ideas on using My Maps in your classroom, check out this list.
Google Lit Trip is a concept created by a middle school English teacher to connect the geographic information in works of literature to the story. He started using Google Earth as the platform but the same idea can be applied in My Maps as well.
We created a map based on information gathered through a Google Form. Directions for doing that, starting with the spreadsheet created by the Form, are here. If you are unfamiliar with how a Google Form is connected to a spreadsheet, there are many tutorials available that will get you started.
There are now two different versions of Google Earth. Earth 9 works in the Chrome browser, while the desktop version is now called Earth Pro.
This video offers a brief overview of the features found in Earth 9.
If you are new to Google Earth Pro, or haven’t used the program in a while, the resources from my Getting Going with Google Earth session will help.
Google Arts & Culture
The Arts & Culture site includes a large and growing collection of high resolution images and original source documents from art galleries and museums all over the world, mixed with maps and Street View photography.
The project includes three parts:
- Art, thousands of works by hundreds of artists that can be organized by artist, art movement, time, or even color;
- Wonders, collections of maps, Street View, and documents highlighting hundreds of world heritage sites.
- History, exhibits that combine original source documents with other materials to tell the stories behind major events in world history.
An artifact in any of the collections can be added to your favorites and then grouped to create your personal collections. A short tutorial on how to build a collection is here.