Last night I was the informal host of an informal webinar with a small group of Google Certified Teachers. During the course of the discussion we got on the topic of Google Spreadsheets and all of the neat things that can be done with spreadsheets. In the conversation I was reminded of Map a List which turn Google Spreadsheet information into Google Maps placemarks.
To create a map from your spreadsheets you need to register for a Map a List account and give it access to your Google Docs account. Map a List then walks you through each step of selecting a spreadsheet, defining the parameters for your map, and choosing placemarks. I created a map using Map a List this afternoon and it was a very straight-forward process. The map I created, which you can see below, was created from Shelly Blake Plock's Paperless Earth Day Pledge Sheet. (Read more about the Paperless Earth Day challenge here). There are nearly 1100 cells in the spreadsheet and Map a List was still able to relatively quickly create the map.
As a quick point of clarification, Map a List is not a Google product, rather it relies on Google APIs to create maps for you.
Applications for Education
Map a List could be a neat tool to use for a classroom geneaology project. Create a spreadsheet form in which students input information about where their ancestors came from. Students could enter the information themselves or they could share the link to the form and ask their parents or grandparents to fill in some information Then use Map a List to show the distribution of ancestories of the students in your classroom.
Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Free 33 Page Guide - Google for Teachers
Using Maps in an Elementary School Math Lesson
Google Maps Labs - Try the Newest Options