MapFab is an excellent free map creation tool built on top of Google Maps. MapFab offers a few advantages over Google Maps, but the most notable advantage is that you do not have to create an account in order to create your custom maps.
To start creating custom maps on MapFab just head to the site and enter your starting location. Then select from the menu of custom placemarks and enter a description. There is a variety of font colors to choose from when you label your placemarks. That same variety of text colors can be applied to your map title too. Just like on Google Maps you can draw polygons and circles on your maps. Also like on Google Maps you can draw lines, but on MapFab you can change the colors of your lines.
When you have finished creating your maps you can download it as a KMZ file to use in Google Earth. You can also embed the map into a blog. Should you need or want to edit your map after publishing it, MapFab gives you a link for that too.
Applications for Education
MapFab does not require registration which makes it instantly available to all students. You could have students use MapFab to locate and label locations that they're studying in your geography lessons. Maps created on MapFab can be password protected so if you wanted students to create maps but only share them with you or their classmates, you could have them set a password for their maps. You could also have students use MapFab to create and map stories in the Google Lit Trips style.
H/T to Google Maps Mania.