Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Free Technology For Teachers: Another New Feature on Google Maps

Google Earth Outreach is full of great resources for anyone teaching or interested in Geography, History, or Earth Science. Google Earth Outreach provides many tutorials on how to use the various features, including some lesser known features, of Google Earth and Google Maps. The video I have embedded below demonstrates how to use the collaboration feature on Google Maps.

Google Earth Outreach has many case studies showing examples of how Google Earth and Google Maps can give a visual representation to an organization or project. For example, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, currently featured on Google Earth Outreach, visually demonstrates the potential effects of drilling and mining in the region. The case studies featured on Google Earth Outreach could be a valuable reference for students.

Here is a short video about using the collaboration feature on Google Maps.


Applications for Educators
The uses for Google Earth and Google Maps in a Social Studies or Earth Science class are almost limitless. In a Social Studies course students and or teachers can use Google Earth and Google Maps to demonstrate where places are in relation to one another. Students can create fly-over tours of significant historical or cultural landmarks. Teachers and or students can use Google Earth and Google Maps to demonstrate any number of demographic statistics including population density, languages spoken, or religions practiced.
In an Earth Science class teachers and students can use Google Earth and Google Maps to demonstrate the location of mineral mine, oil fields, or areas affected by global warming. An Earth Science teacher or student could use Google Earth and Google Maps to demonstrate ares of deforestation, drought, or flooding.
The new collaboration feature on Google Maps allows teachers and students to work on mapping projects without being on the same computer or user account.