Tuesday, November 26, 2013

How and Why You Might Want to Return to Classic Google Maps

About six months ago Google unveiled a new version of Google Maps and made it the default for people visiting maps.google.com. The new version has some neat features like built-in Street View tours. However, the new version of Google Maps doesn’t include the measurement tools found in the old version or what Google is calling “Classic Maps.” The measurement tools are great to use in math lessons as well as to simply help students understand the scale of distance. Furthermore, while the new Google Maps Engine Lite is an excellent tool for building custom Google Maps it can take quite a bit more time for students to understand.

If you want to return to Classic Maps, you can do so after signing into your Google Account. Google recently changed the location of this option. The screenshot below shows you where to find the option to return to Classic Maps.
Click image to view full size.

Keep this in mind if you do decide to return to Classic Maps, Google is not known for reversing course on product design changes. There is a real possibility that Classic Maps will disappear for good without warning at some point.

Applications for Education
To see how mathematics can be taught with Google Maps and Google Earth see Tom Barrett’s Maths Maps or Real World Math.

Unlike the new version of Google Maps, Google Earth still has measurement tools built into it. If you have access to Google Earth that’s another option to consider using in place of the new Google Maps.