Tuesday, March 19, 2019

5 Ways to Tell Stories With Maps

Maps can be great tools for supporting nonfiction and fiction stories. Being able to see the greater context of a location can go a long way toward helping students see the complete overview of a story. This can be helpful for learning about historical events, for supporting biographies, or for seeing the settings of fiction stories. Those are just a few of the types of stories that can be told with maps.

Yesterday, I featured a video about making map-based stories with StoryMap JS. That video is included at the end of this post. Here are four other ways that students can create map-based stories.

Google Earth - Desktop Version
The desktop version of Google Earth provides one of the classic ways to create a map-based, multimedia story. Students can add pictures, text, and videos to the placemarkers in their Google Earth tours. And students can use the built-in recording tools to make tours that viewers can watch on their own. Here's a short overview of how to make a Google Earth tour. Check out Google Lit Trips for ideas on using Google Earth for literature lessons.



VR Tour Creator
Google's VR Tour Creator lets anyone make a virtual reality tour that can be played back in your web browser and or in the Google Expeditions app. Don't limit use of VR Tour Creator to geography lessons. You can have students use it to make virtual reality book tours. Here's an introduction to using VR Tour Creator.


ESRI Story Maps
ESRI Story Maps is a tool that you can use to create a variety of map-based stories. The basic ESRI Story Map lets you combine pictures and locations to playback as a series of slides. Here's a good example of an ESRI Story Map.

Google My Maps
My Maps is a free Google service for creating interactive maps that are similar in style to Google Maps. My Maps lets you add placemarkers that contain pictures and videos. Here's a set of videos detailing every part of using Google's My Maps.

Storymap JS
As I wrote yesterday, Storymap JS has you match slides to locations to tell a story. Here's an overview of how it works.