Tour de France winds through the countryside before arriving in Paris. Every year the course takes a different route. One of the things that I always enjoy about watching the race is seeing all of the historic places the riders pass. NBC Sports is usually pretty good about sharing some history of those places during their telecast of the race. But there is only so much history they can share in television soundbites. That's why for the last few years I've encouraged students to create their own virtual tours of the Tour de France.
Creating a virtual tour of the route of this year's Tour de France could be a great way to get students to dig into history and share their findings in a multimedia format. Here are three ways that students can create virtual tours.
Create a Virtual Reality Tour
Google's VR Tour Creator has become my favorite mapping tool for students to use. With the VR Tour Creator students can create a VR tour of the starting points of the segments of the Tour de France. Watch my videos embedded below to learn how to get started using Google's VR Tour Creator.
Create a Google Earth Tour
Google Earth Pro (AKA the desktop version of Google Earth) has some built-in features for creating virtual tours. Students can create narrated fly-over tours of the Tour de France route in Google Earth Pro. Watch my video below for a short overview of how to make a tour in Google Earth Pro.
Use My Maps to Make a Custom Map of the Tour de France
Students can use Google's My Maps tool to create a map with placemarks for the start and end points of each segment of the race. In addition to the town and city names have them include a handful of interesting facts about each placemark. Students can also include pictures and videos in those placemarks. If you have never tried using Google's My Maps, watch my video below to learn how to get started.