Showing posts with label Google Maps Engine. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Google Maps Engine. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Global Forest Change Explorer - Trends in Deforestation

The Global Forest Change Explorer is a new Google Maps product that provides visualizations of patterns in global deforestation. The Global Forest Change Explorer was developed in conjunction with Science in the Classroom and Dr. Matt Hansen of the University of Maryland.

On the Global Forest Change Explorer you can view patterns in deforestation and explore causes of deforestation. The map has three basic sections that you can explore. Those sections are countries, ecosystems, and hotspots. The hotspots section includes questions for students to investigate to discover the cause of deforestation in that location.

Applications for Education
The Global Forest Change Explorer offers a set of basic research questions for students to investigate. That question sheet can be downloaded as a PDF.

The Global Forest Change Explorer is a good example of the type of data that can be visualized in Google Maps. Students can use Google's My Maps in Google Drive to create their own visualizations of other data sets for things like erosion patterns, drought patterns, or changes in availability animal habitat. My playlist of Google Maps tutorials is embedded below.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Video - How to Create Placemarks and Layers On Google Maps Engine Lite

Last week I published a set of screenshots containing directions for creating placemarks, polygons, and layers on Google Maps Engine Lite. Since that post was published I have received a few requests for a screencast of the process. The screencast video below provides an overview of the process of creating placemarks, layers, and polygons on Google Maps Engine Lite.



Here are a few good uses of maps with multiple layers.
  • Multiple layers could be used for showing data differences on a year over year or month over month basis. 
  • You could display the same data with different base layers for comparison. 
  • Students working collaboratively on a map can be responsible for editing their own layers on the same map. 
  • If you’re using Google Maps Engine Lite to have students create literature trips (look here for inspiration), they can create a different layer for each chapter of a book. 
  • Students mapping the history of an event like the U.S. Civil War could create a different layer for each year of the war.
Google Maps Engine Lite supports importing and mapping data via spreadsheets. This was previously possible if you used a Google Spreadsheet Gadget like Map-A-List, but the native support in Google Maps Engine Lite makes this easier than ever. As long as your spreadsheet meets the following minimum standards, you will be able to have the data mapped for you. 
  • Your spreadsheet should have three columns. 
    •  Names of places. 
    • Location (City and State or postal code or latitude and longitude coordinates). 
    • Description (information you want displayed within the placemark).

Monday, February 3, 2014

How to Create Placemarks, Layers, and Polygons in Google Maps Engine Lite

Google Maps is a versatile tool that I've been using with students and sharing with teachers for years now. From simple virtual scavenger hunts to literature journeys to analyzing data in a geographic context, Google Maps has a lot of applications in the classroom.

Last summer Google unveiled Google Maps Engine Lite for creating custom maps. This tool will eventually replace the old custom maps option that is still available if you revert to Classic Google Maps. One of Google Maps Engine Lite's more noteworthy features is support of multiple layers on one map.

Creating multiple layers on your map is completely optional but there are quite a few good uses of maps with multiple layers.
  • Multiple layers could be used for showing data differences on a year over year or month over month basis. 
  • You could display the same data with different base layers for comparison. 
  • Students working collaboratively on a map can be responsible for editing their own layers on the same map. 
  • If you’re using Google Maps Engine Lite to have students create literature trips (look here for inspiration), they can create a different layer for each chapter of a book. 
  • Students mapping the history of an event like the U.S. Civil War could create a different layer for each year of the war.
Google Maps Engine Lite supports importing and mapping data via spreadsheets. This was previously possible if you used a Google Spreadsheet Gadget like Map-A-List, but the native support in Google Maps Engine Lite makes this easier than ever. As long as your spreadsheet meets the following minimum standards, you will be able to have the data mapped for you. 
  • Your spreadsheet should have three columns. 
    •  Names of places. 
    • Location (City and State or postal code or latitude and longitude coordinates). 
    • Description (information you want displayed within the placemark).
The Google Slides presentation below offers step-by-step directions for creating placemarks, layers, and polygons in Google Maps Engine Lite. Directions for sharing and embedding the maps are included at the end. (Use full screen mode to see all of the directions on the slides).


If you would like a copy of these slides, please open the editor (click the gear icon) then make a copy in your Google Drive account. Complete directions for that process are available here

For those who like to learn more about Google Maps and Google Earth, Google offers a self-paced course available with video-based and or text-based lessons

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Google Maps Engine Lite - Create Advanced Custom Google Maps

For years Google Maps had the option for creating custom placemarks and basic shapes in the "my maps" option in your account. But if you want to further customize your maps you really had to do that work in Google Earth. Yesterday, Google introduced Maps Engine Lite which bridges the gap between creating basic custom maps in Google Maps and creating custom layers in Google Earth.

Maps Engine Lite allows you to go beyond manually adding placemarks to your Google Maps by uploading a spreadsheet of locations that will be displayed on your map. You can import up to three spreadsheets per map. You can also draw custom lines and shapes on your maps. Like any other Google Map you can invite others to collaborate with you. You can share your map by embedding it into a website. Google Earth Outreach offers a detailed tutorial on how to use the new Maps Engine Lite. I'm looking forward to going through the tutorial and creating some new maps this weekend.

Applications for Education
Maps Engine Lite could be a great tool to use to introduce students to using GIS to interpret data and make decisions based on that data. Here's one way that I might use Maps Engine Lite with students in my area. I could create data sets about ice thickness on a set of area ponds, create a data set about average weekly high temperatures in those areas, import that data into the map and ask students to make predictions as to when the ponds will be ice-free.