Showing posts with label map maker. Show all posts
Showing posts with label map maker. Show all posts

Friday, April 8, 2022

Create Your Own USGS Maps

Earlier this year I highlighted the galleries of free to use and re-use media that the USGS hosts. Earlier this week I was back on the USGS site looking in those galleries when I noticed something new to me. That something is the USGS National Map Viewer

Don't the name fool you, the USGS National Map Viewer is more than just a place to look at a map. The USGS National Map Viewer lets you choose from a huge library of datasets to display on a map. You can view the source information for each dataset. Additionally, you can choose the base map on which the datasets are displayed. If that's not enough to get you to try the USGS National Map Viewer, I should also tell you that you can draw on the maps, measure on the maps, and print your customized map displays. Watch this short video to get an idea of what is possible with the USGS National Map Viewer

Applications for Education
The USGS National Map Viewer could be a great tool for students to use to make visual connections between the information provided in a dataset and the locations referenced in those datasets. For example, in the video above I applied the earthquake faults dataset to the map so that students can see where there is more or less seismic activity in the United States. On a related note, here's a nearly realtime USGS map of the latest seismic activity around the world.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Good Tool for Creating Animated Maps

As I do every year, I am taking this week to relax, recharge, and ski with friends. While I'm away I will be re-running the most popular posts of the year. This was one of the most popular posts in July, 2015.

Animaps is a free service built for the purpose of allowing users to create animated Google Maps. The basics of creating maps in Animaps is very similar the process for creating maps in Google Maps. The main benefit of using Animaps over Google Maps is that you can create a tour of your placemarks that plays through according to the timing that you specify. Another benefit is that you can build in colored shapes to expand and contract to demonstrate patterns. You can also import images to your map from Flickr, Picassa, and Facebook.

Applications for Education
Animaps could be a great tool for having students create tours of historic events. You could also have students create fictional stories that they illustrate on Animaps.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Video - How to Add Political Boundaries in Google Map Maker

No one knows a town or neighborhood like the people that live there. Google knows that and has made Map Maker a crowd-sourcing project to create the most detailed public maps possible. Google suggests adding information about recreational areas in your town, cultural landmarks, schools, and businesses. Yesterday, thanks to Rich Kiker, I learned that Google Map Maker now allows you to add political boundaries to maps. Watch the video below to learn how to do this.

Applications for Education
Teachers looking to create a project with "real world" implications should consider having students research their communities and contribute to making the map better on Google Map Maker.

Learn more about Map Maker in the video below.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Earthquakes 101 for Kids

National Geographic Education's Forces of Nature has been featured here in the past. This afternoon I revisited that resource and discovered a couple of other nice resources for teaching elementary and middle school students about earthquakes.

Earthquakes 101 is a short video introduction to the causes of earthquakes. The video is accompanied by a vocabulary list, a few "fast facts," and some discussion questions. After showing the video use the National Geographic Map Maker to illustrate the relationship of tectonic plates, fault lines, and seismic activity. To create this illustration select "themes," then "physical systems - land," then select the earthquakes and plate tectonics layers. This combination will show the seismic activity layer on top of the colored plate tectonics layer.

Applications for Education
National Geographic's Map Maker can be used without creating an account. The example I gave above of using it for creating an illustration of the relationship between earthquakes and tectonic plates is one of many illustrations you and your students can create. National Geographic's Map Maker offers six themes on which users can create custom map displays. Within each theme there are subcategories to choose from. For example, you can select the theme Physical Systems Land then choose volcanic eruptions to display on your map. Map Maker also provides drawing tool and marker icons that you can place on your map

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

ikiMap - More Than Just Custom Google Maps

ikiMap is a free service for creating custom maps online. The service allows you to build custom maps on top of Google Maps, Bing Maps, and Open Street Maps. You can also use a completely blank canvas and upload a map. The maps that you create on ikiMap can be shared publicly or privately. Your maps can be constructed collaboratively on ikiMap.

To create a custom map on ikiMap you do have to register on the site and confirm your registration in an email. Once you're registered you can start building a map. The simplest way to build a custom map on ikiMap is to choose a base layer and add custom placemarks. There is a collection of dozens of placemark icons to choose from. If you don't like the placemark icons in the gallery, you can upload your own icons. Each placemark can contain text, images, links, and embedded videos.

ikiMap provides easy-to-use tools for drawing shapes on your maps. I found the tools easier to use than the drawing tools on Google Maps. The ikiMap drawing tools provide for easy resizing, relocation, labeling, and color changes.

Advanced amateur cartographers may want to take advantage of ikiMap's upload feature to import data sets and KML files. Speaking of KML files, you can download your maps from ikiMap as KML files to use in other applications.

Applications for Education
ikiMap does require an email address which probably eliminates it from use in many elementary schools, but if your students do have email addresses and you're looking for an online alternative to Google Maps that offers a little more in terms of customization features, give ikiMap a try.

H/T to Google Maps Mania