Wednesday, October 16, 2019

topoView - View and Download Thousands of Historical Maps

topoView is a free service that anyone can use to find and download historical topographic maps produced by the USGS since 1880. The process of finding maps through topoView is rather easy. Simply open the map viewer then click on a part of the United States. Once you've selected an area you can use the timeslider to find maps produced during a range of years. Maps that you find through topoView can be downloaded as JPG, KMZ, GeoPDF, and GeoTIFF files. Most students will utilize the JPG or KMZ formats. This video provides an overview of how to use topoView.


Applications for Education
The historical maps found through topoView could be useful in helping students see how the topography of an area has changed over the last 130 years. Students who use Google Earth Pro (the free desktop version of Google Earth) can layer the historical maps over the current view of an area.

topoView could also be useful to students who are writing historical fiction stories to get a better sense of the layout of a place that they might be writing about.

Learn more about Google Earth in my upcoming webinar, Google Earth & Maps - It's More Than Social Studies

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

How to Add Folders to Wakelet Collections

Over the weekend a reader emailed me asking about the possibility of creating folders in Wakelet collections. Wakelet doesn't have a native folders feature. However, it is possible to added folders to Wakelet collections through Google Drive and OneDrive. To add a folder to your Wakelet collection use the sharing option in Google Drive or OneDrive that provides you with a shareable link. Then place that link in your Wakelet collection. The process of sharing folders in Wakelet collections is outlined in my video below.


Watch my other videos about Wakelet to learn how to get started using it and how to create videos within a Wakelet collection.


Monday, October 14, 2019

The Globe of Extremes - An Interactive Map

The Globe of Extremes is an interesting interactive map of the extremes of the Earth. On the map you'll find things like the deepest spot on Earth, the point furthest from any ocean, and the highest permanent settlement in the world. When you open The Globe of Extremes it immediately starts to slowly spin to show you the extreme places of the world. Click on any of the placemarkers on the globe to see images and read about the extreme place.

Applications for Education
The Globe of Extremes is a nice little resource for students to explore to learn some fun geography trivia. More importantly, it's a model of what can be done with digital mapping tools. The Globe of Extremes was built using some advanced ArcGIS tools, but your students could create similar digital maps by using Google Earth.

On a related note, this Thursday afternoon I'm hosting a webinar all about using Google Earth and Google Maps in your classroom.

H/T to Maps Mania

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Explore and Download Thousands of National Parks Pictures and Videos

On my way home from the Oregon SHAPE conference I drove through Mt. Hood National Forest. If you ever get the chance to do the same, take it! On my drive I stopped at the Timberline Lodge to snap a few photographs and ponder coming back to ski Mt. Hood. Back at my hotel my research into backcountry permits reminded me that the U.S. National Park Service hosts thousands of videos and pictures about the various parks and forests under its care.

The majority of the pictures and videos in the National Park Service's gallery are in the public domain. You can search the collection according to media type, location, or keyword. The licensing and re-use information for each picture and video is clearly listed. In general, the videos that are in the public domain have a download link and the ones that aren't in the public domain don't have a download link. The same is true for the pictures in the gallery.
Looking down the valley from Timberline Lodge, Mt. Hood National Forest.

Applications for Education
The National Park Service's multimedia gallery can be a fantastic resource for students who are making slideshows, videos, or virtual tours based on their research about a National Park or National Forest.

How to Create Vocabulary Games on Educandy

Educandy is a new service for creating simple vocabulary games and multiple choice trivia games. A convenient aspect of the service is that once you've created a list of vocabulary words it will automatically be applied to multiple game formats for you. In other words, write one word list and you'll get three games that your students can play. Your students can play the games without needing to create an account on the Educandy site. In the following video I provide an overview of how you can create games on Educandy and how your students can access your games.