Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Google Maps Engine

Thanks goes to +Donnie Piercey on his recent post on Spreadsheet ---> Maps. Until today I had not explored Google Maps Engine in much detail. I assumed the learning curve would be too great.

Not at all. With Google Sheets all you need is a header for location and place holder, and you can import it straight into Google Maps. You could of course just insert the placeholders but Sheets allows you to be presise with longitude / latitude data.

For my map I selected various Elementary Schools in Madison, Wisconsin. For location, I used the longitude / latitude from the Google Maps search. I also included a Contact header with additional information.

I thought while this was ok, what would really be cool is videos or photos. Selecting the Placeholder in the Maps Engine actually allows you to insert a photo or video in addition to text.

Immediately  what came to mind playing with the Maps Engine was studying local history. For example, typically 3rd Graders have a unit on Madison history and 4th Graders Wisconsin history. Often there are few traditional resources and teachers / students go surfing.

I could see use of the Maps Engine taking two forms, a way for teachers to organize resources in an accessible form for students, and as an alternative way for students to present research material.