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Hacking #iste2015: Virtual Globe Trotting with Google Maps

my maps

A good day so far. A few sessions this morning. Some great conversations with a some poster folks. I scored two free tee shirts and a cell phone battery charger from Google. And I spent two hours at the ESSDACK vendor booth.

Last session of the day before the awesome Tweetwood Mac / Otus / ESSDACK reception tonight? Jenn Judkins BYOD session on creating and using Google MyMaps. One of the first things I learned this morning was that MyMaps is now an option on the GAFE Google Drive Create dropdown menu.

So I am pumped that I’ll learn some new stuff this afternoon. I have my fingers crossed. If nothing else, Jenn is incredibly perky for 4:15 pm. She seriously just said

The IT guy’s name is Merlin. Shut the front door! He’s literally a technology wizard.

So . . . it’s gonna be awesome.

One of the first things she shares is a Google My Maps Cheat Sheet that you can find here. Very cool tutorial. Be sure to get that and use as you feel, Jenn says.

Just a quick review. Google MyMaps is different than Google Maps. MyMaps allows you to create customized, sharable, editable maps. Find my earlier post on MyMaps here. MyMaps is so very cool. And it’s better than Google Tour Builder or Google Earth in one way – Tour Builder and GE will not work on iPads or Chromebooks. Because MyMaps is web-based, it’s very much cross-platform.

The next Jenn-ism:

Hopefully we’re all using the Chrome browser. Because friends don’t friends use Internet Explorer.

Don’t you just want to hug her?

This is a hands-on session so we’re making maps. And there’s never anything wrong with that. But it really doesn’t pay to walk you through every step we’re taking. So seriously. Check out the tutorial she’s created. Way easier.

A few things for you advanced users. Be sure to try the import data from spreadsheet and photospheres. Also use the polygon shape tool. You can drag these shapes around. So? Draw a shape around Greenland and then drag it down to the United States. It will re-size automatically to scale and all of a sudden, kids can compare and contrast actual size.  All very cool options!

greenland 1

Greenland 2

Pretty sure Jenn and I are related. Cause we both love the Google MyMaps so much!

You might also want to check out these resources:

Google Support Pages:


Get inspired!

  • Google Maps Gallery
    Click on “Explore” a choose one of the categories to see all the creative ways in which you could use Google Maps with students.
  • Google Cultural Institute
    The world’s cultural treasures at your fingertips.  Take virtual tours, save your favorites, explore collections.   Includes famous works of art, world heritage sites and more.  Click here to watch a great overview video.  Click here for World Wonders Project Teacher Resources.
  • Real Time Data Resources
    Bring relevance and current events into your classroom by designing a Maps project focused around real time data.
  • Google Tour Builder
    Tour Builder allows you to pick the locations right on the map, add in photos, text, and video, and then share your creation.  Tours are “animated”.  Tour Builder is a Beta product  and limited to use on PCs and Macs since it requires you to download a Plug-in.  Click here to see sample tours that have been shared. Click here for tutorials on Tour Builder.
  • Google Maps Views Photospheres
    Crowd-sourced, panoramic images of locations around the globe.

These are sample maps created by Kim Randall and Jim Sill that might help you generate ideas for use with your students.

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Becky Ryckeley #

    I have gotten more from following your blog at ITSE this year than I did attending last year! Thanks for the awesome updates!

    June 29, 2015
    • glennw #


      You are so welcome! It’s been a long day but I’m glad you’ve picked up some useful goodies. Be sure to check back tomorrow!


      June 29, 2015
  2. Jesse McNulty #

    Reblogged this on Blended Learning 1.0.

    June 29, 2015

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