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Science-Based Google Maps

View Refugio Valley Creek Project in a larger map

Short URL: goo.gl/Djwg5

Why Integrate Map Making into Curriculum?

  • It's fun and engaging!
  • Creates ties between content and place
  • Maps are interactive and easy to update
  • Maps can be great assessment tools

Good Content for Map Making

  • You have information or data that is place-based.
  • You want to show
    • information that varies depending on location.
    • distribution of something over an area.
    • a path or route of travel.

What Can Be Included in a Map

  • Text
  • Hyperlinks
  • Photos and Images
  • Video

Examples of Maps


Examples from QUEST

Examples from QUEST Partners, Educators and Students

"Make Your Own Mashup Maps," is an article about map making from NSTA's Science Scope

Fantastic Mapping Resources

Ready to Get Started?

Sign into your Google account. (If you don't already have one, create one!)

Warm Up

Go to Google Maps and

  • locate your home or school.
  • zoom in and zoom out.
  • click on and drag the little yellow man from the zoom tool onto a street and "walk" around.
  • switch from map view to satellite view by clicking on the square in the top right corner.
  • hover over the square in the top right that says "Map" or "Satellite." Check out each of the options: Traffic, Photos, Terrain, Webcams (and more!).

Let's Make a Map!

  • Click on "My Places" and then "Create New Map."
  • Are you or your students collaborating on a map? Add collaborators.
  • Create placemarks, lines and shapes.
  • Add text to your content bubble.
  • Adding a place or location from your search results.
  • Things to know
    • Sometimes funky things will happen. This is not your fault.
    • Sometimes you will create a placemark and it will disappear. This is not your fault (usually).
    • Do you want to see what your map looks like? Click "Save," then "Done."
    • If you want explanatory text for a video, enter all of the text in the content bubble at the same time you embed the video. If you go back in to edit a content bubble (i.e. add text) after you have embedded a video and closed the content bubble your video may disappear. It will look like it should be there--the HTML code will be there--but the video doesn't show up. If this happens, just re-paste the embed code.

Using Media in Your Map

  • Where media in your map comes from:
    • Images can be anywhere on the Web, they just need a specific URL.
    • Videos can only be embedded from YouTube.
  • Insert images into your content bubble.
  • Embed video into your content bubble.

Using Mobile Devices to Collect Content for Your Map

  • Photos can be uploaded straight to the web using the Flickr app or social media apps.
  • Videos can be uploaded straight to the web using the YouTube app.
  • Capture notes from the field using Notes, Voice Memo or something similar.

Wrapping It Up

KML Files

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