For my Google Maps course, I had to create a map using the new Google Maps Engine lite. Goodness knows that I am seriously “direction-challenged”. I live by my GPS here in Europe. The roads are often unlabelled. Sometimes the same road can change names several time along the way. I have a hate relationship with my GPS whom I have nicknamed “jezebel”. She gets me lost 30% of the time. She loves to lead me onto a nice DEAD-END. Then, it’s up to me to figure out a way to get back to the highway. My dream is that one day my car will have a web browser on its dash and I can use Google Maps to get me around and throw away “jezzie”. (While I am dreaming, can I dream for a red sport’s car to go with the dash?)
I would like a mapping system that updates itself automatically and which I can configure and save my favorite way of getting to a certain place. That would be Google Maps. My GPS always opens up to default directions and I can’t modify them to my liking. That is a huge problem when jezebel’s default directions take me to a dead-end. I’m excited to hear of Google’s purchase of Wazer which will allow live, real-time updating of maps and directions through crowd-sourcing. This sounds just like the type of mapping system I need!
My favourite thing to do in Switzerland is to take a 3-4 hour walk through the Lavaux Vineyards which are an UNESCO World Heritage site. They date back to the time of the Romans. The vineyards over-look Lake Geneva (the largest freshwater lake in the world) and face the Swiss pre-Alps across the lake. The views are breath-taking and so are the photographs. I created a map of this favorite walk for my final project.
All my educator-friends in my Personal Learning Network are welcomed to visit me in Switzerland (just not all at once!) I would love to take you through the vineyards too. I will lead you by hand (actually by foot) which is more reliable than following my map!
The above photos were taken from embed links provided by My Switzerland. You can also find official maps and more information about the region at this website.
Oh yeah! Here’s my map:
If you can’t see the embedded map (It seems to have disappeared and I can’t get it back), please click HERE instead. I’m leaving the link just in case Google restores the ability to embed.
I apologize for the fact that the big white information box cannot be minimized. It obstructs the view of the map. The Google Maps Engine Lite is only in Beta. I will be giving feedback that they need to make a way for the box to be minimized or even closed.
What are some ways you’ve used Google Maps in the classroom?