Mapping Things Out

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Question: How can I create my own custom maps in Google?

The IT Guy says:
Google Maps, a really wonderful resource for a variety of uses, recently got even better with the addition of the My Maps option. This new feature lets you create your own customized maps that you can share with others.

To do this, go to the main site at Google Maps. For the first step, use the search function to find the location or region that you want to customize. Once your target area appears on the map, under the Google logo on the left there will appear two tabs; the second of which will say My Maps. Click on this tab.

You will now have a link that says Create new map. Click on this link. Next, you will have a box to put in a name for the map and a description. Fill those in. Below that you can choose to make your map Public or Unlisted. Public maps will be searchable in Google, while Unlisted maps will not.

Now comes the fun part! In the upper left corner of the map are several controls. One is hand that you can use to drag the map around to see what you want to see. The next looks like a round push-pin, and if you select that option, you can drop the "pin" onto any feature on the map you wish. Once you drop it, it will open a box where you can give the pin a name, a description, and even weblinks. You can place as many of these markers on the map as you wish. They can be historical markers, recommendations for great coffee shops, public artworks, or whatever you and your students want.

When you're done, click the Save button next to the description box. To share the map with others (whether it's Public or Unlisted), click the link above the upper right-hand corner of the map that says Link to this page. It will give you a web address that you can copy and paste into an email or other document that will allow others to view your map.

As a geography nut, I think this is really cool. I can see it used for science, social studies, history, and many other uses. It's only limited by your students' imaginations!

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