Google Maps with MapBuilder

Screenshot 05-5 Screenshot 02-20At Lewis Elementary, our 5th grade students are deep into their European Explorers social studies unit. Each is researching and writing a report on a European explorer, and also a modern day explorer. We are using Flickr to post their explorer portraits and reports.

Our technology/music teacher, Tony Jamesbarry, is also having them use Google Maps to create a map that will highlight the routes and voyages of their particular explorer. In addition we are creating a master map of all the explorer reports. The master map will include a thumbnail image of the explorer along with a link to the Flickr page with the image and report.

For this project we are using MapBuilder...

a Web2.0 service that is used to build custom Google and Yahoo maps without any knowledge of the Google/Yahoo Maps API and JavaScript. MapBuilder provides a decent visual interface for the map building process with geocoding features. Also MapBuilder lets users tag locations on their maps, and then publish the map either on or their own website...

As the description notes, the interface allows you to click and add points to a Google Map. The interface also allows you to add descriptions and images to your map points. Once your map is finished you have a number of options on how it can be displayed, including grabbing the HTML source and using that source code on your site. MapBuilder is a great tool for teachers looking to utilize Google and Yahoo maps in their instruction.

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