Tag Archives: maps

Google Maps for New Student Orientation

After putting student-created videos on Google Maps I’ve been thinking about how a similar process could be used to provide an orientation to the institution and community for new international students.  Some of the teachers at Ohio University are already well on their way to creating such a map.

Videos of some of the popular destinations have been recorded, posted to YouTube, and embedded into the popup balloons on the map.  [Note: Not all of these features will work on the video I have embedded above.  Click on “view larger map” to see the fully-featured version.] Others include other useful information such as websites and phone numbers.  This was all teacher-created, but the opportunity exists to allow student contributions.

This is something we really need to pull together.  Know of a similar example?  Leave a comment.

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Getting Started with Google Maps

map video wall

This is how we added video to maps before Google.

I recently received the following question as a result of my presentation on Locative Media and Other Mashups:

I am currently working with a first grade teacher on a family oral history project and we would like to embed the stories from the families in a map of some sort — meeting 2 or 3 social studies standards with one activity!! I would appreciate some technology pointers from you if you are willing to do that.

I thought I’d share my response here as a brief tutorial tutorial for Google Maps.  If you’ve been on the fence about whether or not to create your own map with Google, I hope this will be enough to convince you to give it a try.

Sounds like you’ve got a really interesting project that would be easy to pull together using Google Maps.

Here’s an example map I created in which student videos describing campus are located on the spot they are describing:

[Because the videos embedded in the map are embedded in this blog post, they are not visible in the balloons.  Click on “View Larger Map” to see the fully-functioning version.]

You could create a similar map with video or audio, pictures, text, or any combination.  To get started, go to http://maps.google.com a sign up for a free Google account, if you don’t already have one.  Then click on “My Maps” and “Create new map.”

When in “edit” mode, you can add pointers to the map and then add whatever you want to appear in the balloon that pops up when you click on the pointer.  To add a pointer, do a search for a location, click on that pointer, and click on “Save to” to choose the map you have created.  It will then appear in your list of pointers when you click back on your map.  Note that it’s easy to wind up with the pointer on your map obscured by the pointer that you found via your search.  Use the checkboxes in the bottom left corner to hide the sets of pointers that you don’t want to see.

If you click on the pointer on your map while in edit mode, you will get several options for the contents of the balloon.  Too add a YouTube video, click on the “Edit HTML” option while editing the balloon and paste in the contents of the “Embed” code on YouTube.  Of course, this assumes that you have uploaded your video to YouTube or have found a video that you want to (and have permission to) use, which is also relatively easy to do.

Once you have finished editing your map, click on “Done.”  You can then click on link to get a URL which you can use to direct people to your map (as I have done, above) or even a code to embed it into another website or blog.  You can even allow multiple Google accounts to contribute to the same map, if that makes sense for your project.

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Top 5 Technologies You Should Already Be Using

apple cassette tape

You don't miss these, do you?

I realize that in the world of technology there are early and late adopters.  I’m not the earliest of bleeding-edge early adopters, but I do like to try out new technology and incorporate it into my teaching.  This list is a handful of tried and true technologies that are established enough to not be too buggy and problematic, user-friendly enough that just about anyone can start using them quickly, and useful enough that you’ll soon wonder how you got along without them.  In short, this is a list of tech that just about everyone can (and maybe even should) be using in 2010.

1. Social Bookmarking – Don’t let the “social” part fool you.  Delicious, Diigo and others offer a way to move your bookmarks to the cloud, meaning they are no longer saved only on one computer.  You can also: tag bookmarks with keywords to make them more searchable, get a URL to all the bookmarks tagged with the same term (for example, all of the sites I bookmarked for my presentation at the recent DMSW conference: http://delicious.com/eslchill/dmsw10), and search other people’s bookmarks to find out what people think is worth bookmarking on a given topic  (for example search for “ESL” on Delicious and you can see how many people have bookmarked each ESL site).  But wait, there’s more!  Diigo allows you to highlight and comment on webpages and then share them.  For example, take a look at my About Me page with some highlighting and sticky notes.  This can be a great tool for collaborating and compiling research.

2. Social media – Ok, here’s where the social part kicks in because Facebook and Twitter are just for fun, right?  Well, I’ve found a lot of great resources via Twitter (try a search for #iwb if you want to find resources people are posting for use with Interactive Whiteboards, for example.) And more and more people are joining Facebook making it a great resource for networking with colleagues.  Don’t want to expose your students to Facebook?  You can build your own social network using Ning!

3. URL Shorteners – These may not be necessary, but they are very handy.  Copy your long URL (the Google Map directions to your house, for example) and paste it into Tiny URL, Tr.im or a handful of others.  They give you a much shorter link that is easier to Tweet.  Not on Twitter?  They can still be useful.  Consider the website for the Unconference I’m planning for this May.  Is it easier to share tr.im/eltu2 or https://carmenwiki.osu.edu/display/eltu/?  Both take you to the same place, but I can memorized the first one.  This technology is so handy, it’s even built in to other sites, like the link provided by Diigo to my annotated About Me page that I shared in #1: http://www.diigo.com/09je0.

4. Wikipedia – Although it has become popular (but not necessary) to question it’s accuracy, Wikipedia has become the defacto knowledge bank on the internet.  Once we are clear on what it is (a secondary source: a compilation of all referenced knowledge) many of its criticisms fall down.  Access to all of this information means a reorganization of learning.  Memorizing becomes virtually unnecessary while the ability to find and retrieve relevant information becomes essential.  More importantly, at least with factual questions, we no longer have to sit and wonder anymore.  What are the lyrics to Carmen Ohio? Just get on the internet and find out!

5. Google – No, I don’t just mean search, but all the other stuff: maps, docs, calendar, etc.  It’s never been so easy to collaborate with other people.  I created a Google Maps / YouTube mashup (student created videos from around Ohio State mapped to where they were recorded) a couple of years ago, back when it involved coding every individual coordinate for every pin placed on the map as well as the contents of every bubble that popped up.  But now, just create your account and you can drag and drop most of the information where you need it — even invite people to work on the same map.  Plus, you can get a sneak peak at what the next big thing might be by checking out Google Labs.  Who wouldn’t like a pair of Google Goggles?

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Locative Media And Other Mashups

These are the slides from a presentation I made this morning at the Digital Media in a Social World Conference.  More examples, including some that were generated during the presentation, can be found in the links I tagged using Diigo and Delicious.

I’ve tried to gather as many examples of digital mashups (see Wikipedia definition #2) that, in many cases, use maps or other visual means to represent different sets of data.  Do you have a favorite example that I didn’t include?  Leave it in a comment.  I’d love to see more!

To learn more about the conference, check out the #DMSW hashtag on Twitter.

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Google Maps / YouTube Mashup

Screen Shot 2017-04-02 at 1.29.53 PM.png

This is a project of mine from a couple of years ago.  I haven’t mentioned it here before, though, and it’s still worth looking at.

My Google Maps / YouTube Mashup combines these two Web 2.0 technologies by linking student-created YouTube videos to points on a Google Map.  I have maps of Ohio State and the city of Columbus, Ohio (the same map, but viewed at different resolutions, and centered slightly differently) with lots of links to videos created by students at that location.

It took a little work to figure out how to do this, but Google provides lots of help for incorporating maps into your website.  Once I had that figured out, I just had to paste the YouTube info into the bubble that pops up.  If you’d like to try it, feel free to view the source of my page.  I know Google and YouTube have since worked out ways to do these things on their sites, but I’m proud to say I did it first.

Possible extensions could include having students do presentations on their hometown or country and then placing them on a world map or even using a tabbed pop-up bubble to allow viewers to toggle between video, audio, and text transcript.  There are lots of interesting possibilities yet to be explored.

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