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Google Maps

Maps can be extremely powerful tools to help students visualize real-world and fictional events and journeys.  With tools like My Maps and Tour Builder, the days of drawing a map on the board multiple times or projecting a static image are over.  Now you can create custom maps and map tours that are interactive and engaging.

With Google's My Maps, both teachers and students can create and share custom maps.  Some of My Maps features are:  
  • search for and add places
  • drop pins to mark locations
  • add lines, shapes, colors, markers, icons, and labels
  • use layers to group parts of your map


Tour Builder 
This Google tool allows you to tell stories using Google maps.  Recreate the journey of a character in a novel, map out and describe the migration of a group of people, create a visualization of a historic event, or a current issue.  In Tour Builder you can:
  • add photos, text, and video
  • use the Google Earth browser plugin to enhance your map with 3D imagery
  • share your tour with everyone

Making it Happen
 in Your Classroom
Teacher Preparation
  1. Sign in with your Google account
  2. Create your My Maps or Tour Builder
  3. Share through Google Classroom (or other method)
Lesson Implementation
  1. Have students work through your map or tour
  2. Discuss
  1. Have students create their own maps or tours
  2. Share
  3. Discuss

Activities and Examples

My Maps - 
The London of Sherlock Holmes - tracks locations from the Sherlock Holmes stories.

US Civil War - marks some of the significant events of the Civil War.

Tour Builder -
Watch this high school history teacher talk about his experience with using Tour Builder.

BRAC: Defeating Global Poverty - This tour, built by BRAC (Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee) shows the work they're doing to spread anti-poverty solutions in multiple countries.