To introduce students to the various mapping resources available.
To understand how maps can be used to communicate different ideas and types of information
To gain cursory understanding of scale
To interpret symbols on a map and gain relevant information for an area
Break students into pairs and have them go to http://googlemapsmania.blogspot.com/. Explain the setup of the website: the main articles are part of the blog and explain
the latest mashups that have been created. The links on the right are divided according to different categories and lead to
various maps that people have created and customized using Google maps. Have the students locate, research, and report on a map that they find interesting. The topic can be any of their choosing, but they must be able to report back to the
group on: a) the primary theme, b) how that theme is communicated (how symbols or
features are represented), c) how that particular map could potentially be utilized,
d) why it is important.
Allow the group 30 minutes to research and record their findings including the URL
then report their findings to the rest of the group. The instructor should emphasize that the lesson should be learned collaboratively
and that students should communicate with members around them, asking for and giving
help where needed.
The purpose of this exercise is to learn about some of the different mapping resources
that are available on the Internet and to begin to understand how different maps can
be used to show different things.
Go to http://plasma.nationalgeographic.com/mapmachine/ and make sure that the map is set to the “Road Map” tab located at the top of the
Make sure that the legend box is checked at the bottom right hand corner of the screen.
Zoom into the United States by clicking on the left mouse button on the portion of
the map that you want to focus on.
Zoom down to where you can see your neighborhood (you may have to re-center the map
by clicking and holding with the left mouse button and dragging the map to a new position)
Click on the tab at the top that’s labeled “More Theme Maps” and choose a different
type of map to apply to the Memphis area (you may have to zoom out to the state or
national level to have the information show up).