National Geographic offers up over 500 maps through Google Maps engine’s public data program

Google is launching an initiative to let organizations share their map data with the public, via Google’s Maps product and cloud-based infrastructure, and today partner National Geographic announced their participation in the project and shared some info via the official Google Maps blog. The partnership will mean that more than 500 reference and historic maps will now be available to browse as an additional layer on Google’s digital Maps engine. This will let National Geographic explore interactive models complete with annotations that should help the archives come to life more effectively, and really animate issues of environmental change or provide education on important events throughout history. At a very basic level, this also makes available to many what was once hidden away in archival storage, visible only to those few historians who sought it out…

Read more

…Read More

Google Maps inspire creativity

A new technology from internet search behemoth Google Inc. is making innovators out of some educators, who have begun envisioning practical uses for the company’s new Google Maps feature to make previously unavailable graphic representations of everything from school district bus routes to geography lessons.

Educators aren’t the only ones taking advantage of the technology. Others also have discovered how to tinker with the search engine’s mapping service to graphically illustrate vital information that might otherwise be ignored, overlooked, or not perceived as clearly.

“This is pretty interesting for organizations, such as school districts, that have maps that provide boundary information and such,” wrote Tim Lauer, principal of Meriwether Lewis Elementary School in Portland, Ore., and a frequent contributor to eSchool News Online’s Ed-Tech Insider, a blog for educators and technology advocates. “Imagine a district map that showed bus stops combined with Google content. Families could punch in their home address and easily find the closest stop.” …Read More