Did you know that in the same way that you can add a video to a Google slide, you can insert video into a Google Map? (and, of course, you can add a simple web link if the video you want is not on YouTube, but on another source.)

Watch this video for a quick tutorial on how to create new maps on Google Maps, using the creation of a WW2 Key Events map as an example.

Live stream images combined with the geographical information of the map, and the real time, can be a powerful education tool.

You need to be aware of  the difference between live and ‘highlights’ when looking at or searching for a streaming video site.  If it says ‘highlights’ it means the stream is not live, perhaps because it’s dark at the location, or the stream is only broadcast at certain times of day, or the camera is off!

Pay attention to relative time zones.  If it’s night time where the stream originates, the picture might not be very useful!  This web site will help:  https://www.timeanddate.com/time/map/#!cities=170

It is fairly easy to find webcams by searching tourist offices; harder to find ‘free standing’ live streams on YouTube that Google Maps can embed.

I made a sample map for this post, showing some of the streaming possibilities.

Screen shot

Detail of live stream sample Google Map

One live stream that is hard to pin to the map – because where would you locate it? – is the NASA live stream from the space station: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RtU_mdL2vBM.

Many teachers have used Google Maps since its introduction to relay information to their students, and students have used Google Maps to show what they’ve learned as they complete research assignments.

If it’s difficult to find a live stream webcam for your map, consider using hyperlinks and photos, instead.  Here are some examples from various areas of study:

A few history examples (without video) are:

A map of the Battle of Hastings

Images of places referred to in the life of Richard I of England

Route Richard Coeur de Lion en Haute-Vienne Limousin

The Empires of the Western Sudan and Empires of Ancient Africa 

Examples for Fiction reading is this map of Australia showing the location of Arthur Upfield’s novels or The London of Sherlock Holmes

A science example is this map of Meteorite Craters On Earth – each location links to the Wikipedia page about the site.

This page from San Francisco’s KQED lists several examples of science-related maps.  In this one, Pat’s Native Plant Walk -Patrick Pizzo has taken a relatively simple task and created a superb map. (Zoom in on the map to 50m for best use.)

Screen shot of Pat’s Native Plant Walk Map

This blog post from 2010 shows several math maps examples, and Jeff Utecht’s blog post from 2015 lists 10 ideas for using Google Maps in your classroom.

This Edutopia page describes a handful of with good ideas for engaging students using Google Maps: 1) Descriptive writing of scenes and settings; 2) Mapping, creating routes and tutorials; 3) Use it to inspire some artwork; 4) Conducting virtual field trips;

This page on the American Historical Association blog , ‘Mapping the Early Modern World: Using Google Maps in the Classroom’ Julia Gossard describes her use of Google Maps in her University of Texas at Austin survey course ‘Global Early Modern Europe‘ (sic). At the conclusion of her post, she writes, ‘For instructors who are nervous about assigning a digital project, this is a great place to start. Google Maps is easy to navigate and learn, but creates a visually stunning and useful assignment. In addition to the instructions I’ve provided below, Google offers many articles and videos to help you set up your own map. As with any digital project, the instructor should set aside a good amount of time to play with the tool themselves before assigning it. Looking back at the map nearly two years later, it still stands as one of my favourite assignments. It inspired me to assign a digital project in every course, whether as another mapping project, a digital timeline, or a class Wiki.’