Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Google Earth/Maps Latin Project

Thanks to inspiration from the Power Searching with Google course, I developed a digital Classical scavenger hunt for our last JCL club meeting of the year that takes advantage of Google's search-by-image feature. The experiment went well, and I'm looking forward to integrating the the use of images and Google Forms into my Latin classes next year.

I'm now thinking through ideas to use Google Maps and Earth, with some of the tricks I'm learning through the current Mapping with Google course. We will begin our 1:1 laptop program in 7th grade, and I'll have the pleasure of teaching our Latin IA course for the first time, including developing new collaborative activities and projects around the laptops.

I think that a mapping project of the sorts demonstrated in the course are perfect for our first project, based on the principle that "maps tell a story". Namely, We can let students choose ancient sites and build investigative tours for them using Maps Engine LiteGoogle Earth, and the fantastic ORBIS project (an ancient travel tool) at Stanford. With the markup tools that Maps/Earth provide, we could even have students create their own overlay of Roman sites that are either in ruins or obscured by modern structures. They could easily point out features that are otherwise very difficult to see today.

The best feature of all, perhaps, is the ability to record a tour in a .kmz file to share publicly and even build upon further. This summer, planning on building a tour of Hadrian's wall, including details of some Roman forts, as an example to use in class, and I'll share it through Twitter. I also welcome ideas or comments from anyone else who has done any similar mapping project. In particular, I'm interested in sharing our map work with other classes out there to build a library of tours of ancient sites. Let me know, if you'd like to participate!