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Today I learned that Google Maps had hidden an “Easter Egg” in a little blue telephone box in England. If you are unfamiliar with Doctor Who, than you would think that this was a rather unsuspecting telephone box on the streets of England, but to Whovians (aka Doctor Who fans), then you are in for a treat. Thanks to the revelations made by Jalopnik, TechCrunch, and the Nerdist, it has been revealed that you can actually explore the inside of the Tardis (directions here) through Google Maps. Being a fan myself, I was both in shock and excitement as I traveled inside the Tardis.
Thanks to Google Maps, users are now able to experience parts of the world in ways they never dreamed possible. Although nothing more than a sequence of images, the ability to explore a destination in a 3-dimensional space through our 2-dimensional portals, allows us as the user to gain appreciation for the world around us. This also gives us an amazing ability to teach like we have never been able to, and allows educators to reach learners through alternative methods.
Today’s post is just a handful of possible Google Map Collections that could be used in the classroom. I have explored all of them quite extensively, and I can barely imagine the true classroom or educational capacity.
Oceanography and marine life
Are you working on oceanography or marine biology in your science class? Then you might enjoy the Google Ocean Views, which allows users to explore the reefs off the coast of Heron Island, Lady Eliot Island, or Wilson Island. Through these sequences of maps, you are able to get a clear diversity in the geology and ecology of our underwater friends, and be able to grab your audience through exploration and experience. (Click Here)
One of my more favorite maps is the Bright Angel Trail located in the beautiful Grand Canyon. This sequence of maps allows you to follow the fully extent of the Bight Angel Trail, where you can enjoy a geological goldmine, including striations, including views of the Limestone, Toroweap Formation, Coconio Sandstone, Hermit Shale, the Supai Group, etc. (Click Here to Explore the Grand Canyon)
Are you teaching an introduction to History, or specifically focusing on Roman History, than you will enjoy this Roman themed Google Maps collection. In this collection, you are able to explore the Roman Coliseum, the Palazzo dei Congressi-Roma, the Roman Forums, and even Museums in Italy. (Click here to explore Roma Italy)
UNESCO World Heritage Centers
Lastly, explore important historical landmarks through the UNESCO World Heritage Center Collection. Through this collection, you can explore Nishi Hongan Ji (Western Temple of the Original Vow) in Japan, the palace and park of Versailles, the archeological remains of Pompeii, and even Stonehenge, just to name a few. This resource itself is hours of endless exploration as you travel the world without ever leaving your chair (although I recommend going and seeing them in person).(Click Here to Explore UNESCO)