Mapping Mashups

Overview

A mashup refers to a website or application that combines information from multiple sources into a single cohesive use. Mapping mashups refer to the use of mapping tools such as Google Maps Engine, Google Earth, or Mapquest MapBuilder to compile data onto a map with markers, text, pictures, audio, video, or online resources.

Some mapping sites, such as Google Maps, can function as social software, thus allowing multiple people to edit or contribute to the map. Additionally, many mapping sites will allow information to automatically populate using RSS feeds in order to create dynamic changing maps.

 

Application to All Courses

Mapping mashups can be used in any learning environment, as long as students have internet access. The primary use of a mapping mashup is to provide an alternative method of content delivery. The following are some benefits of using mapping mashups:

  • Provides a physical context for data by integrating technology, geographic reference, and text or media based information.
  • Allows multiple media such as text, audio, video and hyperlinks to be assigned to each map marker.
  • Interactive presentation provides visual, kinesthetic, and possibly aural roles in learning.
  • Encourages active participation.
  • Promotes student collaboration, as part of a group project or presentation.

Teaching Methods

Some of the methods in which Mapping Mashups may be used in a course include:

  • Interactive presentations in the place of recorded lecture.
  • Multimedia projects that require compiling data in geographical locations.
  • Research projects that provide a geographical context for information.

Example

View an example of a mapping mashup used in Global Sustainable Energy: This mapping mashup by Dr. Wendell Porter from the University of Florida, is a presentation and discussion activity to demonstrate the division of energy resources around the world. The map was constructed with various colored markers in order to denote the highest, middle, and lowest uses of energy. Each map marker in the “lowest” uses of energy category includes media such as text descriptions of the areas, images, news articles, and more.

Getting Started

The following sites are examples of mapping sites that allow for the user to create mashups:

Additional Resources

For information on similar tools in the CITT Tools & Techniques Toolbox visit:

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