Recently I was leading a session on Google My Maps (#cuerockstar #rOxnard) when a question came up: Can you set the view in My Maps? I said, “No, I don’t think so.” Well, I was WRONG. You can set a default view!
It’s so easy, I can’t believe I never noticed. When you first open My Maps, after placing several pins on it, the view is something like the first image. That is unless you have a select few pins in the same area. It’s a zoomed out view of the earth.
Before we get to HOW to change the view, set the view to how you would like it to look when the Map is first loaded. Once the desired view is on the screen, click on the 3 dots to the right of the Map Title (#rOxnard1 in this case), a pop out window will then appear with options. One of them is to set the default view.
Simply select ‘Set default view’ and you’re done! Now everytime this map is opened, it will look like this:
Using Google allows the user to seamlessly integrate items in the Google Suite. Inserting something from your Drive is as easy as a click of the button. Rearranging and adjusting your layout is even easier! The simplicity of the tool is one of the most attractive features.
I was a fan of the old Google Sites, but admittedly it was clunky. Last year when Google announced its launch of the new sites I was stoked! It was the update I had been waiting for for years. The look is sleek and it’s easy to build a beautiful site. Now that it’s out of just the edu market, I’m even more thrilled. This video will kick off my video series on the New Google Sites!
I like the ability to customize the look of the map. My personal favorite is ‘satellite’. However, depending on your needs, a lighter or darker map is just the ticket!
Another feature on Google My Maps is the Layers. When we were studying the 13 Colonies, I was able to separate information into layers. There was a layer for the original 13 colonies, a layer for the colonial regions (New England, Middle, Southern), and the current geography of the 50 states. The students were able to click on and off layers in order to clearly see important information.
There are so many learning opportunities with the lines and shapes feature of My Maps. We are currently adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators. It gets really boring doing problems from a book. In the coming days, I plan to create a Hypermap with lines – making sure the distance will be a fraction. (NOTE: My Maps measures distance using decimals. This will be good practice for my 5th graders to convert). My Maps will also tell the area and perimeter of a shape, MORE math opportunities!
The Place Marker has several options available to the user. The icon can be customized through color and picture option. Adding information, directions, videos, and/or pictures is a breeze.