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Tools for Making and Editing Maps

Making, editing, and using maps helps students develop spatial-thinking skills that carry over into other subjects like math and science. As they begin to see the relationships between the places and spaces around them, students will find it easier to visualize difficult concepts and make connections. By making their own maps, students apply knowledge spatially and visually, weaving geographical stories. This helps students understand how geography and space -- and the way we represent these things -- communicate and shape our societies, cultures, and histories. To immerse students in maps and mapmaking, check out these apps and websites that'll get students annotating points of interest, pinning photos to locations, creating virtual field trips, sharing creations with others, and more.  

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Apps and Websites for Mapmaking

Google Earth

Virtual globe shines with breathtaking features, endless possibility

Bottom line: Outstanding features, interactivity, and astonishing versatility -- the virtual total package for classroom teachers and student explorers.

Google Lit Trips

Google Earth-powered tours explore how stories and geography connect

Bottom line: With some initial fiddling, this can be a good option to increase student interest in -- and add depth to -- literary study.

GooseChase EDU

Digital scavenger hunts provide dynamic, fresh learning experiences

Bottom line: Students and teachers will enjoy the powerful learning of a modern scavenger hunt.

Esri GeoInquiries

Captivating, focused map activities support larger curricular lessons

Bottom line: These inquiry-based activities are a valuable visual and investigative resource for teachers and students in many different subjects.

Geoguessr

"Just one more turn" gameplay jazzes up geography

Bottom line: It's not a typical educational game, but Geoguessr inspires students to explore the world and encourages them to think critically about what defines a place, including culture and geography.

StrataLogica

High-quality customizable maps help students understand their world

Bottom line: This map app takes time to learn to use but offers both teachers and students highly useful tools for creating custom maps and interactive social studies and science presentations.

Google Maps - Transit & Food

Cool extras bolster top navigation app

Bottom line: Google Maps is an essential navigation tool that can empower students to explore their world.

Open Explorer

Compelling digital field journal site engages kids on multiple levels

Bottom line: An eye-opening, fascinating way to explore the world from a personal perspective; students will learn about geography, culture, and science along the way.

StoryMapJS

Pro-oriented storytelling and mapping tool has classroom potential

Bottom line: Getting comfortable with StoryMapJS will require some focus, but students who take the time will gain a new perspective on digital storytelling.

Siftr

Collect images in the field with simple, collaborative app

Bottom line: An easy way to crowdsource location-based data.

Apps and Websites for Design

Explain Everything Whiteboard

Powerhouse tool for creating stellar multimedia presentations

Bottom line: Teachers and students can make dynamic presentations that involve different types of media in this innovative, fun app.

The Noun Project

Think in pictures with vibrant visual language everyone can understand

Bottom line: It's a neat, well-executed concept with lots of possibilities for learning, imagining, and creating.

Skitch - Snap. Mark Up. Send.

Add a hint of fun to note-taking or annotating images

Bottom line: It's easy to annotate images and screenshots, take handwritten notes, and organize it all with Evernote.

Grafio 3 - Diagram Maker

Flexible app transforms sketches into pro-level designs and diagrams

Bottom line: A terrific choice for creating simple diagrams or presentations on iOS.

Get tips for using these tools in the classroom

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