You may well have already explored Google Maps but have you seen how much it can do?
Just in case you haven’t used it, Google Maps is an online mapping services that you use to pan (by dragging the mouse) and zoom (by using the mouse wheel) into a desired location.
Alternatively, you can enter an address, postcode, city, or landmark to quickly find it on the map.
(Castle Hill on Google Maps)
Go to Google Maps and enter the postcode or address of a place known to you – Huddersfield Library (HD1 2SU), your house, the hairdresser’s etc.
Use the map, satellite, terrain and more buttons to look at the different views of this location. Zoom in using the mouse wheel to see how detailed a map you can get.
If you do look at the Library, how old do you think the satellite view is and what day of the week do you think it was taken?
Like many other map services, Google Maps can generate directions between any pair of locations. In Google Maps, click the Get Directions link to find how to get from Huddersfield to Madrid.
Google Maps has given rise to a number of interesting offshoot projects and fan sites you might want to explore:
Google Maps Street View
When looking at your chosen location, if the little man above the map controls is Orange, you can get a street view of that area. To do that just click on the little orange man and drag and drop him into the street you’re looking at. This will let you virtually walk down the street.
If the area you’re looking at doesn’t have this feature, try looking at somewhere in a bigger city such as Leeds, Manchester or London, or have a look at somewhere in America.
Extra Credit – Geek Chic
You may have heard about Street View in the media. If you haven’t, try a google search to find out why it has been so controversial. To get you started have a look at this article.
Extra Credit 2 – Pieces of Flair
Using your Google login, you can create and share your own maps. This YouTube video will show you how…
Use the My Maps tab in Google Maps to create a map of your own and add some place marks. Make sure your map is public, then use the Link to the page link to copy and paste the web address of your map into your blog.
Thing 18 – Google Earth
If your stroll around Google Maps has whetted your appetite for more map-based fun, the next level is Google Earth.
This is a virtual globe that maps the earth by the superimposition of images obtained from satellite imagery, aerial photography and other sources. With Google Earth, you get better resolution, 3-D views, the ability to swoop down a location and a wide range of overlays that show the locations of different things – including stars and planets in the sky.
Perhaps the best place for you to start, would be to take a tour.
The downside of all these extra features is that Google Earth has to be downloaded and installed on your computer – which may not be possible if you are working on a Library public access PC.
Take a look at an example of the interesting and amusing videos that people have created using Google Earth…
Extra Credit – Feeling brave…
If you are feeling brave and you have the appropriate permissions on your PC, download and explore Google Earth yourself.