OCTET

Oberlin Center for Technologically Enhanced Teaching

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City Maps as an assignment

Question:

Let’s say you wanted to teach about a city, including geography, history, culture, and more.  Which software / online tools (aside from Google Earth) might you use to introduce a city to your students?  I would think that maybe our geography department might have some pretty cool tools.

Answer:

Your best bet is to use Google Earth but there are other options:

A mashup of travel sites, wikipedia pages, news articles and google scholar links. The mashup could be done in google sites, wordpress, tumblr …

David Rumsey's Map Collection (http://www.davidrumsey.com/view/google-earth) has a wide variety of historic maps from the scale of a single city to the whole globe for use in Google Earth. A little Google searching will bring up lots of other cool stuff.

Similar to Google Earth, ESRI's new Story Maps might be an option (http://storymaps.arcgis.com/en/collections/). The topics are scattered (and often specific), but you can find some for most major cities around the world. Here's one about the history of inclines in Pittsburgh: http://peoplemaps.esri.com/inclines/

Another cool thing to check out is the Urban Observatory (http://www.urbanobservatory.org/). The application isn't working for me, but hopefully you won't have any problems (or they'll fix it soon).