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Educational Technology Resources at Bryn Mawr College

Find out about educational technologies available to members of the Bryn Mawr College community.

Story Mapping

Story Mapping is a form of Digital Storytelling that uses maps and spatial data to create a narrative about place, space, and scale. This is one of the easiest ways to integrate mapping into a course.

StoryMap JS is a free and easy tool where you can combine maps, images, and text to make engaging presentations. They give two StoryMap options, which are using a map as the base or uploading artwork or an image as the base or background of the presentation.   


Odyssey is a new tool where you can upload media with a focus on maps as the base of the story. It is similar to StoryMap, but adding text requires some HTML. 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             TimeMapper is a three step tool that converts spreadsheets on google drive into visual representations. The visual representations include a map with location points, a slide show component as well as a timeline at the bottom of events. 

Collaborative Mapping

 Collaborative Mapping is different from Story Mapping because it has a community aspect where people work together to make the maps better and the story maps more comprehensive. 

 Hypercities is an interactive and collaborative map that is great for comparing historical maps of cities around the  world. The website gives examples of classes who are using Hypercities. 

OpenStreetMap is a map of the world created and edited by the public. 

MapStory goes along with the idea of story mapping, creating narratives using visual and spatial data. However, it relies on community members to collaborate and work together to make better stories. This one also has a historical element because they include timelines at the bottom of each MapStory. 

Google Earth and Google Maps

Google Earth and Google Maps have a steeper learning curve, but are far more flexible, allowing you to make complex maps with historical overlays, virtual tours, and incorporate 3D objects. The Science Education Resource Center (SERC) has a good overview of Google Maps and its pedagogical uses, and an overview, tip sheet, and documentation on why and how to teach with Google Earth.

 My Maps

Google My Maps is a tool that once can use to save google map searches through one's Gmail/Google account. This has curriculuar implications as students can use this as a simple way to geotag since My Maps allows images and text to attach to each location. Furthermore, there are functions to measure distance, create directions, and create multiple layers. 


Examples of Class Projects Using Google Maps

  • Silk Road Project includes the process of creating the course, the syllabus, project examples, and feedback. Experimental course taught at UCMerced.
  • Geoscience Projects a guide on how to create Google Earth Projects for a Geoscience classroom. 

These are not only examples of what can be done with Google Earth/Maps, but might be good course resources in and of themselves. Many can be downloaded and edited in Google Earth, and could thus be starting points for projects.

Google Maps Gallery

GIS - Geographic Information Systems

A GIS is software tool that allows users to input, manipulate, and present geographic data & information. There are different kinds of GIS software, with different capabilities. ArcGIS, a type of GIS software, is installed on all college-owned lab and library computers, loaners, and classroom computers.

From Bryn Mawr College's Geology Department site's explanation of GIS:

"What is a GIS? - It is a software tool that handles geographically distributed data. It is a system for input, storage, manipulation, and output of geographic information. GIS combines software with hardware, data, a user, etc., to solve a problem, support a decision, help to plan. The GIS system used in Geology and taught by ML Crawford is CARIS, a GIS that has a sophisticated geological mapping capability. Geoff Compton uses and teaches ArcGis in GEO 328.

A GIS course in the Geography Dept. at the University of British Columbia has class notes available on their course web site.

 Some aspects inherent in GIS include:

There are two fundamentally different types of GIS software:

- Vector GIS. In vector GIS map features are represented by nodes, arcs and polygons. It is based on vectors (as opposed to space-occupancy raster structures). More details on Vector GIS

- Raster GIS. A map in a raster GIS divides the entire study area into a regular grid of cells in a specific sequence. The data completely fill the space of the map. More details on Raster GIS "

Source: You can find this information and more on Bryn Mawr's page about GIS.

Advanced Mapping

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