Let me map it out for you
Monday, January 11th, 2010 | Author:
So what did you do today? This morning I spent time using Google Maps to create a map of all schools in Hampshire that are using our VLE, Wizkid. This is the Hampshire name for Studywiz.
Why do we want a map of our schools? Well, there are a few reasons:
*To see which schools have signed up to the county solution- many of us are visual people!
*So schools can see if the others in their area are using the same VLE and when they started using it
*To help us plan support sessions depending on the amount of schools
We have around 400 schools that have started, finished or are halfway through their VLE training. The last batch of schools are all starting this term, so this is the last map we will be producing. In the past, I created a map at each phase of training. This was fine for the first 100 or so schools, but Google Maps had the odd problem of allowing 200 points on a map. This was an issue and meant our map didn’t look very good due to the second page.So something else was needed.
We created 4 maps, splitting the county into areas. They can also be overlaid to produce the picture below.
Now, why am I telling you about our Google Map? If you are outside of Hampshire, surely this is pointless?
Well, no…
For those of you that are thinking I spent hours plotting all 400 points, you are wrong. I used a fab service called MapAList This is a service that allows you to create a map using a Goolge spreadsheet.  It is designed for businesses to map their customers, but I thought it could help me too. 
I had a list of schools already in Excel, I deleted the information that I didn’t need and then uploaded this into Google Docs. MapAList then links with Google Docs and transfers the data into a map. You can give all points the same pin or use the advanced tool, as I have done, and assign different colours. All of the pins with the same colour started their training in the same term. You can then save the .KML file and import it into Google Earth or Google Maps.
So how would I use it within school?
@deputymitchell is teaching a zoo based topic(starting today) and asked for people to suggest zoos for his children to investigate. Putting these onto a Google Doc would enable him to map them across the globe.
What about plotting the countries in the World Cup/African Cup of Nations?
Where do we have relatives? Plot their locations on a map and investigate different parts of the UK.
I saw a school that had a local map on the wall and they had put sticky labels to represent children. This showed how far and wide the children had travelled to attend their school. This could be done very quickly and simply using Google maps and an exported CSV file from the school office.
How would you use this mapping service? It would be great to hear your comments.
If you wish to see the maps, click below: