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Best of the web: Mapping tools

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By Tom Barrettteacher and educational technology expert

In this first part of a series about free technology resources available on the web, Tom Barrett discusses the use of online mapping tools in the classroom

Online mapping tools have come a long way over the last two to three years. Tools such as Google™ maps and more recently Bing™ Maps from Microsoft® have changed the face of mapping services.

No longer are they just about directions and mapping functions; utilising rich layers of information and more and more detailed imagery, they now provide great opportunities to support learning in the classroom.

Map pins


Using Ordnance Survey® maps

Microsoft® have teamed up with the Ordnance Survey® to provide online access to the Landranger and Explorer OS maps in the Bing™ Maps service. As children zoom into a location they can access the OS map view via the ‘Road’ drop down menu. With easy access to these maps and the inbuilt satellite imagery, ask your children to switch between OS and aerial imagery to work out the meaning of the different map symbols. Give them a location and a Bingo card of map symbols to decipher.

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  1. Carol Storey
    on 2 May 2010

    Mapping resources

    Brilliant resource. Thanks

  2. Kenny
    on 30 April 2010


    Ummapper worth including in the list. Ive used this for formative assessment of place knowledge, as children can create their own dart games and let their classmates play them/compare scores. It also allows you to make your own weather maps, tweet maps and use customised designs where all the mapping functions are there but you are using them on the image of your choice