You’ve probably used Google Maps before to get from point A to point B. There is no denying the power of Google Maps in locating your destination with accurate time estimates and easy search capabilities. However, have you ever thought of using Google Maps for education, to enhance a lesson?

I recently created a social innovators map to allow children to explore different social innovators from around the world, all of whom are under the age of 18. I wanted my students to know that they could actually accomplish amazing things even at a young age as long as they had a drive and passion to accomplish those things. Even with few resources, these children overcame some amazing obstacles to better this world as inventors, academics, and activists.

I began by first locating a good list of young social innovators to talk about with my class. I grabbed a list from the TED Under 20 playlist. After locating information and sample videos, I then opened up Google Maps and began creating a map of several of the social innovators on that playlist.

In order to create your own map, first click on the menu on the maps page.

Then after opening up the menu select My Maps.

After clicking on my maps, click on create a new map.

Since I have already created my social innovator map, I will show you a preview of what that looks like instead by simply clicking on the Social Innovators Map seen in the previous image.

By clicking on a single marker on my map, I am able to view the name of the child innovator, the location of the marker (which I set as the child’s hometown), a mini bio of the child, and then a YouTube clip to accompany it all.

In order to do this yourself, simply search up an area where you would like to place a marker. I am going to demonstrate this by creating a marker for Malala Yousafzai. I searched for Mingora, Pakistan, which is where Malala is originally from.

After searching for Mingora, I clicked on the marker, and then selected Add to Map.

After adding it to the map, I simply press edit to add the summary and change the title.

I entered in Malala Yousafzai for the title and then I pulled a short bio about her using Wikipedia and then copied and pasted it onto the description area. Once finished with that I selected the photo icon to add a video.

Once you click on the photo icon, you have the choice to add an image or a video using an image from a URL or a YouTube video. I remember first hearing about Malala Yousafzai through a Daily Show Interview with Jon Stewart back in 2014, so I decided to include that interview as the video.

After adding the video press select and then save.

You can then continue to repeat this process for several more child innovators.

Or you can use this to create other interactive maps to share with your students. I barely even scratched the surface of the possibilities you can have with Google Maps, but go ahead and explore out some of the other amazing capabilities of Google Maps.

Did you know about any of these great Google Maps/Earth related features?