Teach the Earth > GIS and Remote Sensing > Activities > Google My Maps: Simple Quantitative Analysis
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This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection

This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are

  • Scientific Accuracy
  • Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
  • Pedagogic Effectiveness
  • Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
  • Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page

For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.

This activity has benefited from input from faculty educators beyond the author through a review and suggestion process. This review took place as a part of a faculty professional development workshop where groups of faculty reviewed each others' activities and offered feedback and ideas for improvements. To learn more about the process On the Cutting Edge uses for activity review, see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.

This page first made public: Aug 17, 2010

Google My Maps: Simple Quantitative Analysis

Carsten Braun, Westfield State College


This activity shows how to use Google My Maps for simple quantitative analysis, for example to find the latitude and longitude of a location or the length and area of a geographic feature (e.g. a stream or a glacier).


Type and level of course
This activity is suitable for an introductory Geoscience course, an introductory GIS course, or any other GIScience course that includes field mapping and data collection. Google My Maps makes it easy to determine geographic coordinates, distances, and areas anywhere on the planet.

Geoscience background assumed in this assignment

GIS/remote sensing skills/background assumed in this assignment
minimal: geographic coordinate system, latitude and longitude

Software required for this assignment/activity:
Internet Browser

Time required for students to complete the assignment:
2 hours


GIS/remote sensing techniques students learn in this assignment
Minimal. If anything: geographic coordinates and spatial measurements.

Other content/concepts goals for this activity

Higher order thinking skills goals for this activity
The students learn to compare measurements using different sources and tools.

Description of the activity/assignment

This activity focuses on one of the many free web mapping applications available: Google My Maps. Google My Maps allows you to create personalized maps, complete with linked photographs and YouTube videos. However, Google My Maps also includes a series of tools for simple quantitative analysis, for example to find the latitude and longitude of a location or the length and area of a geographic feature (e.g. a stream or a glacier).

Determining whether students have met the goals

Students submit a written report with the answers (if done as an assignment). If done as an in-class exercise we informally compare our results to ensure everyone is able to use the tools successfully.
More information about assessment tools and techniques.

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