I’m playing with Google maps at the moment. I need to get my head round it so that I can start to add it to my teaching in a coherent way.

I’m in the process of building a world map of newspaper video – a grand title I know. It’s an exercise in getting php, xml, Google maps and some other things in to my head as much as anything else.

I did find a number of very useful tutorial sites around Google maps but as a more immediately useful link I can recommend this little utility from Google themselves that generates a Google map from a Google spreadsheet.

You make a public spreadsheet with the info you want and include columns for longitude and latitude. Follow the instructions on the page and you have a workable Google map.

Great for student exercises as it doesn’t require any fancy coding and generates the HTML for you.

You can set your students a data collection exercise and get them to enter the data using a shared Google spreadsheet, and generate a funky map to go with them.

Go and have a look.

**Update: **There is also a little app that will guess map locations based on location in a Google spreadsheet.