I’m teaching a short workshop on the use of digital maps/GIS in history classrooms. I have a usual song and dance that I do, talking about spatial thinking, how mapping is such a powerful tool for students, and how mapping lets students dig into primary sources in ways that other tools don’t. I still believe all of this, and will discuss it, as it is amazing what we can do with maps. Perhaps that is a blog post of its own soon.
However, for the last couple of weeks, and this weekend in particular, I find myself wanting to use maps to make real change. How can we use digital maps to better illuminate problems, amplify hidden voices, and search for solutions?
I’m pulling together a list of maps that may start me on this path… feel free to explore.
GIS and digital mapping is my new obsession. I jump at any opportunity to work on digital mapping and teach others how to use it. Am I good at it yet? Nope, not at all. But I’m learning.
Part of my work involves showing teachers how to use GIS and digital maps in their classes. I don’t teach GIS – there are many others with far greater skills. I consider myself the gateway to GIS: how can you use digital mapping and GIS even if you don’t know how to build maps? You can, and your students will get far more out of it than coloring in basic maps. The incredible beauty of this is that you can use GIS/digital mapping with any subject: geography, history, economics, government, environmental science, biology, music, etc., etc.
Just ran across this recent blog post supporting the use of digital mapping as opposed to memorizing maps. We all remember those map tests: fill in the name of the country on a paper map. You might get to color it in if you were lucky. This post is a wonderful justification of why this is stupid.