Homework due before class
Cover an event by Twitter
Social media reports
IN CLASS OUTLINE
1. Google Map
2. Create a Google Map in class
3. Social Media Presentations
You may be familiar with Google Maps as a way to look up a business, get directions, or find your way around a city. This web mapping service is provided by Google and it powers many map-based services. For a journalist, or a blogger, Google Maps have become a useful and informative tool for storytelling. Because it is web-based, it is a great interactive form of journalism which is easy for readers to use.
For example, if you wanted to know where to watch the Olympic torch relay travel through London in the Olympics, The Argus newspaper offered a Google Map which was much easier to use than trying to read a story with street directions. Or, to offer visual information to its readers about a fire, the LA Times put together a map with information on the fire, plus shelters and more. The Richmond Confidential created a map about homicides, which offers information about each one. Just click on a point and you will see a photo and information about a particular homicide. Google recently upgraded its maps to Google Engine Maps. There is a free version called Google Engine Lite, which you can use to create maps. Those who use these maps on a regular basis for storytelling or who would like more complex maps, can purchase a Google Engine Pro account. But you don’t need that for this class. The following is a great video about how to create a Google Map. Of course, the first step is to log into maps.google.com with your gmail.
Your assignment is to create a Google Map with at least 8 place markers on it and embed map onto your blog. This is a 60-point assignment that must be turned in before you leave class today.
Some difficulties students have is ensuring that all photos or videos used have a url. This means that your photo must be published somewhere on the web in order to use it in a Google Map. Then you it must end with a .jpg for a photo if you want to use it. One option is to create a Dropbox account and upload your photos there, upload your photo to your blog’s media library and grab the url from there, use a free Flickr account.
Here is a tutorial on embedding photos and videos from Flickr or YouTube.
For extra help with embedding your map, here is a WordPress.com tutorial. Finally, just to note, Google has a mapping application called Google Fusion Tables, which allows for much more detailed analysis of data sets from .csv or Excel sheets. Most of the highly detailed and interactive maps created by companies such as The New York Times are made with Google Fusion Tables. For those of you who are up to the challenge, I would recommend trying it out at some point.
But for today, start out with a simple Google Map!
We will discuss assignments in class, but please make sure you read the upcoming week’s schedule well before that day’s class meeting. It will note which assignments are due at the beginning that class.