Google maps just released My Maps, which lets you annotate maps with location points, lines, descriptions and HTML (allowing you to include images and links, for instance). You can save your maps and make them private or public. The Google Maps Mania blog has a list of sample maps created by people who work at Google – from a photo essay about the Google campus to an oral history of Route 66, complete with links to video (google video of course) interviews with people living by the road. When you do a Google Map search, there’s a new tab over in the left margin called “My Maps” – that’s where you start.

It’d be a great project for students – have them use this as a foundation for making something. They’d practice using HTML, would have to figure out how to organise a story or information in a non-linear way using various media, would learn about user-generated content and how you can think about that, and would presumably have fun too.

I also found Gmaps Pedometer, which let me plot in my regular running route (Scott says I can’t really call it regular unless I run it regularly, but I’m keeping the nomenclature anyway: it’s where I run when I run!) and work out how many miles or kilometres it is, using the Google Maps API. Now I know that my “regular” run is exactly 4 kms. Hm. Doesn’t really sound very far, does it? Maybe I’d better go run it…

[Update: Dare Obasanjo notes that Microsoft already offered an equivalent service, and of course, other independent mashup sites did too.]

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