edte.ch). I used Google maps with our Grade 2 and Grade 5 students as a sort of "getting to know you" activity - being in an international school we were making maps about where our students had come from world-wide.
Our Grade 5 students wanted to go further and add on photos. I didn't have any idea how to put on photos that didn't already have a URL. We could get these photos onto Picasa, but they didn't end in .jpg so when we tried to add them to the maps it did not work. Thankfully I was able to contact another educator who had attended the GTAUK, Mark Allen (see his blog Ed in the Clouds) who was able to let me know how to do this. I am sharing the instructions below for those who, like me and my students, would like to customise the placemarks or to add their photos to their maps.
Once you have navigated to your Picasa page with the photograph you want to add to Google Maps, you have to right click (Control click on Macs) and click "Copy Image Address" from the drop down menu. This will create a URL that ends in .jpg and which can be added to the Google Map.
To add to the Google Map, click on the placemark and then click Rich Text, where you will be able to paste in the copied URL of the photograph. The image above shows me adding a photo of myself and my children onto the placemark of Zug, where we live. The beautiful town of Zug is behind us in the photo.
For more ideas of how to use Google Maps in the classroom, check out this great resource by Tom Barrett which is full of interesting ideas and tips:
Photo Credit: The top photo is the view from one of our Grade 2 classrooms - it was taken while the students were working on their Google Maps.