Creating Virtual Field Trips using myTracks and Google My Maps.

Posted: January 9, 2010 in augmented, E-learning resource week, education, fieldtrips, geography, geology, google maps, mytracks, reality

Create virtual field trip using myTracks Android phone and linking to Google Maps.

Mytracks (Googles hidden gem)
MyTracks is an application for your AndroidTM phone that enables you to record GPS tracks and view live statistics – such as time, speed, distance, and elevation – while hiking, biking, running or participating in other outdoor activities. Once recorded, you can share your tracks, upload them to Google Spreadsheets and visualize them on Google My Maps.

Need an android GPS enabled phone.

Basic instructions are given on the video, open myTracks application, once GPS  fix  is established click menu and your are of. As you move mytrack shows you GPS tracks position and elevation.

You can give your track a name, so it could be  a geology field trip, and add a description.

Once you have completed you track/field excursion, you can then send your maps to Google My Maps.

During your Track, you have the ability to geotag locations, which can be edited once you go to Google My Maps and enter the edit function.

Google my maps:-
Once you have created a map, you can:

At each marker point, you can add (formatted) information, pictures and links. This would be useful for descriptive points student could refer to prior to or after a field trip.

You can add photos to your map, as long as they are hosted online, use a service such as Google PicasaWeb to put your photos online.

I have found it best to use panoramio to store and embed into Google Maps, the reason being that Augmented Reality apps such as Layar can be used to view these photos in an “augmented way”.

If you want to make this into “Augmented Reality Trip” (i.e by using the Layar app) be aware it can take several weeks for uploaded pictures to be vetted and made public.

Example of Virtual/Augmented Reality Fieldvisit Nant Ffrancon, North Wales

http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UTF8&hl=en&msa=0&msid=103266726471075503833.00048547c044e73226a62&ll=53.130012,-4.027216&spn=0.023529,0.0195&output=embed
View Nant Ffrancon in a larger map

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