Customized Google Maps can add a lot of dimension to any lesson or project. Jim Wenzloff shared some powerful features of this free web-based application. All you need is a Google account, and when you log into Google Maps you'll see a tab for My Maps.
You can pin locations, add descriptions and images, share maps, and overlay multiple custom maps. One cool feature that I didn't know about was the library of Google Map Gadgets where you can add other people's custom maps to your list of maps. You can use these custom maps like filters. Fun ones to try are 'Earth at Night' and 'Dig a Hole Through the Earth.
If you click on the "More..." button, you can view content that is linked to photos, video, or Wikipedia entries. If you choose webcams, you can see up to the minute images taken from webcams all around the world.
Header photo by Robert S. Donovan