Google Maps is more than an application for driving directions on your smartphone or finding a place to eat dinner. The additional features – all of which sync to a users other applications in the Google suite – separate Google Maps from other mapping software.
For example, the public transportation routing option on Google Maps is so good that most local transportation authorities use it to help their customers plan travel. This feature is quite valuable for educators on a field trip. Many college classes take trips using public transportation not only for the obvious reason of getting to a place, but also to convey to students the meaningfulness of public transportation, and how that connects them to their local community.
Google Maps also allows users to save clusters of pinpoints and name them. When I traveled as an Admission representative for TCU, I used Google Maps to plan my visits to different high schools. You can visualize the distance and road features between destinations, as well as surrounding businesses. Any Admission Counselor worth their pay knows how to find a Starbucks quickly!
There are countless other features of Google Maps common to other software, including the ability to use a true aerial view, but what sets this program apart is it’s user-friendly interface, handy mobile app, and interactivity with other Google apps.
PS – This assignment was adapted from Jane Hart’s 10 Tools Challenge: http://www.c4lpt.co.uk/blog/2013/01/08/take-the-10-tools-challenge/