I spent three days in Iceland, including one day I spent on a tour bus checking out some of the most famous sites of Iceland. On the bus, they gave us tablets with the route using google maps. The pins on the map provided background information automatically based on the GPS information.
In addition, I wrote about two tours in England which used google maps to create tours of mathematically inspired buildings. I thought about having my students create one of mathematically inspiring buildings but there are not buildings that are truly inspiring.
So instead, I decided to have students research buildings such as the Leaning Tower of Piza, or the Roman Colosseum and use those for a tour of the mathematics of ancient buildings. Google Earth allows peoples to place pins on the map and the pins can have pictures or information attached to them.
Or students can research mathematically interesting buildings world wide and use that information as the basis of a second tour. There are articles out there on this topic. Some buildings recommended by the articles include the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, The Taj Mahal in India, the Parthenon in Greece, The Parabola House in Japan, The United Nations Headquarters in New York City, The Mobius Strip Temple in China, and The Tetrahedral Shaped Church in Colorado.
Imagine assigning each student a specific building they have to research its location, size, mathematical information, and find pictures they can post on a class google earth map. They are responsible for the interactive element of the tour.
For instance, if I chose to create the pin for the Roman Colosseum, I might talk about the elliptical shape of the building, find the length and width so I could show the approximate formula of the building. I might figure out its height, research the number of people who could sit in it. In addition, I might do a search for mathematical information on it.
Once I have all this information I can put it together, create the interactive pin on the map as my part of a world wide tour of mathematically interesting buildings. If someone wanted to take this a step further, they could take the same information, put it on google slides and turn it into an ebook.
Kasey Bell posted these great instructions on her blog so you can turn google slides into an ebook. One assignment, two results. Let me know what you think. I'd love to hear from you.