I must admit that the motivation behind this blog post stems from my upcoming trip to Europe. This self-guided tour will include a lot of travel on public transportation system and, as a result, I need maps to guide my travels. In comes iSubwayMaps.com to the rescue. This small but growing database of maps utilizes the photos feature of all modern iPods to display subway maps of various major cities around the world.
In schools, we can utilize these maps to teach a tool within a tool. Maps are a navigation tool and the development of mapping skills are found in curriculum expectations at the early-mid elementary grades. The ability to download maps from iSubwayMaps to an iPod and to have these maps available wherever one is opens up a whole range of possibilities in teaching students mapping skills using an iPod beyond just subway maps. Any image of any map of anywhere in the world will do and with the ability to add multiple images, a student can scroll through various part of a maps just as it is done with an iSubwayMaps map. A teacher can also utilize this technique by including historical maps in the iPod’s library of maps.
The possibilities of using an iPod for maps extends beyong just static images as this video of the Toronto Subway system clearly demonstrates: