Google Maps has just released a cool new feature for non-techies. Originally you had to be a programmer type if you wanted to create a mashup. (A mashup is when a web application allows users to develop new content by allowing some programming privliegds. Or at least that's the best that I can infer from perusing Wikipedia's definition.) Now, Google Maps has added user friendly tools so that people can create their own personalized maps. Maps can be created and have placemarks, lines and shapes, notes, photos, videos, and audio to them.
This has great potential as a classroom tool. Think of all the subjects that can be mapped and personalized with student research! I'm planning on using this with my first graders next September when we do our unit on "Our Community".
I did a quick map that you can look at here. My Town is just a quickie done to see how easy this tool is in reality. And it is easy. Let me know if you or your students make a map. I'd love to see the results.