Map apps for the iOS

On Friday, Hope Greenberg of the UVM Center for Teaching and Learning, gave an overview of iOS apps focusing on maps and place-based learning. Here's a brief recap of what she covered.


  1. Apps for Creating Maps:

    First up: Google Maps, where you can mark and annotate places with text and links, then save them as a collection. Greenberg uses Google Maps to keep track of problematic dogs on her running route, and I use them to  maintain a list of fictional private investigators in North America:
  2. Combine that with Google Earth for a more interactive overlay of your annotations:
  3. We also looked at TapQuiz:
  4. And MyMaps, which gave us a surprisingly detailed resolution of the UVM green, and Greenberg demonstrated how the tool could be used collaboratively to annotate the different types of trees on the green.
  5. We touched on Field Notes, an app that lets you upload text and photo notes to a map (free version) and in the paid version, audio and video. 
  6. Galileo, where you can draw shapes on a map and, most impressively, have the app record your movement with the iPad directly on a map or for sharing on Facebook or over email. It lets you import maps from more than a dozen sources, including OpenBusMap, OpenCycleMap, and HikeBikeMap.

  7. For cross-curriculum work there's also HistoryMaps, which offer a collection of maps pertaining to historical events. 
  8. Reviewers of HistoryMaps on the app store note that the recent addition of banner ads at the bottom of the maps is an unwelcome intrusion, but as Greenberg noted, more and more apps are going the banner ad route. Some do allow you to banish the ads as an in-app purchase, or offer a paid version up front with no ads, but it looks like this is more of a larger, general trend in app development. WorldMap was mentioned as a particularly obnoxious offender, despite the usefulness of having embedded demographics at your fingertips:

  9. CESS technologist Adam Deyo has the complete list of apps covered at the workshop up on the CESS iPad/iOS User Group blog. 

    Are you and your students using any of these apps? Have you come across others we should know about? Let us know in the comments!