The Innovation Team is exploring the potential of geo-mapping tools for use in online courses. Beyond creating your own interactive learning objects for your students to use, why not consider having your students use these tools to visualize data related to the material in your online class, as collaborative individual or group assignments?

The Innovation Team offers you support and resources to implement these tools in your online courses.

Plotting Locations

Students can collaborate on creating maps that plot any geo-specific data—from cultural sites to biological species distribution, to historical events (and the list goes on!)

Plotting Connections

A connection map offers a visual rendering of geo-connected location sets, such as distribution or telecommunication networks, social connections, trade and travel routes, etc.  This example from Mapbox shows Russian postal networks.

Heat Map

A heat map uses color fields to make visual the concentration or distribution of a given set of geo-located phenomena. This example from Mapbox shows the distribution of oyster species along the coasts of North America.

For more examples, visit the Mapbox Gallery.

In this example, Bama By Distance students are mapped as part of their introduction to the online academic community of The University of Alabama. Precise GPS coordinates are somewhat randomized to protect students’ privacy.


Want to Get Started?

Contact the Innovation Team about implementing these as learning objects or assignments in your online course!

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Tools Used

The primary tools used in this project are Leaflet and Mapbox.