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Google Maps Activity

The Google Maps activity allows sequence Authors to create maps or satellite images with annotated place markers. During the running of the activity, Learners can add their own markers to the map and view markers placed by other learners.

Google Maps API Key

To use LAMS with Google Maps, the System Administrator must create an API Key for the LAMS server. Instructions are here.

This animation explains how to create and use the Gmap Activity

Google Maps Activity Authoring

All properties sheets contain three tabs:

  • The Basic tab controls the content of the activity.
  • The Advanced tab controls how the activity behaves.
  • The Instructions tab allows authors to comment on the activity itself.
  • An additional Conditions tab is visible where the activity allows Authors to customise the activity outputs for branching or grouping operations.

Basic tab for the Google Maps Activity

View of the Google Maps Activity Basic tab.

There are two features on the basic tab common to all activities:

  • Title: All Activities have a web page title which is presented at the top of the activity page when displayed in the Learning Environment. This is NOT the same title as the Title that can be set using the Properties Inspector.
  • Instructions: All Activities have a text area that is presented beneath the title. This is where the main activity text to be displayed to learners is entered. The text can be formatted using the Rich-Text Editor. Image, Video, Audio and URL content can also be displayed in the Instructions area.

Specific Feature for the Google Maps Activity

  • MAP
    • Clicking and dragging the map will move the focus of the map in that direction.
    • Double-clicking on the map will zoom the map to that location.
    • Entering a location in the Center map on location field will search the map for that location and centre it on screen.
      • For Example, Macquarie University, Sydney NSW
    • Google Maps searches for locations globally, hence
      • Note the difference between New York, New York and New York State
      • Note the difference between Pitt St and Pitt St, Sydney
    • Clicking Add Marker will create a new place marker which can be given a title and some descriptive text.
    • The marker is always placed in the centre of the current map, but can be moved aroudn by clicking-and-dragging.
    • When created, the markers will show up in the marker list on the Right side of the screen.
    • To edit or remove an existing marker, select the desired marker from the Marker list, or click the marker directly on the map.
    • Clicking Fit Markers will move and resize the map so as to display all the markers in the list on one map.

Advanced tab for the Google Maps Activity

View of the Google Maps Activity Advanced tab.

  • Lock When Finished:
    • Enabling this option in Google Maps means that Learners will not be able to add or edit markers they have placed when they return to the activity. They can still view the activity by returning to it via the Progress Bar.
    • If this option is disabled, the Gmap session will run "live" until the sequence is stopped by a monitor.
  • Add Notebook... : This option is available on all Activities. Enabling this option on Google Maps prevents learners from adding more files to the activity. Once Learners click 'Finish', the activity is marked as Read Only for that learner.
    Learners can still return to the activity using the progress bar to view their uploaded files.

Advanced Features Specific to the Google Maps Activity

  • Allow Learners to edit their own saved markers: When enabled, this option allows learners to move, delete or edit markers that they have placed on the map.
  • Allow learners to see markers from other Learners: When enabled, this option shows all the markers that have been placed on the map to all learners. When disabled, only the authors markers and the markers from the individual learner are visible.
  • Marker Limits: This section allows the author to specify a limit (between 1 and 20) to the number of markers each learner may add to the map.
  • Map Options: These describe the features of the map that are available to learners.
  • Zoom Control: Disabling this option removes the zoom and pan controls from the screen. Learners may still click-and-drag and double-click to change the map view.

By default, the map is set to Directory View, showing street names and other boundaries. Authors may choose to use or disable the other views:

  • Satellite map type is satellite imagery image taken from orbit.
  • Hybrid map type combines satellite imagery with a map overlay.
  • Terrain map type shows elevation and vegetation with a street map overlay.

Instructions Tab

View of the Instructions tab. This is the same for all activities.

The Instructions tab contains the same features for all Activities.

It allows the Author to create specific instructions for the activity, as well as upload files that may be useful for running the activity (ie: support documents, etc.). It is a resource that can be used by teachers who are running the sequence for their learners. (In the Monitoring Environment, the Instructions for an Activity can be viewed by double clicking the activity on the Sequence tab and then selecting the Instructions tab.

The instructions can be retrieved by other authors who open the activity, or by monitors running the sequence.

There are two types of Instruction possible, Offline and Online, depending on the mode that the teacher wishes to run the activity. The feature is useful for teachers who are sharing sequences with their colleagues as it provides an area where the Author can deGoogle Maps any learning objectives and/or the specific purpose of the activity.

Branching Conditions for Google Maps

The Google Maps tool does not support output conditions at this time.

Google Maps Monitoring

Summary Screen

View of the Gmap Monitoring Summary tab.

Double Clicking a Gmap activity on the Sequence or Learners tab opens the Summary Screen for the Activity.

The summary screen displays all of the map markers added to the activity, and also allows monitors to add, edit and remove map markers.

Map markers can be filtered according to the groups participating in the activity, and individual markers can be highlighted by clicking on a username in the right column.

In the user list on the summary screen, Authored map locations indicate markers that were set in the authoring environment as part of the sequence.


View of the Gmap Instructions tab.

In the Authoring Environment, Authors can use the Instructions Space to attach support files for a specific activity, or leave comments for other Monitors about how a given activity should be run.

These instructions can be viewed by monitors for this tab.

Edit Activity

Clicking the Edit Activity button opens a new screen identical to the 'Basic' tab in the authoring environment.

Here, the monitor can make changes to the content of the activity, such as the title and any instructions.

Unlike Live Edit, this form of Editing can only modify the content of an activity, as opposed to the structure of a sequence.


View of the Gmap Monitoring Summary tab.

The Gmaps Summary tab displays the total number of learners in the sequence as well as the number of learners who have completed the mapping activity.