In this post I show how easy it is to create animated maps and places with the help of two great web apps: Google maps and screencast-o-matic.com. Such animations can be used in video projects or PowerPoint presentations, e.g. of field trips or virtual trips as well as in slideshows or any other kind of digital storytelling.
All that has to be done is animate a map (zoom, pan, tilt) by using the sliders or manually moving the map or merely typing in the location and let Google maps zoom in on the destination. Before doing the animation you need to set up screencast-o-matic (see image). Make sure the viewport shows no controls or text and test the animation before recording. Once the recording is finished you can save the video as mp4 file and use it in a video editing program such as Live Movie Maker or in a presentations program such as PowerPoint.
As Google maps is extremely versatile you can create a number of different animations using Maps, Earth (including 3D models) and Streetview. Here are 11 ideas how to use Google Maps animations for video mashups:
- Zoom in from outer space to show location
- Fly over runway to signal the beginning of a trip
- Animate globe to indicate flight
- Pan or zoom in Streetview to show landscape or building
- Create a panoramic view in Google Earth
- Create a flyover using 3D-models (zoom in close enough) to show a tour
- Switch from Map view to model view to show a building
- Zoom out from one location and zoom into another one to show a route
- Pan or zoom a model to show a building
- Fly over a landscape to show elevations (hills, cliffs, mountains)
- Last but not least the classic line (draw in mymaps) that shows a route
Here is the full class project in which these animations where used: