Maths Maps

I am excited to introduce you to my new project idea that I hope will result in some engaging content for our classes. It is collaborative in the same way the Interesting Ways resources are and I will need your help to make it a success.

Elevator Pitch

  • Using Google Maps.
  • Maths activities in different places around the world.
  • One location, one maths topic, one map.
  • Activities explained in placemarks in Google Maps.
  • Placemarks geotagged to the maths it refers to. “How wide is this swimming pool?”
  • Teachers to contribute and share ideas.
  • Maps can be used as independent tasks or group activities in class.
  • Maps can be embedded on websites, blogs or wikis.
  • Tasks to be completed by students and recorded online or offline.

Some background

Four years ago I created Google Earth resources for the classroom and posted them to the GE Community Forum. Two of them were called Maths in Madrid and Maths in Las Vegas. These were based on the fact that there is maths all around us, every day, everywhere we look. Google Earth (and Maps) gives us a great perspective on it all. It also provides easy access for our students to see rich visual content that depicts everyday maths. I have always loved the idea of children seeing the maths they are working on.

The only issue with Google Earth is that it is restrictive in two ways. It is not browser based and it is impossible for me to create a resource for others to collaborate on.

Luckily Google Maps has caught up and using the collaborative features I can now invite other teachers and educators to help build on these resources. It is exciting to return to these old ideas and work on them with you all.

How can you contribute?

  1. Explore the maps below for the ideas already added, follow the links to open them in a new window.
  2. Send me details of which map you want to edit and your Google email address and I will add you as an editor, follow the link from the email invite.
  3. Click on EDIT in the left panel.
  4. Zoom close to the city and it’s surroundings. (Don’t forget Streetview)
  5. Find some TOPIC ideas you can see.
  6. Add a placemark (use the right colour for the age group it is best for – see purple pin)
  7. Explain the activity in the description.
  8. Change the title to show how many ideas there are.
  9. Send out a Tweet or write a blog post to highlight this resource and encourage others to contribute.


View 27 Measures Activities in Madrid in a larger map


View 55 Shape Activities in Paris in a larger map


View 7 Data Handling Activities in Nottingham in a larger map


View 13 Addition Activities in Adelaide in a larger map


View Maths in Edinburgh in a larger map
begun by Robert Drummond


View Bradford Maths Maps in a larger map
begun by Tim Bleazard


  1. Hi Tom
    I am a university student from Australia, I am currently
    writing an assignment on the importance for teacher to incorporate
    meaningful ict into the classroom. I was just wondering did you
    implement these google maps into some lessons? How did it go? What were
    the students able to learn?
    Thank you

  2. Have these been updated to the new version of Google Maps? I don’t see the distance measurement tool as an option on these maps anymore.

  3. Pingback: Ripples » Math
  4. Thanks Tom.  I am going to watch it now.  I also enjoyed your suggestions to iPad apps and I am going to try some of them this week!

  5. Hi hopefully this video will help give you the basics of what to do and then
    you could explore the links and ideas I have included in this page I createdfor my session at the UK Google Teacher Academy.

  6. Hey!  This is really an awesome concept!  I am a Kindergarten teacher and I think this could be a fantastic addition to the ever growing (thankfully!) STEM education movement.  While exploring Shapes in Paris I couldn’t help but wish that the directions and prompts meant for students to read themselves were more developmentally appropriate for the typically developing Kindergarten student, especially students exploring this program in the beginning of the year.   I feel the prompts for the Kindergarten portion could reach a far greater spectrum of developmental stages by including visual symbols in the prompts.   Just a suggestion.  This is stellar! 

  7. Tom, Thank you for these ideas… They are brilliant. I have developed an activity based on your Maths Maps to help some of my football Mad boys learn about Area and Perimeter. I gave them a list of the Stadiums in EPL. They then had to find the stadiums and measure the length and width of the pitch using the measure tool. They then worked out the Area and Perimeter for each ground. They absolutely loved it. Thanks for the ideas.

  8. This site is awesome!! Is there Any possible way that you could make a cool Google Math MAP for Missouri?? Preferably around 6th-8th grade levels? :)

  9. I’m a student teacher getting ready to teach shapes and angles so this will be so useful. Think I might stagger the introduction of it though as there isn’t much sign of technology being used in the classroom at the moment.

    One query, I’ve done it before (months ago) but forgotten, how do I save these maps to My Maps in Google?

  10. This is amazing…can you give directions on how we can create our own or have our students create their own?

  11. G'day im Matt from Australia. I am in Mrs @murcha's class. We looked at your scavenger hunt and i had to make my own. I put it onto my blog i made a link
    to my hunt but it does not work can you tell me how to make the link work?
    Here is my blog.

  12. I have been asked to put together some math/world cup lessons for year 7-11(various abilities)using this website, any ideas???

  13. Tom – this is absolutely fantastic. I've heard of your work from other people, and just happened to crash into your blog today. Even before I looked through the maths maps I'd put a link on my blog.
    Have you considered linking from these display to some of the photosynths that are out there? (Unfortunately I don't hink googlemaps and bing maps have a straight link).
    Here's an idea ..

  14. Tom – this is absolutely fantastic. I've heard of your work from other people, and just happened to crash into your blog today. Even before I looked through the maths maps I'd put a link on my blog.
    Have you considered linking from these display to some of the photosynths that are out there? (Unfortunately I don't hink googlemaps and bing maps have a straight link).
    Here's an idea ..

  15. Planning on taking some 3rd graders from US to do some activities. How would you start this for students who may have never been to Google Earth? Also, once in Google Earth, how do I find these activities? Going to explore now and will probably answer my own questions in the process.
    Thanks for this.

  16. Thanks for thinking of adding an idea Christopher – I think it would be good
    to have a separate map for older students, in that way you will have the
    full range of coloured placemark icons to differentiate by level or age. If
    i starteda new map in Madrid or Paris would you be up for kicking things off
    with a bunch of ideas?


  17. @tombarrett Great stuff here! I explored the Paris Map a couple nights ago when you shared it on Twitter. I love that it is created by a team and see great value in having kids create their own problems too. Way to go!

  18. Love this. Found a great measures in Madrid to add, but being Circumference of a circle, it was probably more appropriate for older children – would you be happy to add colours for older students?

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