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Maps101 Collaborates with Bing Maps on Educational Tool

The K-12 online resource provides an interactive approach to exploring the world

Maps101 will provide students and teachers with a new way to explore the world using Microsoft Corp.’s Bing Maps.

Users of the online K-12 resource will be able to explore streets, neighborhoods, cities and countries, search for relevant content and share their experiences as part of a host of new Maps101 features developed with Bing.

For the initial launch, subscribers can use the dynamic map to find Maps101 content — including National Geographic videos, maps, lesson plans and educational games and activities — for a specific geographic location.

Students also can take virtual field trips, such as touring Maps101’s Monuments of Washington, D.C., map in 3-D or at street-level view.

Bing Maps includes bird’s-eye views and aerial and satellite imagery, and enables users to zoom down progressively closer for more detail, or use wide angled map views to illustrate broader concepts.

“Bing Maps will help teachers communicate complex issues in a geographic context, using stunning imagery and an immersive mapping experience,” said John Serpa, CEO of Maps101. “From the science teacher comparing regional climates to the history teacher illustrating the progression of the Civil War, Bing adds yet another Maps101 facet that will engage students.”

Bing Maps is a browser-based tool, so schools and individuals don’t need to download and run a separate application to use the new feature (although a browser plug-in is necessary for 3-D viewing).

“First and foremost, Maps101 is about content,” Serpa said. “Bing offers a unique way of presenting great support materials in a way that will capture the imagination of students, and help them retain information.”

Bing Maps incorporates a host of features, which Maps101 developers hope to bring to classrooms, including Photosynth, where user-compiled photos of a location are used to create a 3-D view, and a recently unveiled augmented reality feature allowing map users to zoom in from street level, for a live, interactive view of a location. The ability to share content and experiences with other users will also introduce a social aspect to the Maps101 environment.

“We are delighted to be working with Maps101 in the development of a true 21st-century learning tool that has the potential to change the way students learn about their world,” said Eric Waldman, Bing Maps geospatial specialist.

— Stephanie Jensen is a marketing coordinator for Maps101.


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