Learning Project Summary: My map is launched and I’m ready to pass on what I’ve learned to others.

I set out to learn Geographic Information Systems (GIS) so I could develop a community mapping project and found instead that with a minimal understanding of GIS terms and processes I could create my own annotated map project using Google My Maps. Google Maps help was very useful for learning how to do this as were several YouTube how-to-videos. Along the way I acquired a smart phone and learned how to use it and several GPS apps. In order to add photos to the map I opened two online photo storage and sharing applications, Flickr and Imgur, as well as Google Picasa  (which Google has now converted to Google Photos) and  followed a frustrating path of outdated forums and YouTube videos, and a lot of trial and error until I was successful. I made a short instructional video inviting people to contribute to the map and sent it by email to colleagues and friends and was thrilled with their additions and comments on how useful they thought both the project and the mapping program are.

While the Baynes Sound Shellfish and Marine Life Story Map itself (sorry no embed code) is publicly available, I haven’t made the invitation to add open to the general public yet. That awaits a website to house it. Another step I have yet to complete is an instructional video on how to build a community map with Google Maps that includes updated information on how to add photos and videos, since I see a need for this on the web. I’m very pleased with how my learning progressed on this project using internet based learning tools for most of it and just a few face-to-face tips and suggestions for polishing it. If you are motivated to learn how to do something, from reading your Smart meter to writing a novel, then you will find lots of resources to learn with on the web.  The resources aren’t equally useful but then neither are suggestions from friends, so you just have to find the ones that work for you.