Thinking Visually: Using Google Maps to Give Readers the Best of Both Worlds.

News is constantly evolving its form. It is no longer as simplistic as it once was in basic black and white. Vivid colors cover the fronts of newspapers and magazines and the online space is growing rapidly each day. Living in the 24 Hour News Cycle, in conjunction with new technology, has not only made our ability to get information easy, it has made the information itself better.

Perhaps the greatest way information has grown since technology become a major partner to journalism was this idea of visual media. It’s one thing to have just a story, its another to have a plethora of photos and links at your aid, not to mention the use of video, too. Some may argue that an excess of photos and links and videos takes away from the true meaning of the work, putting the journalists writing abilities to the side, but photos and videos tell a story words simply could not.

With the help of Google Maps, it is now possible to link the location of an online story directly to the story itself. For example, if the Knight News was to do a piece about an upcoming basketball game for the Queens College Knights, an option they could use for their online story would be to embed a link to the exact location of the Fitzgerald Gymnasium in the story to help their readers.

Once the location is found using Google Maps, it can be saved to a Favorite location in which Google Maps gives you the option of embeding the link directly to your website, like so: Queens College Fitzgerald Gym.

Multiple location can be saved to a Favorites List that will appear on the left side of the screen.

When clicking on the embeding link, a new tab or browser window will open up, taking you to Google Maps where you can observe the Queens College campus  via overheard and also get directions to and from.

Embeding your stories location directly to your page is a good way to promote what you are doing, create publicity around a certain event and have readers directly engage with your story. With the help of Google Maps it gives readers the best of both worlds: finding out whats going on and finding out exactly how to get there at the same time.

For more information about Google Maps and how to use them, the Knight Digital Media Center at the University of California, Berkeley has created a tutorial which you can access here.


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