Atlas of Historic NM Maps
   Maps  Biblio    

View Atlas

About the Atlas
Lesson Plans
UNM Press
NM Centennial

An Atlas of Historic New Mexico Maps, 15501941

Unit Six: Creating Your Own Maps

The Centennial Atlas of Historic New Mexico maps may have a lot of information on the historic places, people, and events of New Mexico, but it certainly doesn't have everything! Students can research places in their own communities, whether the house of a famous resident, the site of a historic event, a cultural institution, or a historic park, and use that information to publish their own maps to the Atlas. Students can additionally enrich their maps with media, and publish their own webpages. The same place does not have to be used for every project, if your class does them all, but it may be more enriching for the students to elaborate on a single location. Be sure not to allow students to produce anything that includes information that would allow people to find them, such as phrases such as "this is the building across the street from my house."


In completion of this lesson, students will:

Familiarize themselves with the basic navigational tools of Google Earth.

Research the history of a place in their community and summarize the research as a marker in Google Earth, including a link to more information on the internet.

Research media resources to support the thesis developed for the place of importance. Embed the media resource in the geographic marker.

Research, write, and publish a webpage with media and hyperlinks, on a place of interest in the community. Link to the webpage from a geographic marker.

Identify public domain resources and publish with proper attribution and references.


HTML: a standard language format used to display hypertext in web pages. Many HTML conventions (for displaying links, images, and other objects) are also used in KML. Can be opened in an internet browser or as a text file.

Info window: the "balloon" that appears when a marker is clicked on, containing descriptive text and images.

KML: the language format used in many internet-based geographic applications, including Google Earth and the Atlas. Can be opened in Google Earth, or as a text file.

Marker: an annotated point, line, or area, that if clicked on, opens up an info window.

Activity I: Intro to Google Earth: Finding places, Making a marker, creating links

Note: Read Adding Your Own Maps for full instructions on using Google Earth, creating a shared workspace, and managing KML files.

Using Google Earth, walk students through basic exercises in finding their home town, their house, and the school.

Students can work individually, or in groups (as described in Adding Your Own Maps). Students should create a folder in the Places pane, and name it with their name or the name of their group. Any markers they make should be placed in this folder.

Students should create one marker, name it, and write a short description. The description should include bibliographic references for books, articles, or online references the students used in their research. Online references require a live link back to the original site.

To make an HTML link, students can simply use the following format:

** to see this marker, view the sample maps file in Student Maps

Sandia National Laboratory

Sandia National Laboratory has contributed to the growth of Albuquerque in many ways.


Retrieved from the < A H R E F = " http://www.sandia.gov " > Sandia National Laboratory webpage < / A >, July 24, 2009

without the spaces between letters, displays as:

Retrieved from the Sandia National Laboratory webpage , July 24, 2009

Students can save their folders as KML files to a removable disc, a shared directory, or a shared online workspace, depending on your IT department's requirements.

Adding Your Own Maps

HTML Cheat Sheet

Activity II: Google Earth; adding media to markers

Students should research or originate images for their marker. Resources for finding and adding historical images are in the section on Adding Your Own Maps. Students can additionally create their own digital illustrations, photographs, or graphics to accompany the entry.

Have them consider:

What do images tell us that words can't?

Are we more likely to get information from images or words?

Since your text space is limited, can you find images that tell parts of the story you left out?

To add an image to a marker, the image must be on the internet. If it is already on the internet on an image sharing site, a student can generally click on the "Link" button, copy the code for embedding images, and paste it into the text description on the marker. If the code is not available, students can embed images by using the following code (with no spaces between the letters): < i m g s r c = "http://www.website.com/DescriptiveImage.jpg" height="300" width="200">. This will display the image from that website, at a height of 300 pixels and a width of 200 pixels. This size should be adjusted according to the original image size.

Activity III: Google Earth: Making a web page for more information

If a project needs more than a short paragraph to explore the subject, then students can publish a webpage and link to it from their markers. For information about online document hosting, see the section on Adding Your Own Maps.

Students can create a marker that links to a webpage, containing at least one picture and three links, with at least 3 paragraphs that answer the following questions:

Why is this place interesting?

How did it get its name?

Who were the people who lived here?

What role does this place have in events of regional or statewide importance?

Was this place always in New Mexico?

Students must include citations and should offer at least 2 links for more information.

Have students save these markers to their folder as described in Adding Your Own Maps. You can then publish the entire class' work as a single map at the Atlas.

Historic Districts of New Mexico

Historic Places of New Mexico

Elena Gallegos Grant


Did the student:

Demonstrate skill identifying, interpreting, and using geographic tools and symbols?

Complete original research using hypertext and embedded media, produced according to grade level standards?

Demonstrate skill in using both online and library resources to research historic markers?

Provide accurate references for all materials used?


Key Ideas and Details:


Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.


Identify key steps in a text's description of a process related to history/social studies (e.g., how a bill becomes law, how interest rates are raised or lowered).

Craft and Structure:


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.


Describe how a text presents information (e.g., sequentially, comparatively, causally).


Identify aspects of a text that reveal an author's point of view or purpose (e.g., loaded language, inclusion or avoidance of particular facts).

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas:


Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.


Distinguish among fact, opinion, and reasoned judgment in a text.


Analyze the relationship between a primary and secondary source on the same topic.

Atlas | About the Atlas | Help | Lesson Plans | Bibliography | NMHC | UNM Press | Contact/Comments | Student Maps

Website and Contents Copyright ©2008 - 2022 New Mexico Humanities Council. All rights reserved.

produced by: Queenellen Enterprises

design/programming by: 1uffakind.com

managed by: NMHC