So Google Maps pretty much ended the need for paper maps. With the computer, laptops, tablets, phones, and then GPS devices, who carries a map book any longer? When I taught fourth grade social studies, though, I made it a point to order transportation maps. If students could not learn the basics of map reading, they would have no hope to read online maps.
With this in mind, I recently came across a way to make print map books using Google Maps, a photo editor (I choose Gimp), and a word processor (Libre Office). Find the link with detailed directions at the Instructables website (http://www.instructables.com/id/Make-a-Map-Book-Using-Google-Maps/) where you can find many other great projects for your classroom.
So how could you use this? One thing I used to do, in our study of North Carolina, was divide the students into groups, assign each group a city, then they needed to create a presentation ‘selling’ their city for additional economic development. With this, I can see creating a ‘prospect document’ that they would send to potential investors showcasing the events and attractions in their area. You could obviously adapt that to any city in the World using Google Maps. Or how about in a study of the Ancients…mapping various points in Greece and Rome, and then adding reports to each. Maybe a map showing population growth and/or decline in certain areas. I think the prospects are probably endless. Lots of good ideas! And then take it further with a Donors Choose grant or PTA sponsorship…put on a good spiral binder and maybe even laminate the pages.