Google Tour Builder

Session Description:

Instagram, Facebook, and other social media sites have expanded storytelling beyond traditional oral and written stories. Students are now using photos and videos to tell their stories. The objective of this presentation is to learn how to merge current storytelling techniques with interactive maps. To create this experience for our students we will be using Google Tour Builder.

Google Tour Builder is a free mapping tool that uses Google Earth and multimedia to tell stories. Google Tour Builder differs from the traditional Google Earth experience by making it easy for users to add photos and videos to locations. Creating a Google Tour transforms your traditional interactive map by adding in a multimedia component that helps students gain a deeper understanding of content. Google Tours can be created within minutes inside of any web browser. Unfortunately Google Tour Builder is currently only available on desktop and laptop computers and will not work on mobile devices.

Slide Deck


How to Create A Google Tour

Participant Created Google Tours

Crowd Sourced Ideas

Made with Padlet

Session Reflection

Lesson Plan Ideas

Below are some ideas I brainstormed when I thought about how I would use Google Tour Builder in my classroom. If you have any additional ideas please share in the comments below!

Social Studies

#1 Tour a country or civilization
Tour a country that you will be learning about. Perfect for teaching the geography, topography, and climate of an area.

#2 Tour your local community
Perfect for younger grades. Take a tour of your local community. In upper grades tour High Schools and local colleges.


#1 Tour famous scientific discoveries
Create a tour of Darwin’s trip around the world and label where he made his discoveries.

#2 Create a tour of famous geological features.
Students can create a tour of famous earthquakes, volcanoes, oceans, etc.


#1 Tour the setting of a story
Reading a story about Antarctica? Look it up! Want to help students visualize what Germany looked like in World War two? Create a map of locations and insert media.

#2 Compose a narrative essay.
Students use the tell a story field to compose different parts of the narrative. Students can use the map/media options to expand on what’s going on in the story.