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ERIC Number: EJ878929
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Apr
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 8
ISSN: ISSN-1072-0839
Map Scale, Proportion, and Google[TM] Earth
Roberge, Martin C.; Cooper, Linda L.
Mathematics Teaching in the Middle School, v15 n8 p448-457 Apr 2010
Aerial imagery has a great capacity to engage and maintain student interest while providing a contextual setting to strengthen their ability to reason proportionally. Free, on-demand, high-resolution, large-scale aerial photography provides both a bird's eye view of the world and a new perspective on one's own community. This article presents an activity that focuses on proportional reasoning with map scale, a critical part of "Element One, Standard 1" of the "National Geography Standards." Using images from Google[TM] Earth, students cross both mathematical and geographic boundaries while learning about map scale and proportional reasoning. In this activity, the authors challenged their students to master two concepts: (1) map scale from geography; and (2) proportional reasoning from mathematics. They concluded that one great strength of this activity was that the experience of developing the map scale (physically measuring the image-size football field and relating it to its known size) later helped students understand the relationship between values as they constructed proportions or created football-field rulers to calculate distance between objects on the images. (Contains 4 figures.)
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. 1906 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1502. Tel: 800-235-7566; Tel: 703-620-3702; Fax: 703-476-2970; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A