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    A new feature on the MapMaker Interactive gives you the ability to create your own set of bookmarks, or a geotour, that you can save and share with the world. Creating, sharing, and collaborating on geotours can be an engaging project for students across a range of subject and grades. To create a geotour, follow the steps below and enjoy the fun of constructing map-based stories, journals, and presentations. 


    1. Launch the MapMaker Interactive.

    Launch the new MapMaker Interactive from. Explore the interactive map to think about what you want to include in your geotour. Check out the map layers you can turn on or off, the different base maps you can use, and the drawing tools you can access. 


    2. Start by saving.

    To create a geotour, you must first save your map project. Click Save at the top left to save a new map project. The tool will prompt you to provide an email address. You do not need to log-in to the tool. Instead, you will receive an email from serverstatus@ngs.org with a link to your saved map. 


    Once your map is saved, you can begin to customize it and add bookmarks. Read on for more information about how to do that. After you’ve made changes, be sure you save again to preserve those changes. 


    Note: Sometimes, emails from unfamiliar addresses go to an email spam folder. To prevent this, add serverstatus@ngs.org to your address book now. For any maps you save, the map will automatically be erased after six months of inactivity. To prevent this from happening, visit and view your map from time to time. 


    3. Customize your geotour.

    A geotour can have up to 15 bookmarks, which are different views of the map that you can customize. In each bookmark, you can customize:


    • map zoom level
    • base map
    • map layers
    • shapes, lines, and markers to which you can add custom text, hyperlinks, and images


    4. Add images.

    To include an image in any bookmark in your geotour, you will need the URL to that same image on the web. The URL must end in .jpg. You can usually find the URL to an online image by right clicking on it and selecting “Copy Link Location” and then pasting the link wherever you are organizing your information. You can host your own photos online using photo sharing websites. 


    5. Save and share your geotour. 

    Once you are finished making any changes, be sure you save again. In the email you receive from serverstatus@ngs.org, you will find two links. One link takes you to a version that can be edited by anyone with the link. The second is a read-only link. The read-only link is the one you should share with others on social media or via email if you want them to see and interact with the map you created. If you want to collaborate with others in constructing your geotour, send them the edit link. 


    You are welcome to create as many geotours as you like. Enjoy the fun of constructing map-based stories, journals, and presentations. We’d love to see what you come up with. Please share the maps you can create on social media. We are on Twitter at @NatGeoEducation, or you can find all the ways to connect with us here.