Claire Richards
Project Officer

Visualising Data Create a Map Collage

Lesson Plan Published 11/20/15 Last updated on 5/16/18

Work as a class to create a map of the world using information about that country. For example represent an area with an image of newspaper text from that region, it could be an image of national cuisine, agriculture or the texture of flora and fuana from that area. Start with a more generalised image that covers each continent and then add more layers showing more localised information.

  • Photoshop

    Editing and compositing for photos, web and mobile app designs, 3D artwork, videos, and more.

Age Levels
1+ Day
Communication and Collaboration, Digital Citizenship, Critical Thinking Problem Solving and Decision Making

This is a large task and is best done as a collaboration with the whole class. Students work in groups in specific areas.

Start by choosing what type of images are going to be used to represent each area.

  • Newspaper Cuttings (old or new?)
  • Food
  • Texture of leaves or nature
  • Close up photograph of land
  • Close up of musical instraments
  • Traditional Patterns
  • Exports
  • Pop culture brands

This video shows one method of creating the collage. It involves finding a high resolution blank vector map like this one Map and importing it into photoshop. If collaborating it is important that all students work from the same map. If the map is blank like this one have another labelled map for reference. 

Unfortunately because the human world is so large and complex at the start of this project there has to be some generalisation. This changes as layers are built up content becomes more specific and students can investigate the nuances between local areas and unique characteristics of small countries.

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Comments (11)

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William Cortez

Posted on 6/3/19 2:40:08 PM Permalink

​This is an enjoyable team activity. Thanks for sharing.

Suzanne Brodsky

Posted on 11/4/18 3:27:57 AM Permalink

​Hi Claire...this is a wonderful video and terrific idea! Maybe the next step would be to add video and include Virtual Reality. Using 360 degree video, you could create an extension of this project by adding this map as part of a discussion on history.

Dr. Tarek Bahaa El Deen

Posted on 9/26/18 6:42:47 PM Permalink

​Very helpful Project

Thank you for sharing.

Judy Durkin

Posted on 3/12/18 8:41:29 PM Permalink

What a terrific, novel idea! I have seen map collages, but never thought of having students do one. Great stuff and thanks for the video!

Robyn Mortimer

Posted on 1/12/16 2:52:59 AM Permalink

This is a great activity Claire. It lends itself to all kinds of data eg flags, just looking at one country... Thanks for sharing.

Claire Richards

Posted on 1/13/16 12:09:23 AM Permalink

I hope so! There is lot of inspiration online of different map art at the moment.

Adobe Education

Posted on 12/22/15 8:23:30 PM Permalink

This is such an interesting project. Any reason the video is silent? Do you have any other supplementary documentation advising other educators how to use this in their classroom? The more you provide the more others can recreate this really cool idea!

The AEE Team

Claire Richards

Posted on 12/23/15 11:01:15 AM Permalink


We've had fun with this ambitious project! The reason the videos are silent is because I made them to be used in a blended eLearning environment, audio can be distracting in a big class. Students can use it as a reference without headphones, which I find can be a barrier to peer learning and collaboration. The silent videos are definitely an experiment and I'm going to go back and add little text captions on them.


Adobe Education

Posted on 12/23/15 3:55:49 PM Permalink

Got it - that makes a lot of sense. Thanks again for sharing your work and we look forward to seeing more!

The AEE Team

Claire Richards

Posted on 12/23/15 4:30:30 PM Permalink

Thanks for commenting. Hopefully, subtitles will help people other than myself use the videos.

Claire Richards

Posted on 3/3/16 11:07:12 PM Permalink

All my video tutorials now have annotations. I am hoping this will translate to students getting more from the resource, being able to move forward with their creative projects rather than ask me questions!