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Diary 2

Tuesday, June 25, 2019
Field Trip Name: 
Map My Waahi
Field Trip Place: 
Lower Hutt, Wellington
Where You Are: 
Belmont School

Today the ambassadors and I spent most of our time at Belmont School. There was also a quick trip to Parliament grounds for a chat with our Google expert.

Web conference 1

Our first field trip web conference took place in Room 17 at Belmont School. Our speaking school was Upokongaro School. Duane Wilkins, some Belmont School students, and John Bailey from Google were our web conference experts.

We had a good range of questions from Upokongaro and they did an excellent job asking them too! We managed to answer a few questions from listening schools during the informal part of the web conference. If you missed the live web conference you can access the recording.

Te Kōtuku

After the web conference and some morning tea, we met up with a group of students beside Te Kōtuku. Te Kōtuku is a Waharoa – a main entranceway that you walk through when entering Belmont School. Carved from tōtara, the Waharoa represents some important landmarks and natural features of the area. It also represents many of the school’s values, provides meaning for students, and embraces the wider school community.

So, why did we look at this Waharoa? When you think about mapping your waahi, you need to think about the places in your life that help give you your identity. Schools are important places in a community and for many of us they are places where we belong – so they become part of who we are. This Waharoa was a good example of a feature or landmark that you could include in a digital story map that helps to tell a story about your place in the world.

You can get a better look at Te Kōtuku and hear about its meaning from students in today’s first video.

The Tourbuilder project

Next, we met up with more students back in Room 17. Here we got an overview of the Map My Waahi project they have been working on with Duane Wilkins. The students talked through the family research they did. They then explained how they used that information to create a digital story map using Google Tourbuilder.

It was great to get a closer look at the work they have been doing with Tourbuilder. I encourage you to watch the videos describing the project and how to use Tourbuilder. You could think about setting up a similar project to map your own waahi.

A Google expert

After lunch, we made our way into the city to meet John Bailey. John works for Google. In the video John talks about the value of using tools like Tourbuilder to tell stories. He also talks about Voyager; a set of stories found in Google Earth that you can explore. They provide some examples for how you can use Tourbuilder to tell your own stories.

I particularly like the way John describes the difference between Google Maps and Google Earth – you should check out the video for yourself!

Tomorrow we are back at Belmont School. We will meet up with some parents and students to explore more about the challenges and benefits of researching family heritage and telling associated stories through the likes of Tourbuilder.

Mā te wā,


Andrew and the ambassadors with Reaghan, Duane, Max, Denver, and Bonnie on this morning's web conference. Image: Shelley Hersey, LEARNZ. 

Hunter-Li, Risha, Andrew, Jacob, and Ruby are next to Te Kōtuku, the Waharoa at Belmont School. What special features or landmarks at your school or community could you feature in a Map My Waahi story map? Image: Duane Wilkins, LINZ.

An explanation of Te Kōtuku. Image: Andrew Penny, LEARNZ.

Oakley, Arapata, Andrew, Marcia, and Isla in Room 17 at Belmont School. The students showed Andrew the Map My Waahi project they have been doing with Tourbuilder. Image: Duane Wilkins, LINZ.

Arapata shows how you can customise 'pins' showing certain locations on a Tourbuilder map. Image: Andrew Penny, LEARNZ.

Marcia gave us a tutorial on using Tourbuilder. What different purposes could you use Tourbuilder for? Image: Shelley Hersey, LEARNZ.

Andrew with John Bailey from Google at the parliament grounds in Wellington. What are the two buildings behind them? Image: Shelley Hersey, LEARNZ.