Classroom ideas for GIS Mallorca…

Wednesday, 26th February 2020

Destination Specialist

Edu experience mallorca logo

Introducing GIS Mallorca


GIS Mallorca is a series of videos, geographic descriptions and pictures plotted on an interactive GIS Map, showcasing a range of geography topics. The satellite map view allows you to zoom in and demonstrate to your students the varying landscapes on this small island.


Mallorca is known and loved for its stunning coastline and popularity with tourists, but the island also has a lot more to offer. With a secret cave network below the surface, locals working hard to preserve water across the island and one of the biggest mountain ranges in Spain, Mallorca has an abundance of curriculum links.


The why is simple! We love being able to build resources that can help geography teachers. Plus, we adore Mallorca and are excited to see the island come to life inside your geography classroom.

Launch GIS Mallorca > 

The unexpected case study...

Help your Year 7 with urbanisation, Year 8 with population and migration, Year 9 with GIS skills, GCSE students with the perfect case study for resource management and even A-level students with contemporary urban environments… All with one inspiring and FREE resource.

To introduce your students to the Mallorca further, download this handy, free, presentation which showcases the unique geography the island has to offer!

edu presentation gis mallorca slides

Classroom ideas

Country Study (Developing a 'Sense of Place')

If you are studying Mallorca as a case study location then, before starting, ask students to write down what they expect Mallorca to be like, what they expect to see and what sorts of landscapes and landforms they can imagine.

Next, demonstrate the wide variety of landscapes across Mallorca on the board, through the GIS Mallorca interactive map and video links. Challenge students misconceptions – they may still think of Mallorca as a clubbing island or a family beach holiday.

For example, click on location 2 for the Tramontana mountains to introduce students to the concept of mountain-building being due to tectonic processes, then compare to location 10 for the S’Albufera wetlands and challenge misconceptions of Mallorca as a hot dry beach resort.

Discuss this: what were they surprised by? Were there any landforms or features they didn’t expect to see? How has their perception of Mallorca changed? What would they like to find out more about?

Student Tour Guides

If you have access to a computer room or student mobile devices, set students’ the challenge to use the GIS Mallorca platform to plan a tour of Mallorca.

They could be divided up into groups to represent different groups of tourists, e.g. teenagers on a GCSE school trip, young families, back-pack hikers, retired couples, etc.

Students should choose 5 destinations for their tourist group to visit, and compile an itinerary that follows a logical transport sequence between the destinations, describes each location (further research on other platforms can be completed), and justifies why they chose this destination for their tourist group.

They could also consider the environmental impact of their tours, and make recommendations for how to reduce negative impacts (perhaps through visiting the Responsible Travel pages.)

Coastal landscape study

When studying coastal landscapes, particularly for KS4 and KS5, students can explore different coastal landscapes across Mallorca using the GIS platform, e.g. Sa Calobra, Port de Soller, Cala Bona, Drach Caves, etc.

Students can compare these locations against the information on Google Earth, to further identify landforms. Ask students to find named examples / locations for different coastal landforms, e.g. stack, cliff, beach, estuary, cave, etc.

These could be plotted onto their own map (either a hard copy paper outline map or their own digital map outline on PowerPoint, etc.) to practice transferring data from one form to another.

Students could find evidence of erosional landforms or depositional landforms, concordant and discordant coasts, constructive and destructive waves, etc.

Geological landforms study

Students can visit location 13 to find an introduction to the Drach Caves.

Compare this information to other locations such as 6 (Sa Calobra) or 2 (Tramontana mountains).

Use GIS Mallorca: Location background powerpoint resource to give more case study detail and depth of knowledge for these locations and use the simplified geology map and information on karst landscapes.

Ecology study

Visit location 10 on the GIS Mallorca resource to find an introduction to S’Albufera Natural Park.

Use the GIS Mallorca: Location background powerpoint resource to give more case study detail and depth of knowledge for this location as well as more information on the climate biome and ecology of Mallorca.

Students could investigate other areas such as location 11 (Llevant Natural Park) to compare the ecology in different areas.

Students can also consider the management of these areas, thinking about effective conservation and sustainability while still enabling access to the public.

Tourism DME

Mallorca is well known as a tourist hotspot. Students can complete a Decision Making Exercise to consider how to manage future tourism on the island.

First, students should compile a list of the positive attraction pull factors that encourage tourists to visit the island. These could be broken down into social or environmental attractions. Second, they can compile a list of the potential consequences of mass tourism in Mallorca – socially, economically, and environmentally. They can use the GIS Mallorca: Location background Powerpoint resource to give more case study detail as well as the GIS Mallorca interactive resource.

Give students this scenario:

“Tourism in Mallorca accounts for 80% of the economy and 30% of employment. The island is in Stage 5 rejuvenation of the Butler Model after making improvements to resorts in decline. However, there are environmental concerns, particularly regarding water use, vehicle emissions, plastics and waste. There are also fears for future climate change and how this may affect attractions. Imagine you are part of the government authority in Mallorca, what would you do to ensure future sustainability?”

Option A: Do nothing Option B: Increase Eco-resorts Option C: Reduce access
Continue with tourism as it currently is, with a tourist sustainability tax and increasing electric hire cars but not improving existing building infrastructure. Any new tourist developments must meet strict eco-resort legislation to reduce waste, increase recycling of materials including recycling water, increase use of renewable energy, and ban private vehicles. Introduce strict legislation to reduce the number of tourists allowed on to the island. Reduce vehicle access so tourists cannot hire cars but can only walk or use public transport. Increase the number of nature reserves and restrict access to vulnerable areas.

Students should consider the pros and cons of each option, and formulate an argument in support of their chosen option that fully explains how it will bring long-term sustainability.

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