Lens distortion removal can help "flatten" images with a "fisheye" or barrel distortion, and make it easier for them to be used in creating maps.
Also, lens calibration is useful to consider when creating surfaces. In building large surfaces lens error can accumulate and result in distortion. Agisoft, the makers of PhotoScan, provide a free lens calibration program on their website.
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Activities should include a materials list, costs and a step-by-step guide to construction with photos. Learn what makes a good activity here.
Databases collecting lens geometries are available, for use with programs like this one:
The LensFun database is an open source database of lens models for correcting distortion. It'd be great to get the Canon A490 and SD 1300 series in there, and the format is:
You can read more about how to calculate this and generate other types of camera model stuff here: http://lensfun.berlios.de/lens-calibration/lens-calibration.html