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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

ikiMap - More Than Just Custom Google Maps

ikiMap is a free service for creating custom maps online. The service allows you to build custom maps on top of Google Maps, Bing Maps, and Open Street Maps. You can also use a completely blank canvas and upload a map. The maps that you create on ikiMap can be shared publicly or privately. Your maps can be constructed collaboratively on ikiMap.

To create a custom map on ikiMap you do have to register on the site and confirm your registration in an email. Once you're registered you can start building a map. The simplest way to build a custom map on ikiMap is to choose a base layer and add custom placemarks. There is a collection of dozens of placemark icons to choose from. If you don't like the placemark icons in the gallery, you can upload your own icons. Each placemark can contain text, images, links, and embedded videos.

ikiMap provides easy-to-use tools for drawing shapes on your maps. I found the tools easier to use than the drawing tools on Google Maps. The ikiMap drawing tools provide for easy resizing, relocation, labeling, and color changes.


Advanced amateur cartographers may want to take advantage of ikiMap's upload feature to import data sets and KML files. Speaking of KML files, you can download your maps from ikiMap as KML files to use in other applications.

Applications for Education
ikiMap does require an email address which probably eliminates it from use in many elementary schools, but if your students do have email addresses and you're looking for an online alternative to Google Maps that offers a little more in terms of customization features, give ikiMap a try.

H/T to Google Maps Mania

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