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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Map CIA World Factbook Info with KML Factbook

The KML Factbook is a great tool for creating mapped displays of all manner of demographic, economic, and political data. The data used in the KML Factbook comes from the CIA World Factbook. The KML Factbook allows users to to select datasets from the CIA World Factbook and display that data in Google Maps or in Google Earth. You can also preview your maps using the Google Earth browser plug-in. After creating your map you can download the file to use offline in Google Earth.

Creating a map is a simple matter of selecting a set data set or sets, choosing base map, and defining the colors and size of placemarks. After making your selections KML Factbook generates the map. If you would like to use your own datasets, you can upload them to the KML Factbook.

Applications for Education
The KML Factbook could be a useful tool for students of geography, political science, and global economics. Data maps are good for providing students with a means to visually compare data sets. I can see the KML Factbook being a great resource for students to quickly compare development indicators of countries in a region or continent.

Mapping Data with Spreadsheet Mapper 3

Earlier this week I wrote about using Map a List to place spreadsheet data on a Google Map. Yesterday, the Google Lat Long team released a new Google Spreadsheet script that will allow you to create KML files based on your spreadsheet data. Spreadsheet Mapper 3 allows you to map up to 1,000 placemarks based on your spreadsheet data. And because Spreadsheet Mapper 3 is a part of Google Docs you can share your spreadsheets and maps for collaborative editing. Click here for complete directions on how to use Spreadsheet Mapper 3.

Applications for Education
As I wrote about Map a List, Spreadsheet Mapper 3 could be useful for a classroom genealogy project in which students map the origins of their families. You could also use Spreadsheet Mapper 3 to have students search for an map the locations of things like local history landmarks or geographic features.

Bill Cosby Speaks to 2012 Graduates

Graduation season is upon us again. Graduation season brings commencement speakers with advice for graduates. I shared five notable commencement speeches a few years ago. Last night through Kevin Jarrett I learned of Bill Cosby's latest commencement speech to 2012 graduates of Temple University. As always, Dr. Cosby entertains while offering some practical advice for students.

A History of Copyright

Last week I shared a Common Craft video about Copyright and Creative Commons. This morning I'd like to pass along a related video about the history of Copyright from CGP Grey. The video takes the viewer through the history of Copyright from its origins through many changes to arrive at its current meaning. Watch the video below or read the transcript here.



There is definitely a bit of bias toward the end, but overall it's not a bad explanation to share with students.

Week in Review - The Most Popular Posts

Good morning from Maine. This week I had the privilege of speaking to about 600 educators in Fredericton, New Brunswick. In Fredericton I gave what has become my most popular keynote talk, Ten Common Challenges. Of course, it's always changing a bit and I worked in some new material this time too. If you're interested in having me speak at your school or conference, please click here for more information.

As I was making the drive up to New Brunswick (about 325 miles north of my home) I stopped to let Morrison run on his leash for a bit and to capture the picture of Mount Katahdin that you see on the left. If you ever come to visit Maine make sure you take some time to see the parts that don't have lighthouses or you'll miss out on the beauty of our woods.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Web Search Lesson Plans from Google
2. Google Drive and Docs for Teachers - Free eBook
3. Present.me - Sync Audio and Video to Slideshows
4. Virtually Cycle the Alps
5. Create Videos Online With WeVideo in Google Drive
6. The Science of Baseball
7. Icon Bug - Free Icons and Clip Art

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