Thursday, May 7, 2009

KML Factbook - 2D and 3D Mapped Data Displays

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 on a 2D or 3D map using Google Maps or 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 2D or 3D 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 EducationThe 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.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
The BBC News Globe
View Glacier Melt in Google Earth
Google Earth Links You Might Have Missed