Thursday, September 29, 2011

Interactive Shaded Relief Map of the World

Google is continuously working to improve Google Maps, but there are still some things that it lacks. For those times when I want more detail in my maps I'll switch over to using Google Earth. Unfortunately, not all of my readers have that same option. Therefore, I'd like to introduce you to Shaded Relief.

Shaded Relief is an interactive map built on top of Google Maps. As the name implies, Shaded Relief features shaded relief maps. Shaded Relief offers more than just that feature. On Shaded Relief you can quickly measure elevation, distance, and area in a variety of units. You can also use Shaded Relief to search for things like tracts of land leased by the government, cultivated land areas, or railroad causeways. The list of place types that you can search is quite extensive and can be as specific (use the exact name search) or general (use the "names like" search) as you want.

Applications for Education
Depending on what you're searching for or what land features you're trying to measure, Shaded Relief is a big step up from standard Google Maps. It's not as feature laden as Google Earth, but if you cannot use Google Earth in your school Shaded Relief could be a great alternative.