Showing posts with label Thematic Mapping. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thematic Mapping. Show all posts

Monday, September 12, 2011

Seven Ways to Build Custom Maps Without a Google Account

This morning on Twitter someone asked if there is a way for students to create online maps without a Google Account. The answer is yes and here are seven tools that students can use to build custom maps online. This post is for you Mr. Potter thank you for the inspiration.

Animaps is a service that was built for the purpose of allowing users to create animated Google Maps. The basics of creating maps in Animaps is very similar the process for creating maps in Google Maps. The main benefit of using Animaps over Google Maps is that you can create a tour of your placemarks that plays through according to the timing that you specify. Another benefit is that you can build in colored shapes to expand and contract to demonstrate patterns. You can also import images to your map from Flickr, Picassa, and Facebook. Click here to watch a demonstration of Animaps in action. You do not need a Google Account to use Animaps, you can register on the site or use Facebook credentials to log-in.

Weaving History has gone into hiberation and is not accepting new users at this time. 

is a promising website for history students and teachers. The purpose of Weaving History is to enable users to create timelines matched to maps. There are two basic functions that you need to know about in Weaving History; Factlets and Threads. Factlets are where you create short summaries about an event. Factlets include dates, places, names, and other relevant information. Threads are where you string together a series of Factlets. In the Threads view you can choose between "chrono view" and "geochrono view." Chrono view displays threads in a traditional timeline style with a list of Factlets below the timeline. The Geochrono view displays threads as placemarks on a map with timeline below. Click on any of the placemarks in the Geochrono view to see the Factlets connected to the events at those places.

Tripline is a service designed to enable anyone to record a trip they've taken or to plan a trip itinerary. What Tripline is really intended to do is to give you a platform to "present" your trips to others. To do this Tripline allows you to add details to each stop on your itinerary, add images, and add music to the presentation of your trip. When completed your map essentially becomes a slideshow tour. There are a few different ways that you can create trip on Tripline. You can use your mobile device to check-in at different locations and have Tripline plot those points for you. You can do that using Foursquare or by geolocating your Tweets. The other way that you can create trips on Tripline is to plot them directly on the Tripline site.

Build A Map is a new service that allows you to build layers on top of Google Maps. This is different than creating maps in the "My Places" feature of Google Maps. In My Places you can only add placemarks, paths, and shaded shapes. Using Build A Map you can add information from data sets, add shapes, and add custom labels. The service is currently in a private beta so you do have to register your email address and wait for an invitation to try it out. In the meantime you can watch the following video overview of the service.

Scribble Maps is a fun and useful application for drawing and typing on Google Maps. Using Scribble Maps anyone can draw and type on a map. All of the zoom options and most of the search options available on Google Maps are available when using Scribble Maps. You can zoom in on an area and then type text, draw a circle or a box around an area, you can even doodle stick figures or whatever you like on your map. Maps created by using Scribble Maps can be shared via email or embedded into your website. Scribble Maps Pro (an upgrade that requires a payment) allows you to import KML files, import spreadsheets, and import SHP files. Importing KML files allows you to add free-hand drawings on top of files that you may have already created for Google Maps or Google Earth. Importing spreadsheets makes it easy to quickly add placemarks to a large number of places. SHP file importation allows you to add custom shapes to your maps.

Quikmaps is a nice map creation tool that allows you to quickly draw, type, and insert icons on a Google Map without requiring you to have a Google Account. You can register directly on the site itself. Quikmaps is similar to Scribble Maps. Placing icons on Quikmaps is a simple matter of dragging and dropping elements. Maps can be shared via email or embedded into your blog or website.

UMapper is a custom map creation tool that allows you to create maps from just about any JPG, PNG, or GIF file. Using UMapper is a simple process of uploading an image and selecting a map service (Google, Yahoo, Bing) as the basis for the map. The finished maps can be embedded into your blog or website. UMapper also offers a platform for creating your own geography game. UMapper GeoDart is a simple game in which players have to locate the places the you specify. The directions for creating your own GeoDart game are contained in the video below.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Show World - Geography Lesson Plans

Show World, a mapping and data visualization tool that I've previously mentioned, has recently added some new data categories and begun designing lesson plans for high school classrooms. Since the last time I visited Show World they have added new data categories for aging populations and sovereign wealth funds. The companion to Show World, Show USA, has also added new data categories for stimulus bill jobs and state budget deficits.

The lesson plan designed by Show World is intended for use at the high school level. The lesson plan is designed to help students understand how to use data to describe the world. Students will also learn to compare countries and regions based on data. The lesson plans are not published on the Show World website, they are posted on Slide Share. You can view the lesson plans here.

Applications for Education
While the Show World lesson plan is intended for high school classrooms it could probably be adapted for use in a middle school setting. The visualization of countries expanding and contracting based on data sets makes Show World accessible to students at many grade levels.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Show USA - Customized Maps of the United States

Show USA is a great map service produced by the same people that brought us Show World. Show USA has five categories of data from which you can choose a data set to be represented on a map. The regions and states on the map change size based on the data set selected. For example, if you choose "population over 65" the map makes California and Florida large while shrinking the size of Montana and Wyoming.

You can access both Show USA and Show World here.

Applications for Education
Show USA and Show World are good reference tools and good tools for creating visual representations of demographic, economic, and scientific data.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Google Earth and Google Maps Help

Google has had help pages and forums for Google Maps and Google Earth for quite a while. This week they announced the launch of new, revised help forums where you can ask and answer questions of the community of Google Earth and Google Maps users. The help forums are now integrated with the help center (advise directly from the Google engineers) which will allow you to search both resources in one place. Visit the new Google Earth or Google Maps help forums to find the answer to questions like, "why does the new Mac OSX Google Earth plug-in crash my browser?"

If you are more of the visual learning type, there are two excellent YouTube channels dedicated to helping you learn Google Maps and Google Earth. Below is a video introduction to Google Maps.

Applications for Education
Here are some previous ideas I've posted about using Google Earth in the classroom.
Google Lit Trips - The Greatest Road Trip Stories
View Ancient Rome in Google Earth
Geography and Science Lesson Plans Using Google Earth
Real World Math
Thematic Mapping Engine

Here are some ideas about using Google Maps in the classroom.
Where Does Oil Come From?
Create a National Parks Virtual Tour
Mapping Halloween
Woices - Podcasts Meet Google Maps
Paint Map - Search Paintings from Around the World

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Stat Planet - Interactive Data Visualization

Stat Planet is a thematic mapping website. Stat Planet relies on data from UNESCO is a project of SACMEQ. Stat Planet can be used to create thematic maps based on a variety of development indicators from the fields of education, health care, and economics. Stat Planet can be used online in your browser or you can download Stat Planet. Downloading Stat Planet gives you the option to include your other data sets and create a custom map.

Thanks to Henri Willox for sharing this resource with us via a comment about the website Show World.

Applications for Education
Stat Planet is a good resource for students to use to create thematic maps. Stat Planet can also be used by students to make inferences as to the reason for inequities be
tween countries and regions of the world. After making those inferences students can conduct research to investigate whether or not they were correct.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Show World - Change the World One Map At a Time

Show World is an interactive mapping website that takes demographic and economic data sets and creates a map based on the data. I've seen this done with Google Earth and Google Maps before, but Show World is slightly different. Each time you select a different data set, the size of each country increases or decreases in comparison to other countries. For example, if you select the data set about steel production, the size of China is huge relative to African countries. On the other hand, if you select the data set for students not in school, the African countries swell while China decreases in size.

World Mapper is a similar website that I reviewed about six weeks ago.

Applications for Education
Show World is a great way for students to visually interpret data sets. Having students explore the data sets and watch the size of the countries change could be a good discussion starting activity. Exploring the data sets on Show World could also be the starting point for research about the economic and social conditions of countries around the world.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Thematic Mapping Engine - Creating KMZ Files Made Easy

Thematic Mapping provides users with a very simple way to create Google Earth kmz files. Thematic Mapping draws on data provided by the United Nations to create maps depicting all types of development data and environmental science data. Users select a statistical indicator category, select a year or range of years, and the manner in which they would like the data displayed in Google Earth. If you're using a Windows computer you can preview your files before downloading them. Below is an image of the kmz file I created using Thematic Mapping.

Applications for Education
Thematic Mapping could be used in Social Studies, Math, or Environmental Science courses. A map depicting GDP Per Capita would be useful in math if students are studying the differences between mean and median. The same map would also be useful in a Social Studies course where students are studying the distribution of wealth. There are a number of environmental science indicators available from Thematic Mapping one that may be particular useful for Environmental Science students is the CO2 Emissions Per Capita theme.

Thematic Mapping Engine appears to be offline as of 3/27/09, but the blog for TME is still online and active so hopefully TME is only offline temporarily.