Jan 242009
 

By an extraordinary Twitter related twist of events, I have discovered an application that I’ve been hoping to see for a while. Here’s my Thursday 22nd Jan tweet:

Urgently looking for an Open Source interactive blank world map similar to http://is.gd/gOPs 

By the end of the day I’d been contacted by Mike from Aneki.com with news of exactly such an application (disappointingly not as a result of the tweet though!) and discovered a whole collection of really useful resources based around world rankings.

The custom map generator is utterly simple to use – select a country from a table, choose from 5 pre-set and customizable colours, and build your map. The result is easily saved.

ishot-31

Map generator

Here’s a map showing my limited direct experience of the world:

chart

Where I've been

This is a super-helpful application for geography teachers. I must confess to spending a little time with the Google Maps API trying to create something similar, and then giving up. I’d like the option to have the results pop-up in a larger window, complete with the usual Google Map tools and view options. Perhaps one day My Maps will allow countries to be highlighted using this method. 

I am delighted to report that the content on the rest of the site is equally useful to geography teachers needing a quick list of superlatives. Visit the lists page to jump right in. I picked up on the list of top 10 tsunami-prone countries as a resource for a GCSE class next week. Albania is in the top 10 – who’d have thought it?

Update: Valery 35 also reports on the map generator, and points out that there are customizable maps for Europe Africa, Asia, Middle East and South America as well.