Harvard University’s Center for Geographic Analysis is the process of developing WorldMap, an open source web mapping system available to anyone. The project is a fantastic new opportunity in modern education. Teachers can now assign mapping project for students and have access to view and aid in their progress through map sharing. This will allow teachers more direct contact with student questions, struggles and successes. The best part is, it’s easy to use! The tools for mapping are streamlined down from traditional forms of GIS and made simple for any skill set to enjoy. The project is still under construction, so many amazing additions are scheduled for the coming year. Highly anticipated new additions include: geo-referencing of photos, videos, and text directly onto the map. Another user-friendly feature is the unlimited access to external data that anyone can export and add to a map. WorldMap requires a quick registration that asks for a user name, password, and e-mail in order to login. The capability is truly amazing; to show you what I mean, I made this week’s Five-for-Friday a collection of five unique, beautiful and useful maps I made using WorldMap. Make one yourself and share the link to your map in our comments box below! Clicking on the maps I have created will show them in their full size and detail.
1. Map of Cuba that combines satellite imagining with Wikipedia reference points. Using the “identify” tool I was able to find the city of Santiago, as shown in the red box and provided with a direct link to Santiago’s Wikipedia page. 2. Map of the Southern United States from the 1860’s population distribution of slaves. Just one example of the historical maps that are provided in WorldMap.3. Map of Eastern Africa that layers place names and boundaries with soil types of the region. The red outlined shape in Kenya represents the soil class Zo9-3a.
4. Map of Paris that is heavily layered with several unique historical maps. Users can play with the opaqueness of each layer to see how the city has changed from past to present.
5. Map of Sierra Leone that layers a satellite image background with one tile of elevation data for one of the country’s Western Islands.
“WorldMap is an experimental platform designed for viewing and interpreting maps collaboratively. Today maps come from many sources and take many forms, from paper atlases to digital satellite images to census files. WorldMap aims to pull these and other hard-to-find maps together and make them available to researchers to explore, share, annotate, and remix.
WorldMap combines modeling capabilities of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) with current web technologies, and is made available as Open Source software.” –Remarks by WorldMap