Home > No. 50 Maps

No. 50 Maps (2009年09月10日)

カテゴリー: The Treasure Hunt Club
Marcel Van Amelsvoort
(Kanagawa Prefectural College of Foreign Studies)
When I first came to Japan years ago I was impressed by the widespread
use of maps. People drew maps for each other when giving directions,
for example, and almost every advertisement seemed to feature a map of
some sort. Times have changed, everyone has a cell phone and
businesses now all have websites, but the use of maps has not. There
still seems to be one on every site these days―only now it is usually
an embedded interactive Google map.

Google Maps uses JavaScript and XML, or KML (Keyhole Markup Language),
an XML-based language. Using this code, some web tools have appeared
that allow users to add additional information onto embedded maps,
things like pins for locations, extra information or images, and more.
For English learners, these tools can allow them to easily produce and
share authentic and meaningful geographical presentations. Instead of
just writing about their hometowns, for example, learners can identify
interesting and historical places and introduce them on a map.
Pictures and links to websites can also be added. Any assignment with
a geographical or historical theme can make use of these tools, I
think. The final products can be viewed at the tool site or embedded
into a blog or CMS. Some sites don’t require registration either.

At Click 2 Map (registration required), you can create a map and add a
marker at each desired location. Each marker can contain text, photos,
videos or any other HTML content. https://myaccount.click2map.com/home

Quikmaps (registration not required for some functions) allows you to
do much the same but you can also doodle on your map with a marker pen
function. I find this allows the maps to look more personalized.

UMapper (registration not required for basic service) has similar
functions to the other two sites. You can also create or try taking
geographical quizzes for fun. http://www.umapper.com/

That’s it for this month. Good luck with the new term.