We have looked at maps created by George of MyReadingMapped many times in the past. However, due to technical issues he shut the site down earlier this year.
He has kindly provided us with some of the KMLs from his vast collection and allowed us to make them available here on GEB. You can download all 155 individual KML files as a ZIP file here. In addition, we have combined them into a single KMZ file and attempted to organize them into folders to make it easier to find what you are interested in. Download the combined KMZ file here.
So what sort of maps can you expect to find?
Maps of explorers and famous travels including ocean voyages, overland exploration and polar expeditions.
Maps of ancient civilizations, ruins, lost cities, ghost towns, castles and more.
Science and the environment:
Maps for use in teaching geology, ecology and geography.
Maps relating to the oceans.
Maps relating to climate change.
Maps of fossil sites.
Maps about pollution.
Maps of disease outbreaks.
Maps of historic train wrecks, plane crashes and shipwrecks many of which can be seen in Google Earth imagery.
So which are our favourites? To be honest we have not had time to go through them all yet, but they all look interesting and worth a look. Probably the most useful are the ones that can be used in the science classroom, such as the topography of Plate Tectonics or Terrestrial Biomes, amongst others.
A map of U.S. Industrialization (1640-1880) that traces US industrialization in four important time periods, prior to the American Revolution when it was dependent on water power up to the War of 1812 with the introduction of refrigeration, the railroad and the wide spread use of steam power, up to the American Civil War, and as a result of the Civil War. You can even turn on and off layers that indicated the union states and confederate states to understand the economic differences and the impact of industrialization on the Civil War.
A map of Farms by Type. This documentary, in the form of a Google Map, provides examples of 50 different types of farms around the world.
All the maps are displayed on the site using Google’s My Maps, and you can easily view them in Google Earth by downloading them as KML. Just click the ‘share’ button found at the top of the map and select ‘Download KML’.
The map of the proposed Nicaragua Grand Canal is our favourite. We had heard about it in the news and it is nice to be able to explore the locations in Google Earth.
Back in 2007 Google first introduced My Maps which allowed anyone to create and share their own maps directly in the Google Maps interface. Since then Google Maps has received a significant upgrade which went live for all users in February this year. The older version, now referred to as ‘classic Google Maps’, still exists and if necessary you can switch back to it by clicking on the question mark in the lower right hand corner of the new Maps, and selecting ‘Return to classic Google Maps’.
Separately, Google created Google Maps Engine, formerly known as Google Earth Builder, which was initially targeted at enterprise customers and later extended for use by nonprofits and researchers in the Google Earth Outreach program. In March last year, Google introduced Maps Engine Lite, a free version of Maps Engine. In October last year, it introduced Maps Engine Pro, a paid for version targeted at small businesses. These last two products were recently renamed My Maps Pro, and My Maps.
Maps Gallery is the place to find maps that users have created and shared publicly.
People who had created custom maps were, until recently, mostly still using the classic My Maps. However, Google is encouraging users to switch over to the new My Maps, and in the near future will transition everyone automatically.
One such user is George Stiller, the creator of MyReadingMapped, an excellent site with a lot of Maps content that we have featured no less than 17 times in the past. For a list of those articles, click here. George decided last week to take the plunge and switch over to the new maps before being automatically upgraded. He has blogged about his experience and I highly recommend that anyone who is facing the upgrade read through his blog posts so that you know what to expect.
We’ve shown you a lot from George at MyReadingMapped over the years, and he’s back with another one. This project is called the “Google Map of Geology”, and George describes it as follows:
My latest project is a Google Map of Geology which matches up examples of faults, eskers, monadnocks, folds, fabric, depressions, roof pendants, rift valley, kettles, hoodoos, and the like, that can be seen in Google Map and Google Earth with their geologic terminology. I was surprised to discover that much of the details like stratum, joints, lava field fissures, dykes, talus, etc. can actually be seen in a satellite image and that a specific rock the size of a tor can be plotted.