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Thread: Educational Mapping Software

  1. #1
      Stoney is offline
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    Default Educational Mapping Software

    I'm a museum curator devloping an exhibit on maps; basically telling the story of the growth of the town through historical maps.
    I would like to add an educational component for families, kids, etc and was wondering if there was any user-friendly mapping
    software out there I could add as part of the exhibit for a hands-on component.

    Thanks

  2. #2
      Thordred is offline
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    I think most of the members use either Gimp or Photoshop. Maybe Illustrator to some extent. I don't think there is a "mapping software" that makes it a little easier. If anyone could correct me on this please do.

    It might be a stupid suggestion but have you considered using pen and paper? Sketching is great for making rough maps and I know that many of the more talented members combine sketching and digital art to make their maps.
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      Hai-Etlik is offline
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stoney View Post
    I'm a museum curator devloping an exhibit on maps; basically telling the story of the growth of the town through historical maps.
    I would like to add an educational component for families, kids, etc and was wondering if there was any user-friendly mapping
    software out there I could add as part of the exhibit for a hands-on component.

    Thanks
    Could you be more specific about what kind of interaction with the maps you are after? Are you just aiming for a slippy map and layer selection?

  4. #4
      Stoney is offline
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    Our education department will be doing most of the programming and will be using pen and paper as part of the activities.
    We were looking at something to use on the computer that kids can use to create a map. Perhaps there isn't anything out
    there that is that basic. I don't know what a slippy map is, but I assume the layer selection is using photoshop/illustrator.
    No one at the museum is a cartographer or a gamer so all this is new to us. We're just trying to create a well-rounded educational
    component to the exhibit. Thanks.

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      Jaxilon is offline
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    There are some software out that create maps based on your input and/or you place landmarks and so on by pointing and clicking but even those require quite a bit of learning to really use as far as I know.

    You might like something like ViewingDale or it's free Instant Islands. That software was created by a developer who is one of our members, Redrobes. You might contact him either through this site or his website if you have any questions. (Note: you need 5 posts here before you can send an instant message.

    Another member of ours (goes by Waldonrate) created Wilber which does some cool erosion effects and stuff but I don't think it's something you can pick up in five minutes so that might be a bit hard for kids to enjoy.

    There is also Profantasy's Fractal Terrains but you have to buy that and I don't think it's super easy but I could be wrong. There are others as well but I'm not up on what all of them can do since I just draw and digitally paint my own.

    Hopefully, someone here will know more about these things and If you are looking for something more real world I'm guessing Hai-Etlik might come up with something.

    I hope you find what you are looking for.


    edit: I keep thinking of more
    Last edited by Jaxilon; 03-11-2013 at 02:05 AM.
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      Redrobes is offline
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    I dont think my viewingdale would be a good fit in this case since it takes a fair bit of time to learn how to do the mapping with the app. I think you need something quite simple that people can get onto the controls of and get some maps out quite quick. Mapping something which exists accurately is quite a refined art and all of the apps to do that are quite complex. If your looking for something which creates a random map then it can be much easier. Im not sure what app to use but I think something hooked up to a pen tablet with some vector lines and flood fill is probably the basic components that you need. Maybe Paint.NET or something like that perhaps.

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      Korash is offline
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    I am also wondering if these maps that the kids would be working with, or creating, would be of the existing town or something that they would be making up and develope through the software. If it is of the town, you could start with a basic background, and do a drag and drop with various elements that are provided by the software. This could be usable in both of the cases that I mentioned before, with the background and elements differing (as needed) for the various stages of developement.

    I am not a real programmer, but this sounds like it could be done with a browzer program hosted locally, with a light sensitive/touch screen and stylus. Have the kids draw the roads where they think they should go, and then place the buildings and such and at the end do a comparision with the actual. This last bit would only work with the real town, and could use a video intro to the stage they would be working on.

    I wish you success and much enjoyment with this. Let us know which way you decide to go and how it turns out.
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