Sunday, June 5, 2011

Map Tools That Measure Up #edtech

Over Memorial Day weekend, I was supposed to have gone golfing with some friends at a course I had never been too before (Willow Glen in North Chicago Illinois).  I have the Golf Logix App on my smartphone (a must for any avid golfer).  Unfortunately, the distance tool is based on proximity using GPS and since this course does not have a web site, I had no way to map out the course to prepare. Sure, there's Google Maps/Earth - but I did't discover until tonight that it could actually handle yards as a unit of measurement (you have to click the I'm feeling geeky link to get at measurements other than kilometers or miles. I sent out a "tweet" to some of my friends in the edtech community who are know are beyond the weekend warrior golfer looking for options and there really aren't any.  OK, so what does that have to do with this Web 2.0 365 post a day project I'm working on?
I started searching for alternatives and came across Free Map Tools.  They use the Google backbone (who doesn't these days?) But the allow you to measure distances on the map converting the distance to kilometers, miles or yards.  But, the fun doesn't end there.  They tell you how long it should take to get between points whether you are walking, jogging, running, cycling, in a slow or fast car or even as the crow flies. You can also measure the radius around the points.  Need to find the zip codes in that radius? Free Map Tools can do that to.  Need to find out how much land was affected by the Japanese tsunami? Free Map Tools let's you calculate area.  It does much more as well.  Math and Geography teachers will probably love this site.
get your own embeddable forum with Talki