I didn’t find out it was Geography Awareness Week until today, but since maps are one of my favourite things I thought I’d post about it anyway. The event is sponsored by the National Geographic Society and is aimed at improving geographic knowledge, particularly among Americans, but we can all participate regardless of, well, geography.
Mid-way through the week was GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Day, which celebrates digital mapping. I started working with GIS more than ten years ago, and I’ve been very pleased to see GIS coming to the internet in recent years. The most obvious manifestation of this is Google Earth, but many government agencies are also putting vast geographic databases online for people and businesses to use. Many of these web applications not only let you view geographic data, they allow you to create, annotate, and share your own maps. For anyone who likes maps, these are good times.
And for the classically inclined, you can also view digital maps of the past online. Check out Google Earth’s Ancient Rome 3D layer. Happy mapping!