Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Of the making of maps there is no end...

By now any of you who have been reading this from the start have become overwhelmed with all the map resources I've pointed out, so, in addition to adding a few more, let me try to organize what I've found. Note that I am focusing on stuff you can get on the Internet (so I'm not really mentioning any hardcopy atlases) and almost all the stuff I'm highlighting is free.

  • Maps for use in Logos, BibleWorks7, and Accordance:
    Each of these programs comes with collections of maps, but there are addin maps you can you use to enhance them.

    • Go to this post to obtain an addin using data from to download a Bible Geocoding addin for BibleWorks.
    • Go to this post to obtain addins from Nelson Ministry Services and the Access Foundation for Logos.
    • [UPDATE 2007.09.04] Accordance offers a Bible Atlas CD for $89 that includes their Bible Atlas program. Here is a helpful article detailing the use of the program.
  • Programs or websites that feature maps or mapping:
    These are computer programs that feature mapping

    • GoogleEarth: This remarkable program has generated interest in creating a variety of Biblical mapping mashups. This post shows you how to get started with GoogleEarth and how to create your own locations and do geocoding of pictures.
    • In this post which you should check out first after getting GoogleEarth on your computer, I show you how to get biblically oriented overlays and collections of links to use with GoogleEarth. In this post, I show you how to make your own overlays using maps.
    • Interactive Satellite Map of the Holy Land: It is kind of like using GoogleEarth with biblical sites overlays. Like GoogleEarth it is free and uses excellent satellite maps, but unlike GoogleEarth: a) it is downloadable, so you don't need to be online to use it; b) it runs in a browser window; c) it is dedicated to biblical sites and has a very nice interface to quickly locate sites; and d) you can also download a version that can be used on a PocketPC.
    • (Update 2007.07.19) Speaking of PocketPC (and also PalmOS), Olive Tree offers a Bible Map Atlas for $21.
    • I can recommend HolyLand 3-D which comes with the HolyLand Satellite Atlas Volume 1 for $70. This program allows for some fascinating flyovers that I really like. Resolution of images and terrain mapping is superior to GoogleEarth, and it is dedicated to biblical sites and includes photos, information, and scripture links.
    • Bible Mapper: As they say, it "is a fully interactive, highly accurate Bible mapping system that helps you quickly and easily create customized maps of the Holy Lands or study a particular period and aspect of Bible history." The free, downloadable version is quite helpful and does a nice job of providing period-specific views including boundaries and roads. (To see ancient roadways, this really provides some of the most helpful maps.) It is possible to click on a location on the map to open up the satellite maps in GoogleMaps. To get high resolution relief maps within the program there is an additional cost of $35.
    • This is another application of the GoogleEarth data to biblical sites that is strictly an online site. Basically you start with a biblical text (using ESV or KJV), and for sites mentioned in the text, links are then provided to GoogleMaps. Once the site is pinpointed on the map, clicking on it brings up information from the 1913 ISBE. It works fairly well to accompany the reading of a text, but it isn't designed to find a place apart from the text. One thing that is nice is that by using GoogleMaps, you have the option of choosing Map / Satellite / Hybrid view which can sometimes be helpful. (Program is in beta now.)
  • Biblically oriented programs or sites that include maps
    • In this post, I described the free, downloadable programs e-Sword and the Online Bible which include maps. I also describe the online and downloadable NET and upgraded NeXt Bibles and the fine maps they include.
    • (2007.07.16 update) The Virtual World Project: Focuses on the ancient eastern Mediterranean with resources for Greece, Turkey, Israel, and Jordan. Search by map location, features (e.g., churches, synagogues, temples), or periods (Paleolithic through Crusader). Excellent collection of notes and pictures, including many 360 degree views.
    • (2007.07.17 update) The Geography and the Bible page at has a large collection of maps. Especially note the Clickable Map of Ancient Israel of the 1st century CE.
    • Stephen Langfur has been putting together an excellent study resource for biblical sites connected with the Near East Tourist Agency. The maps on that page will get you started.
    • Walking in Their Sandals looks to be a great Bible study resource that includes maps and location information and pictures. Cost: $30.
    • iLumina Gold includes the Tyndale Handbook of Bible Charts and Maps along with over 200 interactive charts and maps and 1000 Holyland photos. Cost: ~$65.
  • Standalone maps
    These are links to sites with actual maps. If you don't have one of the programs cited above and just want a particular biblical map, check out these sites. Remember to use them with proper attribution and copyright observations.

    • NT Gateway Listing of Maps: This is Mark Goodacre's extensive list of links to map sites, most of which are simply collections of maps.
    • Bible Maps and Pictures: Another collection of links to online maps.Especially note the site's own Bible Maps with very helpful 'topical' maps (i.e., maps reflecting a particular event, period, or person).
    • (2007.07.17 update) For visual clarity, I really like the 173 maps provided by the Access Foundation. They are all available online on the Bible Maps page of They can be viewed in a variety of sizes. (In a previous post, I noted how these maps are available for download and integration within Logos.)
    • (2007.07.17 update) The American Bible Society has some very useful maps on their Interactive Maps page. (I could not get the interactive feature to work very well in IE and not at all using FireFox, but the standard maps work fine.) These are the maps that are part of ABS's The Learning Bible available both as a book or CD. (As noted in a previous post, these maps are also available within the eSword program.)
    • Some links to maps associated with Jerusalem that I did not see on either of the preceding lists are found HERE about 2/3 of the way down the page.
    • Another collection of maps is available at the Jewish Virtual Library HERE.
    • (2007.05.24 update) Just found another collection of maps, mostly from 15th-early 20th century of the Holy Land HERE. (The site is part of the Jewish National and University Library. I found the link on Rick Brannan's Supakoo site.)
    • (2007.07.16 update) Yet another site: Maps of the Middle East - Most are biblically related maps with some comments.

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