Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Digital Resources for Biblical Mapping - Help?

I am scheduled to present at BibleTech08 on Digital Resources for Biblical Mapping. I have been blogging on this topic for some time, but I am wondering if any of you have suggestions, complaints, recommendations, wishes, etc. pertaining to this subject that I might use to improve my presentation. Please note that I am focusing strictly on biblical (ie, just OT and NT periods) maps and mapping resources that are intended to be used on a computing device (computer, PDA, etc.) either as a software program or part of a program or as a resource on the internet.
I have my opinions..., but I would be interested in hearing from you.

  1. How are you using digital mapping resources now?
  2. What would you hope to be able to do with such resources? (projecting them, printing, how are you using in classroom/church/synagogue, etc?)
  3. What types of maps do you find most helpful? (Or, what makes a map not useful?) Are there some maps that you find yourself using most often?
  4. Are there features you would like to see/use in a biblical mapping resource, especially given the potential of digital/electronic tools?
Thanks for any comments/suggestions you can share.

NOTE: >>>>
To see what I have done so far, the easiest collection of links I have created is here, and here is a summary of that post noting the resources I've been checking.
  • So far, I've looked at map resources in Logos, BibleWorks, eSword, and OnlineBible. (This includes both the resources that come with the programs as well as other user-created addons.) I know there is an Atlas module for Accordance, but I have no experience with this one. (Any comments?)
  • I've spent a good deal of time looking at GoogleEarth and the user-created biblical resources. (cf. I have also been reviewing and Todd Bolen's (I'm hoping that Todd will be assisting me. He knows a lot more about the actual geography!)
  • I have the HolyLand 3D program, as well as BibleMapper, Interactive Satellite Map of the Holy Land. I have used the older Logos Bible Atlas and the Logos Deluxe Map Set.
  • I am aware of but do not have the programs from Carta, Manna, Nelson's 3D Bible Mapbook, Walking in Their Sandals, or iLumina. (Amy comments?)
  • I have been compiling lists of online collections of biblical maps (eg NTGateway,, NET and NeXt Bible maps...)


  1. My suggestion would be if you want to work at being an expert in an area (knowledge of biblical mapping tools), you need to buy the best resources so you know what's available. And there's no better in general than the Accordance Atlas.
    Google map mashups have awesome potential too, but giving your talk without using Accordance Atlas and its integration with other tools is like lecturing on Paul when the only book you've read is Ephesians.

  2. Thanks, Joe. You are the second reputable person to indicate that I really need to check out Accordance. As a PC kind of guy, I have checked enough to see that I can run Accordance with the emulator, but one of the limitations is the inability to use the 3D feature of the Atlas. I'm also working on a budget here (one could spend a lot of money checking out all the software...), but I'll see what I can do.
    BTW, I'm not sure how much of an "expert" I can be in this area of study. (Basically, I am a NT guy who has had occasion to try to use some biblical maps, and I couldn't find any survey of what was available.) I'm mainly hoping to become an informed and reputable guide to what is available and how it might be used.

  3. As difficult as it is to obtain the resources and stay on top of it, let me encourage your efforts. It helps us all to have some one on top of the current scene, who is a biblical scholar, and understands things like Google API's as well as topo data.
    Your contributions are appreciated.

  4. Thanks for the encouragement, Joe.
    I will try to keep this updated as stuff worth mentioning comes along.