A blogger who focuses on the use of technology in Bible study recently posted a request for feedback on the various computerized options for displaying Bible maps. Though he knows about the Accordance Bible Atlas, he admits he's not familiar with it. Both on his blog and in other forums, he asked the following questions:
- How are you using digital mapping resources now?
- What would you hope to be able to do with such resources? (projecting them, printing, how are you using in classroom/church/synagogue, etc?)
- 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?
- Are there features you would like to see/use in a biblical mapping resource, especially given the potential of digital/electronic tools?
So far, I've only seen one response to his questions:
- Projecting them.
- I would love to be able to click on a city and get a concordance list of references to the location. Presentation wise I would like to be able to project them.
- maps that display general regions have been most helpful as I have been going through the OT prophets on Sunday Morning.
- as mentioned, one click concordance. Have one general, geographical map that overlays different sets of information much like the plastic overlays in those map inserts for paper Bibles. This way the congregation can better see the relationship between maps without having to "re-orient" themselves with each different map...if that makes any sense :-)
When I saw this "wish-list," I found myself mentally checking off each one and thinking, "Yeah, we've been doing that since 1998!"
With the Accordance Bible Atlas, you can easily project any map you create. There's even a "Slideshow mode" which is designed for presentation!
Getting a "concordance list of references to a location" is easy. Simply click on a place name on the map and then choose the Bible text you want to search.
"Maps that display general regions"? Sure, pick the Region layer you want to appear.
"One general, geographical map that overlays different sets of information much like the plastic overlays in those map inserts for paper Bibles"? That's the very metaphor we used for the Accordance Bible Atlas. You pick from a variety of map backgrounds, and then overlay the sites, regions, routes, and user-drawn items you want to appear. We don't make you choose from a variety of static pictures of maps; we give you an interactive Atlas which is completely customizable.
The amazing thing to me about this gentleman's "wish list" is how basic it is. What about the really cool things like animated routes, 3-D maps you can navigate and fly through, the ability to double-click a place name to look it up in a dictionary, the ability to option-drag to measure distances, the ability to create your own custom map layers, etc.?
After nine years, the Accordance Bible Atlas is still so far beyond what most people have access to that they're still wishing for the basics. Accordance users, meanwhile, are happily doing things with the Atlas that those people haven't even thought to ask for yet. They just don't know how good we have it.
Oh, and did I mention that the Atlas is currently bundled with the Timeline and PhotoGuide at a substantial savings? ;-)