Cool Toy Pic of the day – Animaps

Screen_shot_2011-11-02_at_9

Animaps:
http://www.animaps.com/

Libya 2011:
http://www.animaps.com/pb/651001/5535/Libya_2011

First, let me apologize for being gone so long. I was sick for ages,
and my computer was sick at the same time. This did not contribute to
my usual activities in a positive way.

I’m not sure where I stumbled on Animaps, but I think it was via Free
Tech 4 Teachers (http://www.freetech4teachers.com/), which is a very
useful site for finding useful educational technology tools. Animaps
intrigued me because I love maps and mapping tools, and because I’m
tracking animation tools, and Animaps does both! Animated maps, wow!
So the basic idea of it captured my attention. Then I went poking
around. I watched the Libya 2011 map. Now, doesn’t that sentence tell
you that something is different about this? I didn’t look at the map
or explore it, I *watched* it. Like a video, yes. The map began at a
specific date and then rolled through moving boundaries revealing how
the battle lines were drawn and progressed, with popup notes
commenting and explaining activities on the ground. It made the entire
sequence of events exceptionally clear in a way that would have been
difficult to explain with many other tools. There will probably
someday be a video or professional animation created to illustrate the
same events and concepts. The power of these kinds of online tools is
that you can do it RIGHT NOW, all by yourself, on topics of your
passion and interest or, like this, related to major current events,
without having to wait for the pros. If you are teaching anything to
do with politics or current events, I would think this would be an
excellent tool both for faculty and possible also as assignments. I am
very impressed. I understand that it is also possible to insert images
and media into the unfolding of events. Conceptually, I’m thinking of
this as a mashup of timelines and maps integrated new media. Oh, wow.

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