Monday, July 02, 2012

How Big is Africa?

There are a number of Google Maps based websites that allow you to compare the size of different countries by overlaying one on top of the other.

OverlayMaps lets the user compare the sizes of different countries, states /provinces, lakes /rivers and other landmarks around the world.The comparison tool is very simple to use. You just need to select one country (or other feature) from a drop-down menu and then select the location you wish to compare it to from another menu.

A polygon of your first selection is then overlaid on your second location on a Google Map (see the screenshot above).

MAPfrappe is a similar tool but has the advantage that you can actually define your own area to compare.

MAPfrappe uses two Google Maps. You draw the outline of your selected location on one Google Map. Your outline will then appear on the other map, which you can pan around and zoom into to compare your selected area to other locations around the world.

BBC Dimensions takes another approach to comparing the sizes of different locations on Google Maps. BBC Dimensions doesn't allow you to define your own areas but has a huge range of pre-set locations, events and geographical features that you can overlay on any location.

The pre-set areas are organised into a number of different categories, such as festivals, cities in history and environmental disasters.

If It Were My Home? also has a great country comparison tool that allows you to compare the size of different countries by placing an overlay in the shape of one country over another. Users can compare the size of any country with any other country and can even view a number of economic and lifestyle comparisons of the two compared countries.

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