MapFrappe provides a quick way to compare country sizes using Google maps

What is the size of Iraq compared to that of, say, Texas? They’re about the same, with Texas being slightly bigger. I know because I did a quick comparison using Mapfrappe, which you can see by clicking this link (scroll down a little bit, to see Iraq superimposed on top of Texas).

MapFrappe is a free online service that uses Google maps in an innovative new way, to let you make comparisons and juxtapose one geographic element, such as a country, continent, etc.

next to (or on top of) another. It is a two step process: first, it lets you make an outline of a country or element that you want using simple tools, and it will then allow you to drag this outline onto a map of the world, and place it wherever you want it. It’s a nice learning tool and a very interesting application for Google maps.

MapFrappe Screenshot

MapFrappe provides two maps that you can use. Here’s a quick description of the process

Step 1: make an outline.

Use the upper map to do this. Simply click on the map, then click again to draw a line, etc., until you have your outline

Step 2: move the bottom map around.

The outline you created in step 1 will be displayed in the middle of the bottom map (the comparison map). Simply move it around to make comparisons.

Note that moving the bottom map around may (strangely) result in slight changes in the scale of the map itself. Your outline will seem as if it is growing smaller or larger, because the scale is changing, but do not worry; the actual ratio of your outline vs. the map is preserved.

Step 3 (optional): create a link that you can share with others or keep.

Click on the ‘Make URL’ under the ‘Permanent URL’ section to get a link that preserves your outline and its placement on the world map.

permanent URL mapfrappe

The verdict:

a terrific, original, and innovative idea. This is not something that most people will be using on a regular basis, but if you need something like this you will appreciate that someone took the time and effort to put this tool together. Kudos to the developers for a very nice application and an innovative implantation of the Google maps API

[Thanks to reader Panzer for the tip about this service]

Visit MapFrappe.


 
 
 
Find YouTube videos that were shot near you, with “YouTube Videos Near Me”
Take full page screenshots of webpages and annotate them, with Fireshot for Firefox, Chrome, and IE
Sep 18, 2012
Samer Kurdi
4
flattr this!
  • http://blog.markwill.com/ Mark

    Neat tool. I will use this with my 9-year-old, who was asking about country sizes the other day.

    A point, though: “juxtapose” means to place things side-by-side. “Superimpose” means to lay one thing on top of the other.

    • Samer Kurdi

      Thanks for the tip Mark. Fixed it.

  • Toni

    What a great, original tool to get a sense of scale! I would recommend it to schoolteachers to let their pupils use it in geography lessons. Compare their own village, state or country to other places in the world.

  • Bumface

    This looks like an excellent service to increase our knowledge of the world. When there’s an earthquake, famine, coup, or war in another part of the world, I will use this site to get a sense of the scale of what’s taking place. e.g. Afghanistan is slightly bigger than Spain: http://mapfrappe.com/?show=6473