Bible Maps in Any Language
Free maps for teaching and studying Biblical history.
I had been asked to teach a "New Testament Survey" class for a Polish seminary. When I first put the lectures together, I was frustrated by the lack of good-quality electronic Bible maps in Polish. Everything I found was either in poor quality, in English or expensive (and not designed for what I wanted). So, I created my own.
When the Coronavirus pandemic hit - and I was confined to home, I decided to both update the maps and develop a system to create them in any language for which I had a translation of the biblical places names - towns, regions, geography. Because these maps are created using the Geographic Information System (GIS) as a basis, I have been able to incorporate information from varying sources - NASA's SRTM elevation data, NOAA, USGS and historical data from different universities.
Multi-lingual - Maps easily reproducible in any language.
These maps have been created from resources developed to be multilingual. Once the elements have been translated in a language or dialect, maps can be created automatically from that language. Please send an email if you would like to have maps created in your language or dialect - email@example.com. For those of you who care, these maps can be made in any language supported by UTF-8 (along with the appropriate Unicode fonts).
Accurate - Maps tied into the Geographic Information System (GIS).
The Geographic Information System (GIS) was developed to display our planet accurately. Anything can be placed on a GIS map - houses, roads, rivers, your dog. GIS is also responsible for correctly showing a GPS placement accurately on different types of maps. GIS allows all places, geographical features and regions to be accurately shown on any GIS map - automatically and accurately. GIS also allows Bible maps to incorporate information from other sources, such as archaeological sites and historical studies.
High-quality - Maps that look good, on the screen and in print.
The maps are created using the highest resolution data possible. They are provided in both high-resolution Portable Network Graphics (PNG) format and Portable Document Format (PDF). The PNG files are suitable for PowerPoint (and similar programs) and are also suitable for printing on A4-size photographic paper. They can also be printed on canvas at up to 130cm x 100cm (for a viewing distance of 120 cm). Larger resolutions can be provided if requested, but will be limited to a certain size due to the underlying files.
Free to use and distribute - Maps distributed with a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA license.
The maps have been created based on freely available GIS data. Although proprietary sources were used to check the accuracy of the information, these sources have not been incorporated in the final maps. The maps are covered by a Creative Commons International license. For those unfamiliar with Creative Commons, it works the opposite of copyright. Under a CC license, you can do anything with the maps except for what is explicitly limited. In this case, derivative works can be created - other maps, atlases, teaching materials - but must follow three conditions:
Derivative works must refer to this site (or the email address firstname.lastname@example.org). This is so that people can make contact if they want to translate the maps into another language or help in some other way.
The maps can only by used in non-commercial projects. Printing and (real) handling costs can be collected, but no profit can be made. Furthermore, these maps cannot be incorporated IN ANY FORM into a for-profit work. Please note that this is an enforceable license and using this material in a for-profit endeavor could result in the whole project being required to be released under this same license due to the following point:
Whatever changes are made must be freely shared with this same license. These maps have taken a substantial amount of work to produce and are being released to be used freely and with few limitations. It is a courtesy that any further work done on these maps will not only respect this work, but add to it.