Monday, September 30, 2013

Google Earth Exercise for Biblical Geography

In the previous post, I provided an exercise for learning how to use Google Maps in the service of biblical geography. I've now prepared another exercise for learning how to use Google Earth. Google Maps has incorporated some features of Google Earth and vice versa, but there are features in Earth that remain unique and particularly helpful for biblical studies. 

If you are not familiar with Google Earth, this exercise provides a step-by-step introduction to it. If you are acquainted with it, the exercise highlights features related to biblical geography. In particular, I have pasted in section 7 of the exercise below which provides links to some of the most helpful addins (KMZ files) for biblical geography.

This exercise was composed simply based on my experiences with the program. I certainly may have overlooked something significant, so please share what you know in the comments.

HERE is the PDF exercise you can download.

Section 7 of the exercise: 


Now that you have a general idea of how Google Earth works, how can we maximize its use for doing biblical geography? Here are files and links you will want to use that can be saved in the My Places panel on the left. 
(Note: Google Earth uses KMZ and KML to store location data. Clicking on the KMZ or KML links below. You cana open them in Google Earth, and they will appear in your Temporary Places at the bottom of the My Places panel. If you decide you want to save that collection, right click on it and “Save to My Places.” When you exit Google Earth, it will ask if you want to save the files that are in the Temporary Places.)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Google Maps Exercise for Biblical Geography

I'm teaching a survey course on the lands of the Bible. Google Maps is an outstanding (and free) resource for experiencing the lands virtually. To help those who are not fully familiar with the features in Google Maps, I composed a brief exercise to help students see what is possible, especially as it pertains to biblical geography. In the exercise, step by step directions are provided to:
  • learn basic navigation skills in Google Maps
  • use Map, Satellite, Earth, Terrain, and Street Views
  • see Panaramio photos
HERE is the PDF file to use. If you have other good suggestions, let me know.

I have now posted another exercise for Google Earth.

Monday, September 23, 2013

SBL releases new SBL BibLit font!

I just received this excellent news from SBL. What this Unicode font does is combine the previously released SBL Hebrew and SBL Greek Unicode fonts and add transliteration characters. Click on the links to obtain the font.
The Society of Biblical Literature is pleased to announce the newest font in the SBL fonts series,  SBL BibLit.  This font contains Latin, Greek, and Hebrew characters, including the characters suitable for the transliteration of Ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean languages. When combined with appropriate software keyboards, SBL BibLit allows for the use of one font for all biblical languages. This release is of a regular weight only; italic and bold weights will not be released at this time.
In addition to the release of the SBL BibLit font, SBL is also making available software keyboards for both Windows and Macintosh OS X operating systems that give easier access to the diacritics necessary for the transliteration of Ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean languages. These keyboards, along with the font file and the previously-released SBL fonts, can be downloaded from the SBL website.
Instructions for their installation and use are also available in the updated Biblical Fonts FAQ,
including platform-specific instructions for Windows 7, Windows 8, and Macintosh OS X.
Joining SBL Hebrew and SBL Greek, SBL BibLit is the third font of the SBL font series. All of these fonts were commissioned by the Society of Biblical Literature to assist in the society's mission to foster biblical scholarship. John Hudson of
Tiro Typeworks designed each font, ensuring that each one represented the cutting edge of font technology, maintained full Unicode compatibility, and that each would be as beneficial as possible to scholars in biblical studies and related disciplines. SBL is pleased to present this font as the final installment and the culmination of the initial font series.