A faculty member came to me and said she wanted an interactive map to help her students learn about art history from a global perspective. She had poked on the web looking for such a resource but found nothing that suited her needs.
My mind started to reel as I briefly envisioned creating an interactive map from scratch, but I quickly came to my senses. Even if we couldn't find a ready-made map, surely we could find a tool for creating maps quickly and easily.
Sure enough: We found ZeeMaps.
It's extremely easy to get started with this site. You don't even need an account (though it might be a good idea to create one). Within seconds, you can have a fully navigable map of the world at your disposal, which you can use in many different ways.
We found it most expedient to drop simple markers on the map. You can add multimedia content to the markers, including text, photos, audio files, even YouTube videos.
Best of all, for our purposes, a web link can be associated with each marker.
This means that our intrepid faculty member would be able to link markers to existing high-quality web content. No need to fuss with tricky copyright issues. It becomes an exercise in content curation. The faculty member is able to focus on learning objectives.
A couple caveats are in order. At the free level, ZeeMaps is supported by ad revenue. So unless you plunk down some cash, your students will probably be seeing some advertisements. Also, I haven't tested this product extensively. There may be limitations of which I'm simply not aware yet.
If you need an interactive map for your teaching, you may wish to give ZeeMaps a try. Just head over to ZeeMaps.com and create a map to see how easy it is. Let us know how it goes.
(A lot of people seem to be importing lists of locations into ZeeMaps from other sources, such as an Excel spreadsheet of addresses or coordinates. For help on how to do that, see this tutorial from KDMC Berkeley.)