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Mapping with blogosphere

Aug 04, 20032 mins
Enterprise Applications

* Blogsphere outlines major continents and land masses

It is amazing how often there’s a business need to show where things are on the earth’s surface. A delightful tool I just found allows you to place markers on a representation of a terrestrial globe for display on a Web page.

The tool, which is open source and freeware, is called blogosphere and is available from Headmap ( Headmap describes itself as “an informal guerilla (distributed) think tank,” and who would be willing to argue with that?

Anyway, when loaded into a browser blogosphere presents, by default, a blue globe showing the outlines of all of the major continents and land masses in white with red “pins” marking each defined location. Note that all the colors can be changed in the applet’s inline parameters.

Hover the mouse over or single click on a pin and the associated description is displayed. Double click on a pin and a browser window will be launched with that pin’s associated URL.

Click on the globe allows you to rotate it in two planes: Up/down and left/right. The applet also provides a slider that allows you to zoom in and out.

Blogosphere reads the parameters for the pins from an XML data file. The parameters are simple consisting of a single tag including arguments for latitude, longitude, associated URL, and description. Thus:


Mark Gibbs is an author, journalist, and man of mystery. His writing for Network World is widely considered to be vastly underpaid. For more than 30 years, Gibbs has consulted, lectured, and authored numerous articles and books about networking, information technology, and the social and political issues surrounding them. His complete bio can be found at

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