Reading Globally

[January books and one from February; Source: 2014 Books Read Map via Zee Maps]
Towards the end of last year I started wishing that I had kept some sort of geographical log of where each book I had read was set, curious to see how globally I had read. The blog Whispers of a Barefoot Medical Student did a post at the end of the year about creating one in Google Maps (I think) and I was seriously jealous of her record- I knew I had to start in January so that I wouldn't have to do it all come December 2014. 

Last night I started looking for an app that would let you create a simple map of pins or tags of places you've traveled- I'd just sub in the setting of the book. Unfortunately, the "simple" part is easier said that done- most apps get into geotagging, check ins, photo labeling, network sharing, and seventeen million other options that were not working for me. 

I then started searching via my laptop for sites online and ran into Zee Maps, which didn't require I start an account, allowed me to simply pin locations with titles, and has options for notes, colors, etc... Each month I'll use a different color pin, just to see what the final spread is like. You can also pay to print the image (although after looking at the free print preview I'm not sure if I like the way it's set up).

I don't like that it requires you to have a specific address, at least for the detailed entry, so usually I scroll through the list of suggestions they give you based on the city and just pick somewhere that seems like a central location. It really doesn't matter, since I'm just using the map as an overall visual. The zoom in/out controls are a little wonky as well. I'm also not really sure about the company- they may disappear, along with my map, at any given time. They may also use the data, although I'm not terribly worried since this isn't really about my actual travels.

I have toyed with the idea of doing an actual physical map instead, numbering each book and just keep a log of what's where. But then it would just be one more piece of paper to hold onto, and the only thing I could really think of doing with it at the end would be posting it in my classroom for my students to look at or use. And I'm sure they would spend hours of their own time pouring over it (or not). I still may go this route, time permitting.

If you're interested in starting your own visit Zee Maps, and if you're dying to look at mine in detail, just follow this link


  1. This is such a lovely idea! I would love to travel the world with my reading. I will have to do this next year. :)

  2. That's quite the map you've got going there! I think something like that would be really cool in a classroom, but I think you are right that the students might not give a hoot.

    I'd be curious to see what my map looks like. I read a book about North Korea this year, and one that took place in Australia, but I'd venture to guess that most of mine take place in the good ol' USA. I should probably work on that.

  3. I've thought about doing something like this, but never got around to it...will have to look into Google Maps and Zee Maps.