There are several interesting software programs you can download free to your computer.


Alternative World Map Creator 1.0.1

http://www.softpedia.com/get/Multimedia/Graphic/Graphic-Others/Alternative-World-Map-Creator.shtml
"You can create alternative world maps by choosing another place to be on the top of the map. Instead of the North pole, you can choose any place, like your home. Longitude lines are drawn from this place to the opposite side of the planet and a map can be drawn.

You will see that the results are very different from what we think is a normal world map, although they are in fact good world maps. They are not more distorted than "normal" maps, but the distortion has been moved from the poles to two other places.

The Alternative World Map Creator application was deesigned to help you create alternative maps. You can simply pick a spot somewhere on the Earth to be on the top or bottom of the map, for example your own house! You can save alternative maps as images, so you can print them or use them as desktop backgrounds. Also, a screensaver that generates random maps is included. "
alternitive_world_map.JPG
screen shot from Alternative World Map Creator






G.Projector — Global Map Projector

Go to the NASA Website to download the G.Projector — Global Map Projector For Mac, Windows, Linux
"G.Projector is a cross-platform application which can transform an equirectangular map image into one of over 90 global and regional map projections. Longitude-latitude gridlines and continental outlines may be drawn on the map, and the resulting image may be saved to disk in GIF, JPEG, PDF, PNG, PS or TIFF form.
G.Projector requires that your computer have a **Java 6** runtime environment, or better, installed" The current version of G.Projector is 1.4.5, released 2011-03-18.
external image gprojector265.jpg




Wolfram Demonstration Projects- World Map Projections

Download the Worlfram CDF Player so that you can interact with the maps.
http://demonstrations.wolfram.com/WorldMapProjections/
"See how the world, as well as individual countries, are rendered with different map projections. Each projection corresponds to a certain choice of how to "unwrap" the approximately spherical Earth onto a plane. The "center" of the projection determines what point on the Earth will be drawn in the center of the image."

external image popup_4.jpg



Google Earth

"Explore the world in 3D from anywhere."
external image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSeScOs4DHViPvS2fs-sS8s_mibshrcertpEef2-JXj-OdwfP0J

A free download software http://www.google.com/earth/index.htmlfor all computers
Tutorials and Tips http://sitescontent.google.com/google-earth-for-educators/tutorials-and-tips



Scratch

"Scratch is a programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art -- and share your creations on the web."
external image scratch-mit.jpg
A free download software from http://scratch.mit.edu/ for all computers.
Getting started http://info.scratch.mit.edu/Support
Read about Scratch on Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scratch_%28programming_language%29