I USED TO LOSE TIME trying to find one of the 500 Bible maps I created for the Casual English Bible. I had to pearl dive into different Bible books where I thought I might have used it.
Now I can find a map within a few seconds, with the help of a dedicated search engine for Bible maps. Here’s the two-minute video about it: 3D Bible Maps.
I have to thank Stormhill Media for that search feature, and especially Jim Camomile, lead developer who with his team invented and designed this website and the incredibly complex Casual English Bible® site.
They put the brains into the search engine. Then I tagged each map with every place name on it so the maps would show up in a search.
Don’t type “Jerusalem” into this search engine unless you want see a lot of maps.
Now, if we want to know where Samson lived and how far he had to walk to his girlfriend’s house, all we need to do is go to the Map Search engine and type “Samson.” Or “Zorah,” if you know where he lived. Just for fun, I typed “Sam.” That worked, too. But you get the Good Samaritan as a bonus.
I love the new websites for a lot of reasons. But I love the map search engine most.
Don’t tell that to the search engine for the Casual English Bible paraphrase. I love it, too. It’s wonderful being able to find exactly what I’m looking for without wasting anymore time poking around here or there.
That said, the Casual English Bible website is incredibly complicated and expensive for a lone guy in Kansas to manage. It involves a lot of different kinds of work. I love paraphrasing the Bible, creating the maps, and writing the leader’s guides. Even producing videos by myself. And writing blog articles are fun, but it’s getting harder to find the time. So, pardon the pause between them. I’m not stagnating, as one reviewer said of me. ( I told my wife about that. She’s the one who gives me a hard time if I’m still working at 9 o’clock at night, which I usually am.)
SEO smells like sulfur
But search engine optimization (SEO) is not my thing and seems to me to be of the devil.
Write articles and Bible books based on keywords that accommodate and attract Google’s search engine crawler? The devil you say. I have to attract a crawler instead of a human?
Ever try to shake a crawler’s hand and get acquainted?
Humans are hard enough to please. Now we have to please humans and a bucket of code somebody spilled somewhere south of Palo Alto?
I could probably find a Bible prophecy about that if I look hard enough.
Also not me: coding, marketing, and legal stuff. Self-publishing, hiring editors, and seeking donations. I’m not good at any of that, and don’t want to get good at it. Yet I have to do all of it. At some point, hopefully, we’ll be able to get some more horsepower.
These extra jobs slow down the paraphrasing and the mapping. A lot. And I hate that.
We’re still tweaking the site, which also takes time. You could help us if you would report any glitches you find.
Maps “borrowed” for someone else’s YouTube
Related to requests for help, one kind soul a few days ago let me know he thought he saw some of our maps on a YouTube video. A license is required for publishing our maps like that, on videos and blogs and other social media.
I checked and found that the YouTuber had used many of our maps on many videos.
Had I reported each offense individually, I believe he would have lost his channel, at least for a while. YouTube has a 3-strike policy for copyright infringement. I could have stuck him out twice.
Instead, I contacted the Tuber, explained my policy and my understanding of YouTube’s policy, and we worked out a licensing agreement.
I was happy that two people of faith were able to do that.
Sadly, the copyrighted maps are easy to “borrow” and publish illegally.
But I do defend the copyright because licensing fees help pay some of the bills for the website. So, we’ll enforce the licensing fees as we indicate at Maps for Publication. For blogs or, worse, for people selling the products themselves, I generally have to contact the website’s server to stop the infringement.
Enough of that downer stuff.
Try out the search engine, if you like Bible maps
Let’s finish on good news. We now have a search engine dedicated to finding Bible maps that track with every book of the Bible.
We have all the New Testament covered, and many of the most popular books in the Old Testament. We’re still working on the project. I should finish paraphrasing Isaiah in about 3 weeks. Then I can map the book. Then it’s on to the next Old Testament book. Not sure which one. But after 66 chapters of Isaiah, I’m thinking short would be a nice break.