Visualizing Your Thoughts: Introducing UMapper to Bleacher Report

Jameson FlemingSenior Writer IMay 3, 2009

Bleacher Report is constantly evolving and giving users new ways to express their thoughts about sports. In addition to using video, pictures, texts, and slideshows, there is another option for bleacher creatures now available.

The website UMapper is essentially the YouTube of cartography. On UMapper, you can manipulate maps using a variety of different mapping sites like Microsoft, Google, and Yahoo.

UMapper allows users to place points on the map that they choose to visualize an idea. For sports, UMapper provides endless opportunities.

For a project in an internet journalism class at Syracuse University, I put together a multimedia project recapping the year in Syracuse University Athletics. While I used a sports blog for the links within the map, Bleacher Report users can just write a normal article explaining anything they need to about their map and embed their map in the same article. Embedding a UMapper map is the same as embedding a YouTube video.

One of the best ways to utilize UMapper for Bleacher Report is in the college sports communities. Recruiting is tied to geography. Users can place points at the locations where a school gains a commitment from a student athlete.

UMapper also allows users to embed pictures within the text boxes that accompany each point on the map. Users can also draw squares, circles, other polygons, and lines on the map to highlight important areas on the map. For a map on recruiting, a user could draw a circle around concentrated areas of points to show hot beds for recruiting.