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News, How-tos, and assorted Views on Accordance Bible Software.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006  

Featured Module: PhotoGuide

Go to the Accordance web-site, and in the bottom left corner you'll see an unassuming little button labeled "Featured Module." Periodically, we're going to be using that space to highlight modules and CD-ROMs you may not be aware of. Better still, we'll be offering a sale on those products during the period when they're being featured. So if you watch that space, you'll be able to pick up some great deals on stuff you may not even have been aware that we have.

The reconstructed ruins of ancient Beer-Sheba.

This month, we're featuring my baby: The Bible Lands PhotoGuide. I call the PhotoGuide "my baby" because I wrote it and selected the photos to include, and because it involved a great deal of labor to produce. The first edition of the PhotoGuide was released in November of 2000 and included roughly 640 high-resolution photos of various Biblical locations. A second edition was released in December of 2005. In this new edition, we expanded the number of photos to more than 1200, and increased the resolution of most of the earlier photos. The big problem we had in producing the first PhotoGuide was finding pictures of everything we wanted to illustrate. The overwhelming challenge of the second edition was picking the best photos out of the thousands we had available!

One of the Dead Sea Scrolls, from the "Inscriptions" article.

Our goal with the PhotoGuide has always been to make it more than a mere collection of attractive photographs. We tried to choose photographs which would illustrate the Bible, and most of those photographs have been annotated with painstaking detail, so that you'll know exactly what you're looking at and why it's important. On my personal blog (which I haven't updated since January!), I wrote about the experience of researching and writing the PhotoGuide. If you're interested in a behind-the-scenes look at how the PhotoGuide was created, please feel free to check it out.

Model of the Second (Herodian) Temple, from the article on "Jerusalem."

So what is the PhotoGuide good for? Here are some of my favorite uses:

  • Whenever my wife and I read through the Bible with our kids, I'll use the PhotoGuide to show them the places (or objects in some cases) which are mentioned in the passages we're reading. It really helps make the Bible come alive for them.
  • When teaching a class, I'll hook my iBook to a projector and use the PhotoGuide for illustration.
  • I have my Accordance Atlas set up to go to the PhotoGuide whenever I double-click a place name on the map. (To do this, use command-T from the map window and select the PhotoGuide as the "default tool.") Whenever I want to learn more about a location, I'll just double-click its name to look it up.
  • Of all the resources available in Accordance, The Bible Lands PhotoGuide is, in my opinion, one of the most versatile and useful. It's also one of the most affordable—especially now that it's on sale! ;-) If you haven't taken a look at it yet, I'd encourage you to do so. And if any of you reading this already own the PhotoGuide, how about using the comments section of this blog to voice your own opinion about this month's "Featured Module"? That way, other readers won't just have to take the author's word for it! :-)

    I love the photoguide. I'll sit and just browse through the photos even when I'm not trying to look up anything in particular. It's that interesting! The captions are helpful, and you can easily copy the photos into Keynote to use in a presentation, which is really nice if you're teaching a class.

    I not only use it linked to my Atlas, but also linked to the timeline. It has given me some interesting insights, that is for sure. Then i use the link to my dictionaries, it just keeps getting better.

    Dave, I too love your “baby” - thanks for the hard work on it, it is a great step from v1! Thanks ;-)

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