Our lives are filled with destinations,
whether it is a jaunt to a fast food restaurant or a trip to a favorite
vacation spot. In each case, we need to know the directions. Sometimes
we simply know how to go from point A to point B, other times we have
to study maps. Think about how you give directions for navigating to
your house. Do you say turn east, west, north, or south on such and
such a street; or do you say left or right? Do you provide landmarks
like turn east just after McDonalds or if you pass the fire station
you have gone too far? If the landmarks were not there, would people
be able to find the street or your house? When you have been given
directions, have you ever gotten lost? How many times did you have
to stop before someone could give you more precise instructions? We
know that understanding how to read different kinds of maps, plot routes
between two points, and interpret the data in a concise manner are
important concepts for students to learn. Where on the Web can we find
tools to help us? Let CyberBee show you the way.
Find facts, figures,
and statistical data on geography, people, history, and economy
in the Countries from A to Z section. Maps of the World
serves as a quick reference to full-color physical and political
maps organized by regions. A nice linking feature allows you
to toggle between the physical and political maps
it offers over 1 million free topographic maps for points of interest in the United States. Hikers and campers can search for nearby water, land and man made points of interests to explore. Anyone can also search these points of interest by name or geo-location in addition to viewing images and maps.
Color Landform Atlas of the United States
Landform Atlas of the United States supplies a topographic,
satellite, county outline, and postscript
map for every state.
An 1895 Rand McNally Atlas provides maps for states during that
time period. On the 1895 maps, railroads are shown instead of
roads because rails were the primary mode of transportation.
listed alphabetically on the main page. The ease of use will
appeal to students.
Flags and Maps of the World
From the CIA World Fact Book, this
easy-to-use site is perfect for students.
Choose a flag or map, then the country. A large color flag and map are returned, ready to
print for a report.
How Far Is It?
service uses data from the U.S. Census
and a supplementary list of
cities around the world to find the
latitude and longitude of
two places and then calculates the distance between them (as
the crow flies). It also provides
a map showing the two locations,
using the Xerox PARC Map Server.
broad geographical areas with this sophisticated interface.
Political/satellite maps are returned. You
can print, save, or
e-mail the images.
looking for a map that you can use on your school Web page,
driving directions to the amusement park,
or a place to save maps you find? Several
sites allow you to create, save, e-mail, and link to maps. MapBlast has
a cool feature where you can select icons to represent
places you designate by clicking
on the map. Expedia provides an overview of the region on the same page.
MapQuest appears to have the most up-to-date mapping
system for new roads. Yahoo! utilizes
MapQuest, but has its own easy-to-use interface. While these map services
are great tools for finding places, you need to keep
in mind that the maps are
not totally accurate.
American Memory Map Collections
of maps from 1597 to 1988 are presented in this amazing collection.
Categories include cities and towns, immigration
and settlement, conservation and environment, military battles
and campaigns, discovery and exploration, and transportation
and communication. Specially designed software from Lizard
you spectacular zooming capabilities.
Maps—University of Virginia
U.S. Territorial Maps show the progression of Westward expansion
from 1775 to 1920. For example,
on the 1775 map, the
original 13 Colonies, other British territories, and foreign
claims are shown. From 1790 to 1920, maps are available
in 10-year increments.
Exploring the West from Monticello: A Perspective in Maps from
Columbus to Lewis and Clark is another presentation from a special
exhibition at the Alderman Library, University of Virginia. Discover
and learn about the travels of Lewis and Clark and the need for
accurate mapping of the American West.
Hargrett Library Rare Map Collection
historic maps make up this collection that is not limited
to, but emphasizes the state of Georgia
and the surrounding region.
The collection spans nearly 500 years, from the 16th century
through the early 20th century. New World maps reflect
imagined the land from the perspective of the early explorations
of the Eastern coastline, as well as more mature images from
expeditions further inland. Other sections cover Revolutionary
Georgia, Union & Expansion, American Civil War, Frontier
to New South, Savannah and the Coast, and Transportation.
Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection
of maps are available from the University of Texas at Austin,
which houses the Perry-Castaneda Library
(PCL) collection, a good
source for contemporary and historical material. Since the PCL
maps have no copyright, they can be downloaded and used for school
of Geographic Names
Search for nations, cities, villages, and physical features such
as mountains and rivers. Information about the place includes latitude
and longitude, a notation about the origin, and physical characteristics
of the region, statistical data, and a bibliography of sources.
can be searched using name and state abbreviation or 5-digit
ZIP code. Once you have looked up the place name,
you can view a map and customize it using a wealth
of options related
to 1990 census data.
USGS Geographic Name Server
of geographic features can be queried on the USGS database.
Features range from airports to cities
to steams. Detailed information
such as elevation, population, description, and history notes
about the feature is displayed. Clicking on the Show
reference will result in the generation of a zoomable map pinpointing
the feature’s geographic location. This is a very slick
database with lots of help menus to assist you in your search.
Mathematics of Cartography
is a map? What is the history of mapmaking? What mathematics do
you use with maps? These questions and more are answered. Excellent
map problems test the skills of young mathematicians in I’ve
Gotta Get Out of This Place and The Three Evil Dictators. In
addition, there is a wonderful chronology about the history of
Teaching with Historic Places
trekking in the footsteps of pioneers, visiting historic
places like Clara Barton’s house, or planning a virtual
trip to roadside attractions while learning about geography.
with Historic Places suggests many engaging activities to do
with students. It is one of the best sites on the Web for
integrating geography into the curriculum.
On the Road with Students
Road with your students might involve a map activity in which
students think about the route they take to
school and map it by
drawing the streets, labeling them, and marking any important
landmarks. They might hypothesize the actual distance
by measuring their stride
and counting the number of steps it takes them to go down one
block and multiplying that by the number of blocks
they walk to school.
The entire class could walk and measure a school block. If that
is not possible they could research the approximate length of
an average block. Another activity might involve students
how fast they walk by dividing distance by time to get their
walking rate. (r=d/t)
Students who ride the bus can map out the bus route as well as the
route their parents take when driving them to school. This would
make a good comparison of time in a car verses time on a bus. Is
there a major time discrepancy? Which is faster?
After they have mapped out their route indicating north, south,
east and west with specific directions of how to travel from home
to school, have students compare it with one suggested on MapQuest
or another mapping Web site. Distance and time can also be compared
when walking or riding the bus. Students may write about what variables,
such as topography, cause their times to differ. Descriptive writing
of their journey to school through the seasons may produce thoughtful
By hanging a large map of the neighborhood in the classroom, students
can find their home and pin small flags on the spot. Then, hang a
city map and mark the locations again. This can be extended to state,
country, and world maps. This exercise will help students in conceptualizing
exactly where they are in the world and perhaps in thinking of the
journeys all children take every day.