“Now when I was a little chap I had a passion for maps. I would look for hours at South America, or Africa, or Australia, and lose myself in all the glories of exploration. At that time there were many blank spaces on the earth, and when I saw one that looked particularly inviting on a map (but they all look that) I would put my finger on it and say, ‘When I grow up I will go there.’ – Joseph Conrad
Like Mr. Conrad I have always been fascinated by maps. Maps are one of the most important technologies humans have discovered. They not only store our collected knowledge and link our world together so it can function, but they also shape the very way we view our world. This page chronicles some of my favorite map-related sites/books/etc. Look for future updates. I am very excited to try out some fun map lesson plans, and plan to implement a student GIS project in the very near future.
Maps on the Web!
As always please take a look at the links on the sidebar. Today there are amazing map resources on the web and more are coming online every year. Below I have listed a few that I have found useful or simply interesting.
National Geographic Maps – The classic collection. All great map quests should begin here. I particularly love the ESRI supported GIS tool NatGeo Mapmaker. This is amazingly easy to use and I have had my 7th grade Ancient Civilization classes to use it.
The CIA’s World Fact Book – The CIA knows things, and they have maps to prove it.
Wired.Com’s MapLabs. Simply awesome.
Teaching With Google Earth – I love Google Earth and thanks to this blog will be attempting some fun classroom activities.
Library of Congress’s Panoramic Map Collection. Wow. This is a stunning collection of historic panoramic maps. I wish these were still in style I love them.
I haven’t tried this, but MyHistro.com is a digital storytelling site that lets students tell stories through maps and timelines. I look forward to testing it out sometime soon. NatGeo has a similar platform Geostories which has some beautiful examples of well done geostories. (I assigned the Hominoid story as a review homework for a prehistory unit).
Google Maps Mania Google maps rules the world, and has saved me endless hours of driving in circles. This blog chronicles the latest and the greatest google hits. For more on great google mash-up sites see here.
And of course we can’t forgot the grandaddy of GIS, ESRI. Despite it’s relatively old interface it is still the most important Geographical Information System program around. The site has lots of links to resources and often has interesting tid bits such as this history of U.S. zip codes.
Links to even more great map sites here and here, including some fun game sites.
Ghost Map: The story of London’s Most Terrifying Epidemic–and How it Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World – This is a great story of when statistics met maps and saved lives, a critically important turning point in our global history.
Cartographia Mapping Civilizations Fascinating tour of some of the Library of Congress’s most important maps.
Strange Maps An atlas of cartographic curiosities What it sounds like.
To the Ends of the Earth: 100 Maps that changed the world Well made, researched, and interesting throughout.
Transit Maps of the world I love transit and I love good transit maps.