From cartography to cultural geography, from the United States to Zimbabwe, the Internet provides a wealth of geographical information. Use these sites
to begin your exploration!
Quick Links: Maps | Historical Maps | Lessons and Information | Wisconsin
MapsNational Atlas of the United States has digital views of natural and sociocultural U.S. landscapes to illustrate complex relationships between environments, places, and people. Multimedia maps show active volcanoes and more. Users also can create their own maps by adding layers of information to maps, and may save or print the maps they create. The site also provides printable outline maps suitable for classroom use (rivers and lakes, states, states and capitals, etc.).
Maps from National Geographic include physical, political, and historic maps, as well as flags and facts about countries. Tools let users zoom in and move around within maps, and print them out.
EnviroMapper, from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, allows users to create maps that display environmental information, including watershed water quality, toxic and air releases, and hazardous waste. The site also links to detailed environmental quality reports.
Xpeditions, from the National Geographic Society and the Marco Polo Project, provides an atlas with hundreds of printable one-page maps, Xpedition Hall with interactive geography activities, the National Geography Standards with teaching ideas, and a teachers' discussion forum.
The U.S. Gazetteer, from the U.S. Census Bureau, enable students to type in a city and state to generate a map. They then can customize it by zooming in or out and adding features such as cities, street names, and bodies of water.
Worldmapper from the University of Sheffield contains 696 world and regional maps with associated information, in categories such as Transport, Resources, Fuel, Income, Education, Health, Pollution, and more. A PDF color poster file is available for each map.
Library of Congress Map Collections offers digitized maps from the LC collection, organized under themes such as Cities and Towns, Discovery and Exploration, and so on.
The Color Landform Atlas of the United States, from Johns Hopkins University, provides detailed topographical maps of every state.
TerraServer, from Microsoft Encarta, has aerial photographs and topographic maps of much of the United States.
The Earth from Space, developed by the Smithsonian Institution, provides images of biological diversity, water and air, landforms, and human impact from the perspective of an orbiting satellite.
Earth and Moon Viewer presents a map of the Earth showing the day and night regions at the moment, Earth from the sun, the moon from Earth, and many other views.
Outline Maps, from Houghton Mifflin Company, offers frequently used maps that teachers can print for classroom use or students can use in projects.
The Map of Life online database aims to show the distribution of all living plants and animals on the planet. Users can search for any animal species and see its range and locations on the earth. This project is supported by the National Science Foundation and created by Yale and the University of Colorado with many collaborators.
Wild World from the National Geographic Society is an online conservation atlas featuring maps of the earth's diverse ecoregions.
The United Nations World Food Program provides an Interactive Hunger Map. This map of the world pinpoints hunger "hot spots" and graphically shows countries and regions suffering from hunger.
Historical MapsHistorical Maps includes materials from the University of Texas Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection.
Panoramic Maps: 1847-1920, from the Library of Congress, presents maps of U.S. and Canadian cities and towns viewed from above.
Expanding Horizons, from the Library of Congress' 1492 Exhibit, supplies several maps illustrating the European world view in the 15th and 16th centuries.
The David Rumsey Historical Map Collection has over 11,000 maps online, with software that allows visitors to view maps side-by-side, zoom in for inspection of the smallest details, as well as save and print. The collection focuses on rare 18th and 19th century North and South America maps and other cartographic materials. Historic maps of the World, Europe, Asia and Africa are also represented.
The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History features the map-based exhibits Lewis & Clark as Naturalists and Lewis and Clark: Mapping the West.
Lessons and Information
Mapping Our World from Oxfam features interactive activities on mapping and global citizenship. The site was designed for use on interactive whiteboards and can also be used by students individually.
Where in the World, has maps and country informationl to introduce you to many countries, their foreign affairs, and useful information regarding what it's like to live outside the United States.
World Factbook, from the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), provides maps and information about every country in the world. Students can learn about one country or choose a category such as geography, government or economy and compare across countries.
ShuttleRadar Topography Mission presents the story of NASA's Shuttle Radar Topography Mission. Learn how these images erxpand our knowledge of the earth and ability to map it.
Geography Web Games from Sheppard Software challenge students to drag and drop states, countries or continents onto their place on a map.
Geogames lets students attach the Earth's major geologic and political features to a blank, rotatable 3D globe. The program is designed teach geographic concepts like spatial relationships, nesting, and scale. Geogames was developed by Reach the World in partnership with National Geographic and Columbia Teachers college, and features include a timer for competition and printable maps.
Language of the Land: Journeys into Literary America, from the Library of Congress, examines the literary heritage of the U.S. landscape in the Northeast, South, Midwest, and West using maps, photos, and works of authors who have described it.
Cartography Concepts: A Student's Guide to Mapmaking from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History gives a clear, illustrated explanation of the four steps of mapmaking.
Reading a Map from the National Park Service gives students an interactive lesson in reading topographic maps.
Round Earth Flat Maps is an interactive cartography lesson about the challenge of making flat maps of our round planet.
The Living Edens Web site, from PBS, provides information, photographs, and teacher materials to accompany the public television series, covering topics such as environmental issues, weather mapping, and more.
Mathematics of Cartography places mathematics in the real-world context of cartography for grades 7-12. The online lesson includes sections on the definition of a map, map history, and math problems.
Global Warming: Will It Affect You? addresses the ways global warming affects different aspects of life and different regions. Created by elementary school students, the site also includes tips on what students can do to help and a quiz.
Educational Resources, from the USGS, provides information, lesson plans, and links to many other information sources.
Teaching with Historic Places, from the National Park Service, offers lesson plans focused on transportation, immigration, and other geography topics. The Building of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, for example, is designed to help middle-school students learn about the role canals played in western expansion and the evolution of transportation.
GIS for K-12 Education, from the Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), has information for teachers who want to use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software in the classroom.
Geography for Early Childhood, from the U.S. Department of Education, is an online manual to help parents and caregivers teach geography to young children. Helping Your Child Learn Geography is for students in kindergarten through grade 5.
Global Education Resources, from the Peace Corps World Wise Schools program, has lesson plans, teacher guides, and information for global geography. The Peace Corps Kids World Challenge offers elementary students the opportunity to become an virtual Peace Corps volunteer and learn how to deal with real world issues facing communities around the world.
Geogame, from Global Schoolhouse, asks students to research information about their community and create game clues. Other students then use maps, atlases, and reference materials to match location descriptions with city names.
GeoGlobe is a student-created site that includes several geography quiz games.
The ABC of Geography defines 1400 terms for high school students who are studying Geography or related subjects such as Earth Sciences.
National Geographic Giant Traveling Maps use physical movement and games to teach students place name geography, physical geography, and cultural geography as well as map reading skills. These gym-sized floor maps of Asia, Africa, and North America are available for loan, each accompanied by a set of ready-to-use activities as well as atlases, books, music, videos, and game materials.
WisconsinThe Wisconsin Geography Surf Report has many more geography links for you!
Last updated 4/21/2011