A map is a drawing of the earth's surface on a flat piece of paper. Maps can how boundaries, physical features, distribution, comparative data, etc.

Sample some of the following activities and find maps of the earth, the continents, the countries of the world, the United States, Utah, and your own community.


Places To Go    People To See    Things To Do    Teacher Resources    Bibliography

Places To Go

The following are places to go (some real and some virtual) to find out about maps. Geography - Maps
Locate maps of cities, states, countries, and the world. You can find all types of maps, from physical to topographic to outline to road and street maps online.
Google Maps
Use Google Maps to find maps, traffic, photographs, directions, satellite photos, and terrain images.
Lewis and Clark Archives - Maps
See several maps at the Lewis and Clark Archives related to the journey of the Corps of Discovery created by William Clark.
Library of Congress - Geography and Map Reading Room
This site has the largest map library in the world. They have embarked on a program to scan many of the important maps in North American history.
National Geographic Education
You‚ve got the whole world in your hands and nearly 600 maps at your fingertips. There is no better place to find maps.

Back to Top


People To See

Abraham Ortelius
An atlas is a big book of maps. Make the acquaintance of Dutch cartographer Abraham Ortelius and Flemish cartographer Gerardus Mercator. They developed some of the earliest atlases in the 1500s.
Claudius Ptolemy
Ptolemy was the most influential of Greek astronomers and geographers of his time. He propounded the geocentric theory that prevailed for 1400 years.
Famous Mapmakers
Read short descriptions of many cartographers.
Lewis and Clark
Get to know Lewis and Clark. On their famous expedition, they mapped the west.
Major John Wesley Powell
Get to know John Wesley Powell. His expeditions were instrumental in helping to map the western United States.
Rand McNally
Check out Mr. Rand and Mr. McNally. This well-known map company has an educational section with lesson plans for teachers.
From ancient times, people have been making star maps to track the movement of celestial bodies across the night sky. Star maps are also important to show the outline of constellations. Astronomers claim that there are 88 constellations which have been given official Latin names.

Back to Top


Things To Do

The Census Tract Street Locator
Type in a street number, street name, and zip code. You'll receive census-type information--not for that particular household--but for the general neighborhood area.
GeoNet Game
Play GeoNet and save the planet! To start the game, click on the Northeast, the South, or the United States.
How Compasses Work
Find out how a compass works and who first used a compass. Then learn how to use a compass yourself.
Latitude: The Art and Science of Fifteenth-Century Navigation
Discover the many ways to navigate the globe.
Latitude and Longitude
Horizontal = latidude. Vertical = longitude. One degree of latitude is about 69 miles. Latitudinal lines are also called parallels because they run parallel to the equator. Lines that run north and south are lines of longitude that are also called meridians.
You can visit anyone you want by using MapQuest. This site will generate maps for you and provide step-by-step driving instructions for wherever you want to go.
Map Projections
A map projection is a way to show a drawing of the earth on a flat surface. All flat maps have distortion, so we use different map projections to meet different needs.
Peter's Projection Map
"It's important that we use a map whose purpose is to give us a geographically accurate image of the world. The Peters Projection map is that map."
The World Clock – Time Zones
Find out what time it is in Darwin, Australia; in McMurdo Station, Antarctica; and in Kigali, Rwanda.

Back to Top


Teacher Resources

Back to Top



  • Bramwell, Martyn. How Maps Are Made. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications, 1998.
  • Bramwell, Martyn. Mapping Our World. Minneapolis: Lerner Publications Company, 1998.
  • Chrisp, Peter. Mapping the Unknown. Austin, Tex.: Raintree Steck-Vaughn, c1997.
  • Ganeri, Anita. Maps and Map Making. New York: F. Watts, 1995.
  •  Pratt, Paula. Maps: Plotting Places on the Globe. San Diego, CA: Lucent Books, c1995.