Solid maps and quick links to additional
information are useful for students in grades four to eight. Most pages
have updated content, as evidenced by a quick check of the current head
of Afghanistan's government, Hamid Karzai.The links are handy and pertinent,
leading to other Infoplease reference tools, including dictionaries, almanacs,
atlases, and encyclopedias.
The MAP LIBRARY
Have a class studying many countries?
Look to this increasingly comprehensive site. Drawing from its 80,000 physical
map collection, the United Nations is creating a corresponding online database,
with many physically vibrant maps including city layouts and political,
and theme maps. Features such as
zoom-in and find enhance details and
National Geographic XPEDITIONS
Looking for an excellent starting
point for a wide range of geographic information? The National Geographic's
Xpeditions is the educational section of the National Geographic site,
noted for its innovative "map machine," with dynamic maps created using
GIS technology. Xpeditions also offers a detailed list of the U.S. National
Geographic Standards, the foundation for geographic literacy, and links
to matching grade-level lesson plans. Many maps required in grades 4?12
assignments are covered in the printer-friendly maps and in the exciting
interactive Xpedition Hall, an interactive learning museum. However, some
maps, like the World Viewer, which shows the distribution of various religions,
are not sufficiently detailed to be informative. Beautiful graphics and
clear text accompany enjoyable enrichment activities. It requires Adobe
Acrobat and optional QuickTime for optimal viewing.
EARTH AND MOON VIEWER
A new understanding of Earth and the
moon is stimulated through the sensory richness here. Digital satellite
imagery presents a particular astronomical view, determined by the user.
GIF and JPEG formats are used for most images; others may require specific
site downloads. John Walker of Switzerland's Fourmilab is the author.
CIA WORLD FACTBOOK 2001
The CIA-based World Factbook site
offers in-depth, timely information. Attractive, clear, printable maps
for individual countries are provided, along with a reference map section
with political and physical maps of the world (divided into regions like
Southeast Asia, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and 17 others).
Country maps include text, scrollable
beneath the map, with information
on geography, people, government, and the economy. Uses PDF or JPEG format,
or change JPEG to PDF. Use Real Player and Windows Media for enhanced viewing.
PERRY-CASTENEDA MAP COLLECTION
The University of Texas at Austin
offers students in middle and upper grades an excellent collection of small-scale
reference maps. Notable examples are the day-by-day war maps in Afghanistan
and wonderful historical maps such as the Plan of the Imperial Forums.
A total of 5000 maps are online. Search by continent; view maps in
PDF or GIF with Flash plug-in for some.
DAVID RUMSEY HISTORICAL MAP COLLECTION
Winner of the 2002 Webby award for
technical achievement, this extensive historical collection of over 7100
maps focuses on rare 18th- and 19th-century North and South America cartographic
materials as well as historic maps of Europe, Asia, and Africa.
The development of U.S. history, culture,
and population is particularly covered. This personal collection has been
made available through special "Luna" software, a high-resolution scanning
and compression technology.In the future, users will be able to share multiple
maps from this and other
collections in a common Internet
location. Three views are available: insight Browser, Java Client, and
GIS Browser; details are given for viewing requirements and downloads.
EARTH FROM SPACE
Need cartographic resources for analyzing
the spatial organization of people, places, and environments on Earth's
surface? Look to this unique site of NASA photos of Earth taken by astronauts
in space, with informative, dated captions. Not every location is covered
(links to more are offered), but there are many views of cities, landscapes,
and Earth-human interactions like deforestation and drilling. Clear instructions
are given for use of three resolutions and format choices. Searches are
available. Use Real Player and Windows Media for enhanced viewing. For
searchable directory images, visualizations, and animations of Earth go
to NASA's visibleearth.nasa.gov/cgi-bin/results.
EARTHSHOTS: SATELLITE IMAGES OF ENVIRONMENTAL
The U.S. Geological Survey presents
a stunning set of before and after Landsat images (satellite photos using
remote-sensing techniques). Recent environmental events and remote sensing
are introduced through topics like disasters, deserts, water, and cities.
See the incredible USGS studies of environmental changes at the World Trade
Center site in a dated sequence.
Some maps may require special downloads;
clear information is provided.
ONLINE MAP CREATION
Do you have students making maps?
They can interactively create maps by inputting borders, boundaries, features,
and projections via Generic Mapping Tool, a software package to create
high-quality postscript maps in various projections. A PostScript version
is drawn first, which the user then downloads to a hard drive, or GIF versions
can be saved in a browser. Zoom-in and pan features are available.
For unique global spatial perspectives,
Microsoft's award-winning TerraServer provides aerial views of specific
points, selected by the user. TerraServer is one of the world's largest
online databases and is designed to work with commonly available computer
systems and web browsers over slow-speed communications links. Users can
zoom in and out to a selected U.S. region; finer details emerge with each
closer view. Topographic maps are provided.