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Gap vs. Old Navy: Mapping Brand Names Across the U.S.


  • Educational Technology
  • Mathematics
  • Social Studies


  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12

Brief Description

Gap or Old Navy? Use the MapMuse online tool to map brand names.



  • learn to use MapMuse, an online tool.
  • understand the concepts of competition.
  • compare the number of competitor retail locations across the U.S.
  • identify the retail establishment that is most common in their state.


geography, brand names, retail, stores, restaurants, competition, competitors

Materials Needed

Lesson Plan

This lesson plan makes use of the Map Muse Web site. The activity is best used in your classroom computer center or in your schools technology lab.

MapMuse is a pretty interesting Web site that has many, many classroom uses. For this activity, students will focus on comparing how many retail outlets of a variety of types can be found in their state.

You might begin the lesson by instructing students in the use of the tool. Introduce them to the MapMuse Brand Directory. This alphabetical directory presents an A to Z of brand name retail outlets across the United States. You can find everything here from Baskin Robbins to Neiman Marcus. Since the first page of the MapMuse Brand Directory focuses on retail outlets that begin with the letter A, select Applebees Restaurant as an example.

  • Click the Applebees Restaurant link. Clicking the link will reveal a map of Applebees locations across the U.S.
  • In the "Create Your Map" box, select your state name from the "Choose a region or state" dropdown menu. Click the "Go" button to reveal a map of your state and its Applebees locations. How many Applebees are identified on the map?
  • Point out to students the "Map Legend" beneath the map.
  • Return to the MapMuse Brand Directory and choose another brand. For example, you might chose another brand that begins with the letter A -- Auto Zone, for example. How many Auto Zone stores are located in your state?
  • Ask students to identify if there are more Applebees or Auto Zone locations in their state.
    Another way to compare the number of locations of a variety of retail establishments is to create a map of one brand name (Applebees, for example). Then, instead of returning to the MapMuse Brand List, click the "Add Brands to Your Map" dropdown menu above the Applebees map. Click another brand name, Auto Zone for example, and a new map will appear that shows both Applebees and Auto Zone locations across your state. The new map, and its accompanying Map Legend, enables you to easily compare the number of outlets for each of those retail brands.

    To give students a bit of practice finding information about a single retail brands locations in your state, you might begin with names such as

  • Barnes & Noble Bookstores
  • Best Buy
  • Chevrolet Dealers
  • Costco
  • Starbucks

    Once students are familiar with the tool, present an activity that challenges them to compare the number of outlets for a variety of retail establishments. Following are some combinations that you might assign students to check. These pairs of competitors have been selected because their brands are found in most states. However, you might invite students to "map" brands that are more specific to your state or more familiar to them.

  • Applebees or Olive Garden Restaurants
  • Baskin Robbins or Dairy Queen
  • Best Westerns or Comfort Inns
  • Burger King or McDonalds
  • Family Dollar or Walgreens
  • Gap or Old Navy
  • JC Penney or Sears
  • Office Depot or Staples
  • Target or Walmart
  • The Home Depot or True Value Hardware


    Did students use the tool correctly as they compared competitive brands?

    Lesson Plan Source

    Submitted By

    Gary Hopkins

    National Standards

    MATHEMATICS: Representation
    GRADES Pre-K - 12
    NM-REP.PK-12.1 Create and Use Representations to Organize, Record, and Communicate Mathematical Ideas
    NM-REP.PK-12.3 Use Representations to Model and Interpret Physical, Social, and Mathematical Phenomena

    SOCIAL SCIENCES: Geography
    GRADES K - 12
    NSS-G.K-12.1 The World in Spatial Terms
    NSS-G.K-12.2 Places and Regions
    NSS-G.K-12.6 Uses of Geography

    GRADES K - 12
    NT.K-12.1 Basic Operations and Concepts
    NT.K-12.3 Technology Productivity Tools
    NT.K-12.5 Technology Research Tools

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  • Lesson Planning: Social Studies
  • Social Studies Subject Center
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  • Geography A to Z
  • Where in the World Is Mrs. Waffenschmidt?
  • Mystery State

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