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Great Sites Center

Each week, Education World's Great Sites for Teaching About ... page highlights Web sites to help educators work timely themes into their lessons. This week's sites are among the best on the Web for teaching about maps.

United States Climate Page
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) presents this clickable map that allows you to locate a specific state and learn more about its weather and climate.

Look-Up Latitude and Longitude-- USA
This site lists the latitude and longitude for major cities and towns throughout the United States alphabetically by state. Its quick and easy plain-text approach narrows down your location on the global map grid.

Lost at Sea: The Search for Longitude
Demonstrate for students how latitude and longitude are used in real life! This PBS presentation offers a real-life dilemma-- being lost at sea-- and presents ways to use the time of day to determine location. The site's GPS (Global Positioning Satellites) section describes that technology's use, and the Secrets of Ancient Navigators section is extremely fascinating. Still, your kids will probably love the Shockwave-based simulation Find Your Longitude most of all. They set sail from Greenwich, England, and use time to determine where they are located in their journey.

Map Machine
National Geographic offers this wonderful collection of mapping resources. The Dynamic Maps link allows users to type in a place to see a detailed map of the area. The maps are interactive, so your students can manipulate the maps to learn more about their function and use. The Atlas Maps section includes updates to allow your classroom to be up-to-date on all recent world political changes, and the Flags and Facts section is an excellent connection to social studies.

Mathematics of Cartography
This tutorial on mapmaking cuts across disciplines and allows your students to consider the science of cartography firsthand. The site provides the history of map making, the mathematics applied in creating accurate maps, and problem solving challenges to help your students extend their learning in practical ways. The site also provides links to many other related Web sites as well.

Online Map Creation
Here's a mapping site that allows students to use the input form to create all kinds of maps right online! The best feature about this site is that users can create maps using different projections, including Mercator, equidistant cylindrical, polar stereographic, and orthographic. The site goes into great descriptions and examples of each!


Walter McKenzie
Education World®
Copyright © 2007 Education World



Originally published 11/20/2000
Last updated 10/29/2014