Tip: Press ctrl and F (or Command and F on a Mac) to perform a keyword search of this page. To keyword search all Best of History Web Sites pages use the search engine located on each page.
National Geographic: Maps and Geography
You can search for Maps in their MapMachine Online Atlas but National Geographic.com also provides interactive quizzes, games, expeditions and tours as well. Xpeditions Atlas offers teacher-tested lessons plans sorted by standard and grade level as well as interactive lessons and a virtual museum called Xpeditions Hall. You can also get print-friendly and black-and-white maps in Xpeditions. The online National Geographic Atlas of the World profiles 192 independent nations and in each entry you'll find key geographic, demographic, and economic data as well as a brief overview. Students will benefit from the Homework Help section where they can research pictures, articles, maps, and more for reports, presentations, and more. The GeoBee Challenge is a game that features five new geography-based questions every day. Map Machine provides physical and political characteristics of countries and includes aerial views. You can view nearly any place on Earth by population, climate, and more.
National Geographic: History
The section of the National Geographic Magazine website devoted to history is an extremely high-quality production, with frequently updated articles, videos, photographs, games, and a polished interface. The site focuses mainly on ancient civilizations, describing its material as 'mysteries of the ancient world.' The organization of this site is somewhat lacking, as the individual topics are not organized by time or geography. So, although a visitor can click on a link to 'Valley of the Kings,' there is no way to see all the material related to Egypt collected in one place. However, the articles themselves, often drawn directly from the print version of the magazine, are well-written and augmented with links to relevant information on other parts of the National Geographic website. It is very interesting to casually browse this site, but a little harder to find specific information.
David Rumsey Map Collection
The growing David Rumsey Historical Map Collection has over 20,000 maps online and 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. Collection categories include antique atlas, globe, school geography, maritime chart, state, county, city, pocket, wall, children's, and manuscript maps. The collection is now in Second Life and over 150 new maps have been added to the Rumsey Historical Maps in Google Earth.
Maps - Oddens
Oddens' bookmarks was started in 1995 by Roelof Oddens, the curator of the map Library of the Faculty of GeoSciences at the University of Utrecht and is one of the most extensive online map collection in the world. You can find almost any map you are looking for via this enormous site. Unfortunately that won't continue to be the case as the site is no longer actively maintained. The site is search-able by country, region, and category. Key sections include Maps and Atlases, Map Collections, Government Cartography, and Touristic Sites.
Map History/ History of Cartography
Map History, managed by the former Map Librarian of the British Library, is hosted by the Institute of Historical Research, University of London, and forms part of the WWW-Virtual Library. Spread over about 100+ pages, it provides a well-organized global overview of the history of cartography as well as over 5000 annotated links. The site provides reference information and web articles, and it lists activities, opportunities, and resources for surfers and scholars. There are also leads to the collecting of early maps and there is a section aimed specifically at parents and teachers. The site design is a little outdated, but the content is updated regularly.
Open Directory: Geography
The Open Directory Project on Geography is a gateway to roughly 1,000 geography-related websites in the following major categories: Cartography, Dictionaries, Education, Geographic Information Systems, Geomatics, Human Geography, Navigation, Organizations, Physical Geography, Place Names, Publications, and Urban and Regional Planning. Each website includes a brief annotation.
The Ancient World Mapping Center
The Ancient World Mapping Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill offers a series of online resources related to the Barrington Atlas and other aspects of ancient geography and cartography. Go the Free Maps section for small-scale ancient geography reference maps for classroom and personal use. (A blank version of each map is usually available.) You can also find updates to the Barrington Atlas; free, download-able maps for educational use; and articles about new discoveries.
A Geography teacher from Pennsylvania has put together this award-winning teaching resource. Contents are organized around four major areas: Geographic Information; Geography Games, Puzzles, Quizzes, Trivia; Pennsylvania; and Geography World. Check out the links to Maps and Globes as well as the Geography Quizzes area. The site design may look outdated, but the resources are updated regularly.
SCORE Map Resources
The Schools of California Online Resources for Educators (SCORE) project is a terrific resource for teachers and students. The SCORE History/Social Science evaluates, aligns, and annotates quality websites to the California History-Social Science Content Standards and curriculum. Visitors can find resources by grade level or title or do a keyword search. A keyword search of "maps" leads to 200+ annotated and rated resources.
Shocking Geography is an interactive outline map site created by Daniel J. Pfeifer of Wake Forest University. Students can quiz themselves on physical, current political, and historical map information. Historical maps include Europe 1763, Europe 1815, Europe 1914, and World 1800, though physical and current political maps cover most of the world. Instructors can have results of student self-quizzes emailed to them. Requires the Shockwave plugin.
HyperHistory Online: Maps
Hyper History Online covers 3000 years of history through maps, timelines, lifelines, and graphics. The over 2000 files are grouped into People, History, Events, Maps, Science, Culture, Religion, and Politics. The Map section covers seven periods of World History: Early Civilizations; Greek Colonization; Rome + Han China; Barbarian Invasions; Expansion of Islam; Mongol Empires; A.D. 1500 - 1800. There are also regional maps from Antiquity and World War I and World War II maps.
OSSHE Historic Atlas Resource Library
This resource from the University of Oregon and Universität Münster provides an extensive and often interactive series of maps that include Europe, Middle East, North Africa, and North America. The material is copyrighted, but open to academic users. Some of the U.S. map modules require the Shockwave plugin.
Reports and interactive maps on census data from 1790 to 2000. Interactive maps allow you to choose a time period and demographic feature to look at. You can zoom in on any area or request a corresponding report on the specific information you request. Free maps are mainly of population, race, and religion, but a premium subscription allows access to many more maps. The “News and Announcements” section also offers some interesting special demographic reports. A great resource.
New Jersey Historical Maps
A great selection of New Jersey maps from the 18th century to the present. There is a wide array of maps—many show state and town boundaries or geological features, but additional features include schools, highways, railroads, and even Revolutionary War battles. “The Changing Landscape of New Jersey” also provides a series of maps from each county, with links to local historical societies as well as student research tips.
Geospatial and Statistical Data Center at the University of Virginia
Provided by the University of Virginia, the Geospatial and Statistical Data Center provides an easy to use Historical Census Browser and also has nation-wide data. The Virginia Gazeteer provides impressive spatial/geographic data and maps from Virginia. Web site also has a collection on Virginia Elections and links to other collections, many of which can be accessed by the public.
Atlas of California Online
Atlas of California Online features animated and interactive maps created by a Humboldt State University Map Design Seminar. You can zoom in on their Flash-based Physical, Cultural, and Historical map collection, but you'll need the Flash Player. The atlas contains historical maps of native American groups, maps of explorers, and more.
Historical Atlas of the 20th Century
An interesting and informative collection of information on the twentieth century. Atlas topics include: General Trends in Living Conditions, Government, War, and Religion. Maps are often interactive, allowing you to zoom in on details. There are essays, FAQ's and links.
Periodical Atlas of Europe
The Periodical Atlas of Europe features 21 online maps showing the countries of Europe at the end of each century from year 1 to year 2000. Also includes a few images of historical sites.
Animated Atlas portrays history by animating maps. This site features a ten minute, interactive movie that is a geographic history of the United States, locating major events and the admission of every state. Animated Atlas also sells classroom videos.
The World Bank: An Online Atlas of the Millennium Development Goals
This interesting site tracks the progress of the World Bank’s Millennium Development Goals, which are eradicating poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating disease, ensuring environmental sustainability, and create a world partnership. Each goal has a page that provides specific targets and data, in the form of world maps, on the progress of each country. The “atlas” is visually impressive and easy to navigate.
CIA World Factbook
The CIA World Factbook provides limited commentary but a wealth of statistics and information on Geography, People, Government, Economy, Communication, Transportation, Military, and Transnational Issues of 266 "world entities." It offers maps of major world regions, Flags of the World, a Physical Map of the World, a Political Map of the World, and a Standard Time Zones of the World map. The Factbook is a great starting point for amassing general information about individual countries.
Teaching with GIS in the GeoSciences
Created by Brian Welch, Dept. of Environmental Studies, at St. Olaf College, in Northfield, MN, this section serves as an introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Education. There are also Teaching with Google Earth and Teaching with GPS. This section is part of Starting Point - Teaching Entry Level Geoscience from the Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College.
Crisis in Darfur (Google Earth)
“Crisis in Darfur” is an impressive, interactive Google Earth file from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum as part of their "Mapping Initiatives." Students can view images of burned-out Darfur villages and gain a deeper understanding of the destruction as a result of the civil strife in the area. The Google Earth file could serve as a useful introduction to the crisis in Darfur and lead to in-depth analysis of its effects and ramifications. Other USHMM Google Earth files include Genocide Prevention Mapping and Mapping the Holocaust.
Teaching with Google Earth
Created by Glenn A. Richard of the Mineral Physics Institute at Stony Brook University, this section serves as an introduction to Google Earth in Education. He outlines potential uses for students and teachers, shows how to get started, provides a user guide, and offers examples. This section is part of Starting Point - Teaching Entry Level Geoscience, from the Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College.
Google Earth Learn Google Earth Learn is a very clever self-paced quiz game designed to familiarize the user with the features and tools of Google Earth. With each level, the user is taught a new feature about navigating Google Earth, with a mini-quiz in order to move onto the next level. Instead of a tutorial, this quiz-game format is very approachable to those of all ages, and highlights many interesting tools that Google Earth has to offer (such as exploring the ocean, looking at satellite images from the past, etc.). It is fast, but allows users to play the game at their own pace, thus making it a great tool for anyone looking to learn more about Google Earth.
This introduction to GIS explains Geographic Information Systems, provides real-world examples and "best practices," discusses GIS in Education and Science, and shows uses for libraries and museums. There are case studies in K-12 demonstrating uses of GIS in the classroom.
Students Map Neighborhoods with GIS
This Education World article explains how Geographic Information Systems (GIS), mapping and analysis software employed by the U.S. government, NASA, and other agencies, now is helping students locate and document hazards in their communities and includes tips on how to use GIS in the classroom.
The USGS and Science Education
The U.S. Geological Survey website provides scientific information about natural resources, natural hazards, geospatial data, and its online resources, include lessons, data, maps, and more, to support teaching, learning, education (K-12), and university-level inquiry and research. Lessons are organized by grade level and include information about using both Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in education.
Quia is a quiz and game creation service that has assorted links to geography quizzes and games. Quia also makes it easy for teachers to create their own quizzes.
Historical atlas of Europe: The development of Europe's modern states 1648-2001
This site provides an overview of the political changes in Europe during the last 350 years.
A commercial site that has a good set of links, geography quizzes, and a resources page. See "Hot Links."
The Traveler IQ Challenge
This is a fun online geography game that tests your knowledge of various places in the world. Among the topics are World, Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America, and USA Challenge. You need to reach a predetermined score within a set time frame to advance to the next level of the game. So, move fast! Whether you want to test your own travel knowledge or those of your students, the Traveler IQ Challenge is an engaging option.
This New York Times interactive timeline/map shows how immigrants settled in the U.S. over time.
Mapping America: Every City, Every Block
Another New York Times interactive map that allows users to browse local data from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey --based on samples from 2005 to 2009.
This geography game allows participants to donate water to people who live in extreme poverty. The game presents a city or landmark, and you have a short amount of time (5 to 10 seconds) to locate it on a map.
U.S. Presidents Birth Places
This Google Map charts U.S. Presidents via their birth places.
Users can overlay (mainly historical) photographs on top of Google Maps Street View and add their own story.
Create your own biography timeline and map, add your ancestors, and view them on a historical map.
As part of a project to digitize California artifacts, five Google Maps have been created to showcase digitized historical photographs.
March of Democracy
This Worldhistory.com map flashes democracy's "march across history" in 90 seconds.
This is a timeline and Google Map of world conflicts from 3000 BC to the 1970's.
This website creates a free Bible atlas illustrated with Google maps.
Do you know about US@ Geography?
This website offers four activities for learning about the geography of the United States.
WorldAtlas.com: Blank Maps
WorldAtlas.com offers a large selection of blank maps of various regions of the world as well as map tests. There are outline maps with state or country boundaries for modern Africa, Asia, South America, North America, and Europe as well as the U.S. and its regions. All outline maps and map tests may be used (at no charge) for any educational application whatsoever.
Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection: U.S. County Outline Maps
The Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection at the University of Texas at Austin offers more than 11,000 map images online out of the 250,000 maps in their printed collection. Its U.S. County Outline maps were produced by the U.S. Bureau of the Census.
P&P World Map
P&P World Map is a Japanese website (translated in English) that offers online geographic maps of countries, continents, and the globe free to print. They also allow the user to write text, draw pictures, paint in certain areas, and label locations. Mind you, one could just as easily save a blank map and edit it using built-in software. The ease of creating one's own map online, however, allows for a very flexible and creative learning, while providing a detailed variety of maps to choose from.
Houghton Mifflin Eduplace Online Maps
Eduplace has freely-usable blank outline maps of the world classified by region and map type. There are political and physical outline maps of the world and various regions.
The American People: Blank Maps for U.S. Quizzes
These freely-usable blank outline maps are from the Instructor Resources section of The American People, Sixth Edition companion website.
Free Blank US State Outline Maps in Illustrator & Editable PDF
PDF versions of blank state maps can be opened using the free Adobe Reader software and are designed for use in a wide array of software applications. The maps are also scalable to virtually any size without loss in detail or quality.
About.com Blank and Outline Maps
About.com offers collections of blank and outline maps to print out for educational or personal use at home or in the classroom.
National Geographic: Maps and Geography
National Geographic offers outline maps in the Xpeditions Atlas section and allows you the option of modifying the maps to print with or without borders.