I saw a news article this morning about a rare map that will be going on permanent display at the Library of Congress. This map, the 1507 Waldseemuller map, is unique because it is detailed beyond what was thought to have been known at the time it was made, and it is the first map that ever had the name “America” on our continent.
Reading about this map reminded me of a couple of websites that are valuable to use in your classroom when you are “traveling” with students. The first, which many of us are already familiar with, is GoogleEarth. Within GoogleEarth, you can see many of David Rumsey’s vast collection of vintage maps superimposed over the satellite images. Visit David Rumsey’s website to see even more maps.
Another great site is Zoom into Maps. This free site gives students many different activities, along with different kinds of maps, sorted by categories such as Military, Pictorial, and my favorite, Unusual. There is even a nice graphic organizer available for use with a map lesson.
These sites are great tools, not just for the social studies classroom, but also for science classrooms, art classrooms (just look at the artwork on some of those vintage maps!), and English classrooms, as well. Comment here if you use one of these, or have another site that would be useful!