In honor of November's status as National Geography Month, this week's topic is state maps. Whether you need printable, outline maps, or are searching for online geography games, you'll find abundant treasures in these U.S. geography picks.
Houghton Mifflin's Education Place provides printable outline maps in Adobe PDF of all fifty states individually, by region and of the entire country. They also have specialized U.S. maps, such as those with postal codes, climate data, and physical geography. For dozens of interactive geography games, following the small link to GeoNet from the entry page. To see the list of available games, click on either the U.S. or World map.
Odds are you are looking for all the usual (but useful) printable outline maps of the states, which the U.S. Department of the Interior has in spades. But they also have eight additional printable maps and seven interactive maps. Printable maps include Congressional Districts, Indian Reservations, Precipitation, and Presidential Elections. Interactive maps include Volcanoes, and Vegetation Growth. Don't leave without exploring MapMaker, an online application that let's you build a U.S. map to your specifications, and includes all sorts of unusual options, such as mapping hazardous waste handlers or red-backed salamanders.
To begin, select a state from the State Maps drop-down menu on the left. Each state page features a blank state outline map, an outline map with the state capital, and an outline map with border states. Beyond that, NetState.com has hot links to external maps for each state, so the extra offerings vary state by state. If you are looking for maps of the entire country, choose any state, because the U.S. maps (along with a couple of map games) are listed on all the individual state pages.
Owl & Mouse Educational Software has a wonderful collection of map games, and a really fun print utility. For online play, look for the games titled (duh!) "On-Line Interactive." The rest of the games are free Windows downloads. For something really different, check out Mega Map. It is a map print utility that produces multi-page maps as big as sixty-four pages (or as small as a single page.) Imagine all the uses for these oversized maps: tracing car trips, mapping the Oregon Trail, or following the odyssey of a character in a book. The possibilities are endless.
Learning geography is fun with this terrific collection of twenty-three quizzes from Sheppard Software. The learning level (with spoken prompts) will teach you state names, state capitals and geographic regions. The beginner through expert levels will test your knowledge. Can you place a rotated state image on a blank map without any state outlines? Some of these games are rated "Cartographer" for really difficult!