Welcome to the Map Machine Student Atlas, brought to you by National Geographic. This is an interesting new atlas and I can’t wait to tell you about it. So, let’s dive right in, shall we?!
There are three ways to select a map: Region, Theme or by Keyword. For Region and Theme, choose the location from the drop down menu. For the Keyword option, type in what you are looking for (just like a search engine) by City Name, Country, Continent, Region or even a Zip Code. Pretty easy, right?!
Once you’ve picked a location, you’ll be whisked over to the interactive map for that area. I just chose the world, so I could test drive the site. In the gray area on the right hand side of the page, you’ll find your map tools, as well as, thumbnails of the map you are looking at.
Map Tools – Just beneath the text map tools, you will find four buttons and a text box. The four buttons do different things. The first one is a click and drag tool, meaning you click the button, click the map and then drag it so that it circles the area you want to look at. It then zooms in on that area. The second button lets you click the map to zoom in and the third allows you to click to zoom out. The fourth button lets you click the map and drag it either North, East, South or West. That way, you can look at a different area each time.
The text box is one of my favorite features. Once you have the map zoomed in on the location you want, you can type a notation in to the text box and then click on the map. Once you do that, it appears on the map as a bulletin, meaning you could map your travels, mark places of important events or anything else you can think of!
Above the map, you will find buttons that allow you to print, e-mail, open as a .PDF file and save the map. You’ll also find the map legend and source information links.
Back on the main page, I want to point out the link of Sense of Place map. This will open a map that has what looks like (to me anyway) little yellow post-it notes for bulletins on it. Click a bulletin and it will tell you all sorts of interesting facts about that place, as well as, some pictures.
I think this is an excellent resource for students of all ages. Enjoy!