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MAPS.COM - Your Homeschool Geography Resource
120 Cremona Drive, Suite H, Goleta, CA.  93117 • 805-685-3100 • www.maps.com

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By Linda Foster

Maps.com is your one-stop-shopping place for anything map and geography related.

Founded in 1991 as Magellan Geographix, Maps.com is currently the leading e-commerce provider of mapping products and solutions to business, education and consumer markets.

Of primary interest to educators is the Map & Travel Store offering thousands of reasonably-priced quality products that will educate students and visually enhance both classroom and homeschool settings. Maps.come even has a specific Classroom Products section.

Wall maps, desk maps, classroom atlases, globes and map games are all available at Maps.com. Wall maps include world, US, continent and country maps. Maps contain vibrant colors and an abundance of carefully researched information such as country and state borders and capitals, primary and secondary cities, major bodies of water and longitude and latitudes. Maps are available laminated on both sides, and markable, using dry erase pens and can be easily cleaned. Maps are available in a variety of sizes and are offered as flat maps or on Pull-Down Rollers or with rails to complete your classroom. 

Desk Maps

Desk Maps are age appropriate to either K-2 or 3-5 grade levels. The K-2 version is designed to help younger students jump-start the study of geography. The 3-5 grade version is an educational map, geared to assist students in mastering their geography skills. These colorful maps are placemat size and are double sided with the USA on one side and the World on the other and are complete with topographic relief.  They are laminated for durability and can be written on and easily wiped clean. They won’t bend or wrinkle and they are thoroughly water-proof for long life.

Understanding Geography

One of the most popular products for classroom and homeschool use is the “Understanding Geography” atlas series for grades 3, 4 and 5.  “Understanding Geography” books are introductory workbooks containing grade-specific lower-level elementary maps, illustrations and activities. In level 3, children compare maps, globes and satellite images as well as understand direction, scales, landforms and natural resources.  Level 4 reviews the information from level 3 and expands on it to include maps containing physical, political and historical information. In level 5, students apply their geographical skills to focus on the geographical study of the United States. Key areas covered in level 5 are population and immigration, transportation and resources and trade over time.  The “Understanding Geography” series is designed to be used as a stand-alone curriculum or to support existing social studies curricula.

Antique Wall Maps

Perfect for any home, office or classroom are the reproduction Antique Wall Maps of the world (during various time periods), the United States and numerous cities from Los Angeles to New York. Each map is available in either a paper version printed on high quality semi-gloss paper suitable for framing or as a laminated version that is markable and easy to clean.  These maps are beautiful reproductions of antique classic maps. 

Map Games

Along with Maps.com's focus on its retail products, it also offers an assortment of "Free Stuff" content to enhance your classroom. This includes interactive Map Games and an Online Reference Map Atlas. Through jigsaw, crossword and quiz maps, students are challenged on their knowledge of geography and, at times, history.  One particularly entertaining, yet challenging, map game is the Alienz! Map Game.  Students are provided with a destination for the aliens and must pinpoint the location on the map and then "beam" the alien ship to the correct location.  Students are immediately told whether or not they sent the aliens to the right location and scores are calculated on correct answers.  With a wide variety of questions, students are able to play this game countless many without repeating questions.  Check out all the Map Games here.

Reference Map Atlas

The free online Reference Map Atlas is appealing to all ages. A variety of maps are offered in three sections: continent and country, world and United States. Each section is divided and sub-divided until a particular field of study is located. In addition to basic mapping information, students are presented with a wide range of information on such areas as history, population and education statistics regarding any chosen location. Not only are students able to improve their geographical knowledge, they are able to tap into this fantastic Reference Atlas to obtain historical, political and population information. Instead of taking a trip to a physical library, students are now presented with an opportunity to do research directly through the Maps.com online library.

The products described above are only a small example of the truly exciting and extremely educational products offered by Maps.com. For more information, please visit www.maps.com or one of the direct links listed above. You won't be disappointed.  L.F.


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