As students investigate such national and global issues as climate change, water shortages, deforestation, endangered species, or shifting tectonic plates, online thematic maps can connect the issues to locations. Often these maps provide supporting data. Here are some sources of thematic maps that can be useful in the science classroom.
The Map Guide
Here is a collection of dozens of links to online maps of all types — physical, political, historical, and weather — from all parts of the globe.
In its coverage of conservation themes, National Geographic.com offers related maps showing impacts on oceans, climate, mineral resources, and terrestrial ecoregions.
To enable all of us to read geologic maps, the U.S. Geologic Survey published this easy-to-understand online guide.
Astronomy for Kids
The sky as seen from Indianapolis, Indiana, is mapped weekly at this site. Find a tool in the resources section to create your own map by your latitude and longitude or a nearby city name.
AAAS Atlas of Population and Environment
Along with extensive text on the impact of human populations on ecosystems and natural resources, the online atlas contains maps illustrating land use, population density, biodiversity, and more. With free registration you can create a personal copy of the atlas.
How Do Seasonal Temperature Patterns Vary Among Different Regions of the World?
Hands-on experience with recording temperature data on contour and dot maps is available to classrooms using the GLOBE Program.
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