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<-- Return To GIS News for the school year 2007-08 - Mission: To help children gain a greater understanding of the world through maps, geographic information and games, including more maps of the States and Top 10 lists. Includes links to great maps using GoogleMaps! One of these is the Seven Wonders page - and the interactive map of Washington, DC.

Data is available on every State in the US, as well as for every Country in the world ! is a great resource for fast facts about places in our world. The Top 10 page shows you the highest, longest, most populous.

There are Puzzles and links to geography quizzes. Struggling with the metric system? The Converter page will help you find the answer!

Want to go on a geographic treasure hunt? Got GPS? Check out the Geocaching page to see what it's all about!

National Geographic Games for Kids include:

  • Crittercam: African Adventure National Geographic's Wild Chronicles team needs your help to record video footage from the Crittercam collars worn by the lions in northern Kenya.
  • Brainteaser: Grand Canyon Take our Brainteaser quiz and find out how much you know about this popular park.
  • GeoSpy Test your geosmarts and become a GeoSpy agent by identifying states, provinces, countries, and continents.
  • GeoBee Take the GeoBee Challenge, a geography trivia quiz!
  • Go West with Lewis and Clark Go West across America with Lewis and Clark, the pioneers of an unknown continent.
  • Brainteaser: Tornado Test your twister smarts.


MapZone is a totally free, bright and lively web site produced by Ordnance Survey that aims to teach children, between 7 and 16 years, mapping skills in a fun way. This free resource offers interactive play with stimulating questions and answers together with animations and games to make the structured learning process a joy to come back to. Best viewed at a screen setting of 800 by 600 pixels and by downloading two small free software packages, Macromedia Flash Player and Macromedia Shockwave Player from the Macromedia

Homework help is a fully interactive site promoting a fun learning approach to map-reading skills covered by Key Stage 3 of the National Curriculum Geography programme in England and Wales (years 7�9) and the Framework for Environmental Studies People and Place strand in Scotland (years P7�S2).

What's in Homework Help? The site is divided into several zones, each accessible from the home page � a virtual teenage bedroom.

MapAbility is a series of interactive activities and printable resources equipping children with basic mapping skills, covering map symbols, compasses and direction; grid references, relief and contour lines; measuring distance, compass bearings and understanding scale.

MapSchool focuses on the use of maps in both human and physical aspects of geography. Children are encouraged to find and interpret map evidence, using case studies of actual map sections from urban and mountainous areas. This section may in the future be expanded to cover more curriculum subjects such as using maps in history and mathematics.

MapTivity is a series of exercises designed to put children's newly acquired map skills to the test, covering map symbols, grid references, compasses and directions as well as understanding scale. Questions answered correctly during the exercises reward children with the chance to play fun, map-related games.

TeacherZone contains useful information for teachers on Homework Help and how it may be applied in the classroom.

ParentZone explains the role that maps play in children's learning between the ages of 11 and 14 and how Homework Help can contribute. It also includes a guide for parents planning walks with their children, including links to the country code, safety issues, the Met Office and a useful link to the Ordnance Survey product web site.

Resources boasts an interactive mapping tool, known as MapBuilder, that allows the design and construction of maps for use as an integral part of lesson plans or just for educational fun. There are three free versions covering Great Britain, Europe and the World. Also included is a downloadable version of the Map reading made easy leaflet, produced by Ordnance Survey to help children with their map-reading skills. The full range of printable resources from our MapAbility section is also available here.

Geograph: This website is an on-line photo library. All the images on the site can be used freely within the classroom and for personal use. You can also upload you own photos for any grid square in the British Isles. If yours is the first picture for a particular grid square you will have �bagged� this square and you picture will be the first that visitors see. Currently there are over 100,000 images available to view and download form the site. In the near future Ordnance Survey will be adding 1:50,000 mapping and developing teaching resources to use in conjunction with the site

GIS Zone: If you want to know what GIS (geographical information systems) is all about, then the GIS Zone is for you. Currently under construction and due for release later in January 2005, this exciting new addition to the MapZone site will guide you through the various aspects of GIS in a fun, visually attractive, interactive and easy-to-follow way, providing maximum opportunities to stimulate learning. GIS and digital data is supported in several curriculum subjects such as geography, maths, citizenship, history, science and design technology.

  • It is aimed at Key Stage 3 to 4 students with elements appropriate to Key Stage 2. Just as Homework Help is an online learning tool for map reading and paper mapping, so GIS Zone takes you through the various aspects of digital information and how this can be combined and displayed in a more meaningful and visual way.
  • The site starts with a definition of GIS, using visuals and animations to help. It covers the reasons why so much in life depends on the use of GIS; the benefits of using it and some of the key components that make up GIS such as hardware, software, databases, digital mapping and imagery.
  • This is followed up with case studies, including activity sheets for teaching. Also included are valuable interactive exercises or missions in the form of educational games. These give students the chance to put into practice what has been learned in the previous sections. There is not always a single solution to these games, so this promotes discussion when the various results are compared.
  • Finally there are parent and teacher areas, supporting resources and an information section.

Games: This is home to MapZone's brilliant free games selection. Many of the games are educational but all are great fun to play. The educational games can also be found through the Tools section located on the bottom navigation. New games are regularly added so make sure you don't miss out on the fun.

Competitions: We host a new regular competition every two months for a bit of fun and to encourage children onto the site. The prizes consist of branded Ordnance Survey gifts plus an OS Landranger Map and an Explorer� map of the child's home area. Entering could not be simpler: just complete the easy quiz and submit the entry form.

Tools: The Tools section enables easy access to all free downloads, printable off-line resources, learning games and useful links. You will find the MapBuilder downloadable files in this section.


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Michael R. Meuser
Data Research & GIS Specialist is an independent firm specializing in GIS project development and data research. We created the first U.S. based interactive toxic chemical facility maps on the internet in 1996 and we have been online ever since. Learn more about us and our services.

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