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. Mapping the World
By Heart
 Completely revised and updated.
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If: A Mind-Bending New Way of 
Looking at Big Ideas and Numbers
David J. Smith
A Mind-Bending New Way
Of Looking at Big
Ideas and Numbers

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This Child, Every Child: A 
Book for Children About the Rights of Children
This Child Every Child
David J. Smith
A Picture Book About
The Rights of Children
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If the World Were a Village SECOND EDITION
If the World Were a Village

David J. Smith

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If America Were a Village
If America Were a Village
David J. Smith
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Click here to see all the hotlinks from Previous Years:

2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2008 - 2007 - 2006 - 2005 - 2004 - 2003 - 2002 - 2001 - 2000 - 1999 - 1998 - 1997 - 1996

Note: links (over 500) are not maintained and may not work.

Hotlinks For 2004 By Date

Hotlink for 4 to 11 January, 2004
World Cities
The World Cities page at the Perry-Castaneda Online Library at the University of Texas. Need a map of Abidjan? Lome? Medellin? N'Djamena? They are all here, and hundreds of others.

Hotlink for 11 to 18 January, 2004
Map Libraries in Western North America
The Western Association of Map Libraries is an organization of map libraries and map librarians in Alberta, BC, and all the Western US states. This page will give you links to all the collections -- as well as three other notable collections. No matter what map you're looking for, it will probably be in one of these collections.

Hotlink for 18 to 25 January, 2004
European Route Planning
From Michelin, a very comprehensive and highly accurate route-planning website. You can give a specific address, a station or airport, or just "central" for your departure site and destination, and before it draws your route, the program gives you several choices to improve the accuracy of your map. You can also bring up maps by postcode, city, region, or country, as well as all kinds of information. (Note: by default, this page assumes you're in the UK, but that has no effect on driving directions between any two countries.)

Hotlink for 25 January to 1 February, 2004
EPA EnviroMapper
A powerful map-on-the-fly utility for environment-related mapping. Build maps by zip-code or other options; View Federal, State, and Local environmental information; display facility-based and chemical-based information; view the relationship between demographics and the envornment, view Superfund sites or tax-incentive zones.

Hotlink for 1 to 8 February, 2004
NASA Visible Earth Website
A searchable directory of images, visualizations, and animations of the Earth. Just as an example of the depth covered here, under "environmental impacts" you will find the following: Biomass Burning (325 images), Contaminants (2 images), Deforestation (94 images), Desertification (2 images), Eutrophication (7 images), Fossil Fuel Burning (7 images), Industrial Emissions (10 images), Industrialization (1 image), Irrigation (22 images), Mine Drainage (2 images), Oil Spills (3 images), Reclamation, Revegetation, Restoration (2 images), Urbanization (23 images), Water Management (15 images). Under "Population" there is a very interesting collection of "image pairs" -- showing the same location by day and by night.

Hotlink for 8 to 15 February, 2004
Lonely Planet Destinaton Guide
Select a continent, select a country -- and you are transferred to the Lonely Planet guide for that Country. Amazing detail, including everything you need to know about getting there, getting around, etc. Most revealing is the section called "postcards", which include comments from individual travelers about their experiences, both good and bad, what to watch out for, what not to miss, etc. Anyone planning a trip needs to visit this site.

Hotlink for 15 to 22 February, 2004
The U.C. Berkeley GeoImages Project
You can't search by image, and you can't expect to find any particular image here, but there is a tremendous amount of material here, and this could be a very powerful resource for a variety of purposes. The range covered here is from images of Daily Life in Morocco, to images of Denali, to Magic Lantern Slides of 19-Century California. A fascinating collection worth digging into.

Hotlink for 22 to 29 February, 2004
The How-Far-Is-It Server
One of the most useful tools on the web; put in any two locations, by name, or by Latitude and Longitude, and it will return a tremendous amount of information: the latitude and longitude of both places, the distance between them by the shortest route (The Great Circle Route), plus various detail about elevation and population. One interesting application of this page: it returns the initial heading as you leave one place to go to the other, so if you use MECCA, SAUDI ARABIA as your second location, then for whatever location you put in as the first one, the results return your Qibla, the direction from wherever you are to Mecca.

Hotlink for 29 February to 7 March, 2004
Earthshots is an ebook of before-and-after Landsat images (1972-present), showing recent environmental events and introducing remote sensing. Earthshots comes from the U.S. Geological Survey's EROS Data Center, Sioux Falls S.D., the world's largest archive of earth science data and the official National Satellite Land Remote Sensing Data Archive. Select a location, and view satellite imagery from the early 70's and from the 80's or 90's. Fascinating views of demographics, changing water supplies, and more.

Hotlink for 7 to 14 March, 2004
RefDesk is what the WWW ought to be about. If you need a fact, of any kind, you can find a link here to a resource that will answer your question and find your fact. Maps, music, weather, post codes, newspapers, US and Global telephone codes, quotations, movies, sports, tv, etc., etc., etc. They also have a "site of the day" (review the archive), a "thought for the day", and a "word for the day", as well as all kinds of other "daily diversions" and pictures. An absoultely stupendous resource.

Hotlink for 14 to 21 March, 2004
Merriam Webster MoreMaps
A simple, intuitive, and very handy resource for maps of individual countries or of U.S. states. Select a country or state from the appropriate pull-down menu, and a map appears, along with a flag, and a collection of useful facts. Powerful and easy to use.

Hotlink for 21 to 28 March, 2004
U.S. Census Bureau PopClocks
Keep up with the growing World and US populations by checking in occasionally with these Population Clocks. Each time you hit refresh, the clocks will update themselves; right now, the US clock is calibrated at a net gain of one person every 12 seconds, and the world clock shows a net gain of about 2 persons per second.

Hotlink for 28 March to 4 April, 2004
Rulers of the World
An amazingly detailed and useful site. From their own description: "This site contains lists of heads of state and heads of government (and, in certain cases, de facto leaders not occupying either of those formal positions) of all countries and territories, going back to about 1700 in most cases. Also included are the subdivisions of various countries (the links are at the bottom of the respective country entries), as well as a selection of international organizations. Recent foreign ministers of all countries are listed separately." To see how incredibly complete this list is, check out the page Se-So, and read about Somalia; you get information not just about Italian and British Somaliland, and occupation of each by the other, with all their administrators, plus Independent Somalia since 1960 with Presidents and Prime Ministers, but you also get the Somali Counter-Government at Baidoa, and the breakaway Republic of Somaliland, plus other autonomous or would-be autonomous states, such as Puntland, Jubaland, and Southwestern Somalia.

Hotlink for 4 to 11 April, 2004
World Time Server
There are a number of World Time Servers on the web; I happen to like this one very much. If you do not specify a location, you'll get the time in some random place; but select a country, province, or city from the menu bar on the left, and you'll get a map and the local time for that location, plus a link you can use to bring up that location each time you open the World Time Server. Handy, very detailed, and the display is readable and clear.

Hotlink for 11 to 18 April, 2004
The Atlas of Canada
From Natural Resources Canada, a comprehensive site on Canadian geography. On-line maps of forests, health, freshwater, climate change, history, economy, people and society.. Also, facts and quizzes about Canada, learning resources, and maps for sale. Worth a visit.

Hotlink for 18 to 25 April, 2004
O and A's Currency Converter
A multi-lingual currency converter that allows you to convert between any of 164 currencies, either at "today's rate" or at any date in the converter's history. Did you charge something last week at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, and you want to know how many British Pounds will show up on your Mastercard statement -- select amount, currencies, and date, and the information is delivered to you. You can even speed it up by using the standard 3-letter abbreviations, such as USD, CAD, HUF, etc. There's even a ForEx Game you can play, using pretend money, that will help you understand the Foreign Exchange markets.

Hotlink for 25 April to 2 May, 2004
Virtual Tourist
According to their website, Virtual Tourist lists information about 2,271,149 Tourist Spots and Travel Destinations. Possibly. They do have a lot of information, mostly in the form of tips from other travelers. For example, select Africa from their world map, and then Botswana from their Africa Map, and you can read 103 tips on "must-see activities", 55 "general tips", 47 tips on "hotels and accomodations", and so on. It would probably by wise to take every piece of advice with a grain of salt, since each item is composed and posted by a traveler who may, or may not, have the same expectations that you do. Nevertheless, a huge amount of info, and a useful resource.

Hotlink for 2 to 9 May, 2004
Starchart Server
Want a view of Ursa Minor or some other constellation? Starchart is a collection of programs for making maps of the sky from an electronic database of more than 250,000 celestial objects. You can select a single constellation and generate a chart showing its location in the sky, or you can select a section of sky by setting parameters for Right Ascension, declination, and scale -- and your chart is generated with names of objects, degrees of declination, and more. And you can get detailed descriptions of the meanings of all the options, as well. Great fun, and very useful.

Hotlink for 9 to 16 May, 2004
Oddens' Bookmarks
An archive of over 21,000 links to Maps and Mapping sites all around the WWW. You can browse the incredible database, or search by keyword, location, etc. The search is very well indexed -- enter "heart", for example, looking for "Mapping The World By Heart", and you get, but you also get eight other hits with the word "heart", including, An Atlas of the Heart, the Kingdom of Talossa in the Heart of North America, and Malta ("the heart of the Mediterranean"). Enter a country or city name, and get dozens of hits to cartographic sites in, and about, that country or city.

Hotlink for 16 to 23 May, 2004
Project Visa
Formerly The Embassy Page, this website has redefined itself and is widely useful and informative. Do you carry a Finnish passport and you're planning to visit Botswana? Open this page, select 'Africa' and then 'Botswana', and you can read that holders of Finnish passports to not need visas to visit Botswana. On the same page, there is a direct link to the Government of Botswana's official tourism site, plus a link to Embassies, Consulates and Missions -- embassies of Botswana around the world, plus the addresses of all the Embassies and other missions located in Gaborone. There are also links to all kinds of other country information. Worth a bookmark.

Hotlink for 23 to 30 May, 2004
International Educaton Media
An interesting website devoted to educational opportunities all over the world. Select "A-Z Countries" and you can select from nearly 200 countries and dependencies worldwide, and view websites of colleges and universities located in each one. The list ranges from Australia to Zimbabwe, and is very comprehensive, including Greenland (Kalaallit Nunaat), the Faroes, and both the British and U.S. Virgin Islands. Also note that the navbar changes from page to page -- open the top page for the United States, and you have a navbar that lets you view lists of various types. The site is well-organized and intuitive, and seems to work very well.

Hotlink for 30 May to 6 June, 2004
Astronomy Picture of the Day
This site features a high quality image with a description of its significance, written by a professional astronomer in clear, easy to understand terms. Recent images included the Missoula Crater on Mars and comets Bradfield and LINEAR. If you miss one, don't worry, there's an extensive archive going back several years.

Hotlink for 6 to 13 June, 2004
Views of the Solar System
The Hawaiian Astronomical Society has created a SPECTACULAR astronomical Web site called "Views of the Solar System". The site tells you EVERYTHING you could ever want to know about most of the astronomical objects in our solar system, gives information about the history of astronomy and space travel, and offers stunning pictures and movies from around the Solar System.

Hotlink for 13 to 20 June, 2004
The Nine Planets
The Nine Planets is an overview of the history, mythology and current scientific knowledge of each of the planets and moons in our solar system. Each page has text and images, some have sounds and movies, and there are multiple links to related information.

Hotlink for 20 to 27 June, 2004
The Bad Astronomy Site
This website is dedicated to righting wrong ideas about astronomy and scientific misconceptions spread by movies, the media and popular culture. Phil Plait, a real-life astronomer, debunks common myths such as Hoagland's Face on Mars, the Apollo Moon Hoax and everything you've always wanted to know about Standing an Egg on End During the Vernal Equinox.

Hotlink for 27 June to 4 July, 2004
Star and Planet Formation
Part of a program at the Harvard/Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, this program, called COMPLETE, studies the origins of stars and planets. This page presents the 10 known steps in star formation with brilliant photos; also available are animations shnowing simulations of most of these steps -- but beware, they are very large (up to 500 MB). If you have a high-speed connection AND some available time, these animations are definitely worth the wait. Also, explore "COMPLETE Home", and other paths down the web site.

Hotlink for 4 to 11 July, 2004
Lunar Phases Web Tool
A very instructive and well designed little site, maintained by Larry Molnar on the Calvin Collge website in Grand Rapids, Michigan. A series of lessons leads you to the Lunar Phases Tool and a quiz. Some very helpful ideas, comments, and lessons.

Hotlink for 11 to 18 July, 2004
Earth and Moon Viewer
Based at the Fourmilab in Switzerland, this site allows you to view either a map of the Earth showing the day and night regions at this moment, or to view the Earth from the Sun, the Moon, the night side of the Earth, above any location on the planet specified by latitude, longitude and altitude, from a satellite in Earth orbit, or above various cities around the globe. You can also view the moon from a large number of alternative points.

Hotlink for 18 to 25 July, 2004
Canada's Digital Collections
This link will take you to the Subject Index of a vast digital collection of maps, documents, and tools; be sure to check out the geography index, but it's also worth browsing all the other subjects. Marvelous resources on Social Studies, on History, and on Women.

Hotlink for 25 July to 1 August, 2004
Blank Outline Maps
Matt Rosenberg has been the Geography Guide at for years; his site is incredibly comprehensive and very detailed. Be sure to search it thoroughly for whatever you need. This particular page is his page of blank outline maps of continents and countries. Starting from a long list, you can have this page serve outline maps of just about every political entity in the world. Also, be sure to check out Matt's Geography-Bee Preparation Book on Amazon.

Hotlink for 1 to 8 August, 2004
Color Landform Atlas of the US
Click on a state, and you are taken to a new page. At the top of the page, various maps from the Johns Hopkins library; below that, external links about that state, from the EPA to Yahoo to various adventure and commercial sites. A rich resource for state information.

Hotlink for 8 to 15 August, 2004
Leonard's Cam World
From their own introduction: "Welcome To Our Family Oriented Site Featuring Current Webcam Views Around The World. The 8000+ "Child Safe" Webcams Are Located In Cities, Along Highways, In National Parks, On Cruise Ships, At Airports and Colleges Worldwide. Use The Links Below and In Our Individual Directories To Circle The Globe Without Ever Having To Leave Your Computer."

Hotlink for 15 to 22 August, 2004
Oddens's Bookmarks
Roelof Oddens, at the University of Utrecht, has maintained this site for years; it is an index of thousands of links to maps on the web and to map collections, geography portals, university geography deparments, gazetteers, and other sites of geographic interest. There are over 22,000 links on this site. Click "Browse" to review the categories, and then dig deeply, or search for particular information. Incredibly deep and powerful and helpful.

Hotlink for 15 to 29 August, 2004
Exploring Ancient World Cultures
A very interesting site, located at the University of Evansville, Indiana. It was designed as a "course supplement" for students and teachers of the ancient and medieval worlds, but it is eminently useful for anybody curious about any of the ancient worlds presented: the Near East, India, Egypt, China, Greece, Rome, Early Islam, and Medieval Europe. Besides essays and other sources of information, there are a variety of challenging and entertaining quizzes. "Famous Near Eastern Rulers" includes such questions as "Around 2320, this Akkadian ruler conquered the independent city-states of Sumer and instituted a centralized government. He was also the first ruler to employ a standing military. Who was he?" (A) Gilgamesh (B) Hammurabi (C) Sargon (D) Marduk (E) Tiglath-Pileser". Great fun and enormously informative.

Hotlink for 29 August to 5 September, 2004
Links to Aboriginal Resources
This site is the brainchild of an Ontario Lawyer, Bill Henderson. It leads to websites on aboriginal people and issues all over the world. Top-level categories include Canada, Latin America, New Zealand, US, Australia, International, Human Rights, Environment, Aboriginal Arts, Cultural Links, and Aboriginal Law and Legislation. It seems both comprehensive and fairly up-to-date, but be warned that the top page says that it was last updated in June of 1999, the New Zealand page says it was last updated in July of 1998, and other pages show equally old dates. However, most of the links that I tried seem to work, and the site itself is easy and intuitive.

Hotlink for 5 to 12 September, 2004
CIA World Factbook
The authoritative resource on facts about the world and about individual countries and regions, from the US Central Intelligence Agency. Amazing amount of material, including -- new this year -- the 'world' entry for "Land Boundaries" lists the 43 nations of the world that are landlocked, and the entry for "Coastline" lists the 98 nations and islands that border no other countries. A site any teacher or geographically-minded person needs to bookmark.

Hotlink for 12 to 19 September, 2004
New York Times Learning Network
Created for students and teachers in grades 3 through 12, The Learning Network is a free news service that provides news summaries, quizzes, and even daily lesson plans. Select one of the topics under "explore by subject", and find a selection of lessons, crossword puzzles, news by topic, slideshows, related resource pages, Web Explorations, and even "ask a reporter".

Hotlink for 19 to 26 September, 2004
AskEric/Eduref Online Lessons and Resources
Thousands of lesson plans which have been written and submitted to AskERIC (now called the Educator's Reference Desk) by teachers. If you have a great lesson plan you would like to share with educators all over the world, you can send it in. A wonderful online resource since 1992 that includes not just the archive of lesson plans, but indexes based on subject to Web Sites and organizations. From the top level index choose "subjects" and select from resources and lessons in Art, Character Education, Computer Science, Foreign Language, Health, Language Arts, Social Studies, and much more.

Hotlink for 26 September to 3 October, 2004
In a library, if you don't know where to look for a reference book, you go to the Reference Librarian. On the Internet, if you don't know where to look for answers, you go to At first glance, the sheer amount of useful links on the Refdesk home page can be overwhelming. But it's really quite well organized and useful.

Hotlink for 3 to 10 October, 2004
Information Please
An almanac, an atlas, a dictionary, an encyclopedia, plus information by subject area, a daily almanac, and all sorts of topical material. Go to the "homework center" and find useful information by subject area, develop better writing, note-taking and study skills, and search through previous questions and answers from students.

Hotlink for 10 to 17 October, 2004
Kids On The Web
In the creator's own words: "This is an on-going archive of sites that offer information for and about kids. Among other things, it includes a lot of stuff for them to play with, information for adults, and info about schools and education...The goal of this page is to collect, in one place, a body of information that people can use either to let kids play with stuff on the Internet, or to find the things they need for their work related to the care and education of children". Take a look particularly at the "homework tools" -- a very user-friendly and useful archive.

Hotlink for 17 to 24 October, 2004
Why Do Great Civilizations Fail
Sponsored by the Annenberg Foundation, this site explores the collapse of four ancient civilizations. You'll learn what happens when a society collapses and how archaeologists find and interpret evidence. You can visit the Maya city of Copan and search for clues to its collapse. You can also try your hand at "garbage-ology" and study what trash can tell us about a society.

Hotlink for 24 to 31 October, 2004
The Maya Astronomy Page
Learn about Mayan geography, mathematics, their 260 day calendar, their writing, and their astronimical accomplishments. The website also has a large number of links to other information on the Maya.

Hotlink for 31 October to 7 November, 2004
Animation Projects
Ed Stephan, at the University of Washington, does a lot of playing around with WWW possibilities; this is his "animations" page. I suggest you begin with "Formation of the Contiguous United States", which is a breath-taking use of animated maps; another map that shows US development well is "United States Counties". But there's also a lot of just-plain fun here -- playing around with Mona Lisa, with relativity, and with Galileo, among others. There are also links to other animation sites, including the remarkable "How To Tie Knots" page

Hotlink for 7 to 14 November, 2004
Independence Movements
This site displays the websites of various independence movements around the world, and of what they call "non-territorial approaches to independence". An interesting place to browse and be amazed. Another very useful site for this kind of information is <, the "nations and peoples" page of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization.

Hotlink for 14 to 21 November, 2004
Airline Fare Shopping Engine
An amazingly powerful site that really delivers. This site does not want to sell you anything, it just wants to find all the fares you're interested in between any two points on the day(s) you specify. The results are delivered in two screens -- one "summary" screen that shows the airlines and for each the full range of fares, and another that lists all the fares, airline by airline. A recent search for Boston to London-Heathrow for a date in November found business-class fares on 14 airlines, with 0, 1, and 2 stops, ranging from around USD $4,000 to over $10,000 -- and similar results in coach, ranging from under $400 to well over $1000. Select the class and fare you're interested in, and you get a page that lists the booking codes for each leg of the trip -- email or fax this page to your travel agent, and travel when and where you want, at the fare you request.

Hotlink for 21 to 28 November, 2004
Solar Views
A remarkable site. In their own words, which they live up to: "Views of the Solar System presents a vivid multimedia adventure unfolding the splendor of the Sun, planets, moons, comets, asteroids, and more. Discover the latest scientific information, or study the history of space exploration, rocketry, early astronauts, space missions, spacecraft through a vast archive of photographs, scientific facts, text, graphics and videos. Views of the Solar System offers enhanced exploration and educational enjoyment of the solar system and beyond."

Hotlink for 28 November to 5 December, 2004
Surfing the Net With Kids
Amid all the media attention to all the bad things that can happen to kids on the Internet, the educational possibilities of the Web are often overlooked. Not so at Barbara J. Feldman's Surfing the Net with Kids site. Each week she picks a single topic (such as Rainforests, Hubble Space Telescope, Mozart, Dolphins, or Plate Tectonics) and chooses the best sites to explore. Fun and interesting and very, very friendly.

Hotlink for 5 to 12 December, 2004

There used to be two good sources for speedy, and reasonably reliable, translations between English, French, Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, German, Russian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, and more. Now, there is just one, google translate; Babelfish is gone, and the link above explains why. You can understand just how limited these translations are by translating a passage from English to Spanish (for instance) and then translating it back. It never works seamlessly, but even so, the translation are passable, and can be understood by native speakers of the other language. My favorite use of these is to translate a website, such as, into other languages. Useful, entertaining, fun.

Hotlink for 12 to 19 December, 2004
Help for Travelers
What is it you want to know about that country you're about to visit? What GSM band the cell phones in Indonesia use? What Television standard applies in Bahrain? What kinds of electric plugs you have to bring with you to Brazil? What the line voltage is in Armenia? The right telephone plug for Angola? How to make a call To Japan From Namibia? What kind of dial tone to expect in Tahiti? How to bypass Tax Impulses on the telephone lines in Belgium? All of that information is here, and much, much more. If you plan on traveling with any of your electronic gear, anything that may need connection or recharging or plugging in, stop by here first.

Hotlink for 19 to 26 December, 2004
Flytecomm Flight Tracking
These people have all kinds of software they'd be glad to sell you, but you don't need to buy anything, or even register, to make use of their flight tracking capabilities. Click on "Track a Flight -- GO" and you get a little form. Select an airline and flight number, and the website returns departure and arrival times, and a map showing where the aircraft is en route. If the flight has not yet departed, you'll get the filed pushback and arrival estimates; if the flight is en route, the information includes time elapsed, time to destination, and more. Brilliant, useful, accurate, and simple.

Hotlink for 26 December, 2004 to 2 January, 2005
US Naval Observatory Data Services
All kinds of data, served from the US Naval Observatory, Astronomical Applications Department. Complete Sun and Moon data for any day of your choice; table of sun and moon rise and set, and twilight, for an entire year; all kinds of moon-phase information, including "what the moon looks like today"; and information on eclipses and transits, on positions of the Sun and Moon, plus a whole almanac for celestial bodies, dates for seasons and phenomena, Celestial Navigation data, star charts, and much more. An amazing storehouse of useful and interesting information.


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