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. Mapping the World
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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 2007 By Date

6 to 13 January, 2007

Earth From Space

An online exhibition from the Smithsonian that reflects a traveling exhibition. The site includes remarkable imagery, lesson plans, and a variety of educational and interactive website links.

13 to 20 January, 2007

Google Transit

Still in development, but quite wonderful, is this new offering from Google. For those communities that have submitted their transit data, you can create your own transit trip, complete with itineraries and maps. As of mid-December, the list included Burbank and Orange County in California, Tampa, FL, Honolulu, HI, Eugene and Portland, OR, Pittsburgh, PA, and Seattle, WA. If you'd like to see your own community listed, direct the transit authorities to this website .

21 to 28 January, 2007

Maps of Africa

A site at the Northwestern University Library, a collection of over 100 maps of Africa, dating from 1530 to the early 20th century; part of the collection of the Herskovitz Library.

28 January to 4 February, 2007

Historic Pittsburgh

A cooperative collection of local maps, historic material, and other items from the archives of University of Pittsburgh's library, as well as the Heinz History Center, Carnegie Museum of Art, and the Chatham Collee archives. Lots of content here, including a useful page "For Teachers".

4 to 11 February, 2007

The Perfect Fake

A newly-published thriller by Barbara Parker; the main character, Tom Fairchild, has to create a perfect, undetectable duplicate of an antique map -- a forgery or not. Much of the action takes place in an antique map store in Florida, or other locations around Miami, but Tom also has to research the map in England and Italy -- and has to be smuggled out, since he is on parole in Florida. Read the reviews on this Amazon page.

11 to 18 February, 2007

Daylight Saving Time

This is one of many sites that tries to break down the utter confusion that is going to result from the US changing its clocks to Daylight Saving Time on March 11 this year, instead of the end of March (with the rest of the world). The only country that is following along with the US is Canada, again not because they want to, but because of the cost in confusion and dismay if they don't. Other useful links include The US Naval Observatory, or Microsoft's Page on products affected by the change in DST, or The National Atlas article on DST.

18 to 25 February, 2007

World Political/Physical Maps Combined with Satellite Imagery

From the Department of Geography and Geology at Mansfield University in Pennsylvania, some very powerful stuff here. Take a look at a country's political map, and directly above it on the same page, a satellite image at the same size and scale. Represented here are 51 African countries, 49 in Asia, 38 in Europe, 13 in South American, all 50 US states, and a number of other countries and entities. A beautiful and usable and fascinating site.

25 February to 4 March, 2007

U.S. Political/Physical Maps Combined with Satellite Imagery

From the Department of Geography and Geology at Mansfield University in Pennsylvania, a "US Map Collection". Select a state from the interactive map, and what you get are several useful maps on one page -- shaded relief (with a link to a satellite image), elevation, rivers and lakes, county maps showing just counties or counties and county seats, and a highway map. A vast and worthwhile archive.

4 to 11 March, 2007

Holy Land Maps

A collection of maps, dating from 1462 to the early 1900's, showing views of Israel and the Holy Land. This site has over 1000 maps, from the Eran Laor Cartographic Collection at the Jewish National And University Library. You can search by mapmaker, date, or location mapped; there is also a very rich page of links to other map collections.

11 to 18 March, 2007

The Broer Map Library

A substantial collection of maps. From their own "about is" page: "The Broer Map Library is an organization aimed at providing libraries and other organizations access to a large online map collection. We understand that unless you are a large public library or university that you do not have the staff, space or financial resources to have a large map collection. By working collectivly, we hope to provide you with such access. The Library was founded in 2002 by David Broer, an avid map collector and advocate for equal access to resources for people living outside of major cities and universities."

18 to 25 March, 2007


From the University of Sheffield's Social and Spatial Inequalities Research Group, a very interesting collection of cartograms -- maps in which land areas are sized according to the particular subject of the map. There are reference maps, such as Total Population, which has a hugely enlarged Asia, or Wealth, in which Europe and North America predominate. Worth exploring, this site offers a wide range of categories, from Goods and Services to Education, Disease, Pollution, and Exploitation.

25 March to 1 April, 2007

Gallery of Subway Maps

A segment of the Amadeus flight reservation system's website, this extensive gallery of subway maps covers Europe (70 subway systems), the Americas (32), Australia (2), Africa (2), and "Asia and the Middle East" (34). The maps are small, but can be saved and printed as pdf or Word documents. The website makes reference to, which may be the source of many of the Amadeus maps.

1 to 8 April, 2007

International Polar Year Maps

From the University of Alberta, this is the Canadian International Polar Year Map Server, which maps the research stations, projects, and other relevant information. Read about the International Polar Year at

8 to 15 April, 2007

Mapping for the Visually Impaired

This portal, from Natural Resources Canada, aims to make geo-spatial data accessible. The site provides tactile maps for education, mobility training maps, maps to help those with visual impairments to visit travel destinations, and other maps and methods of delivery. Be sure to review the research section; some exciting new developments there.

15 to 22 April, 2007

Baghdad: Mapping the violence

From the BBC, an interactive map that allows views of civilian casualties in Baghdad over time. Monthly figures for civilian casualties are from Iraq Body Count which uses at least two media reports as the source for each death. BBC uses a mean number of IBC's minimum and maximum figures for each month. Attacks resulting in more than 10 dead are located as accurately as possible from reports since 2003. Where an exact location is not possible, in areas such as Sadr City, the marker has been placed within the district. If you click on the link, you will be taken away from the map to the BBC News website story. Casualty figures in the story are as reported at the time and may differ from the link. Ethnic divisions in Baghdad are also shown, using information from the International Medical Corps.

22 to 29 April, 2007


From NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, a wonderful little program, called "Global Map Projector", but known as G.Projector. G.Projector is a Java application which allows you to explore a large collection of global map projections, transforming any map projection (one is included) into another projection. A very good tool for visualizing the distortions of shape and size inherent in every map projection. Note that this is not a WEB application -- you'll need to download it to your computer, and you'll need a recent version of Java installed as well -- but all the items you need to install are available on this page and on further pages.

29 April to 6 May, 2007

Army Field Manual on Map Reading and Navigation

Dated May, 1993 and July, 2001, this is a U.S. Army manual on reading, using, and understanding maps. The Table of Contents is huge -- defining maps, explaining how to access and care for maps, symbolization and reference systems, location, scales, grids, overlays, and comparing aerial photographs with maps; there is also a "part 2" on Land Navigation. including GPS, elevation and relief, and much, much more. An extraordinary document.

6 to 13 May, 2007

David Rumsey Map Collection

This collection has nearly 16,000 antique and historical maps online. North and South America are featured, but historic maps of the World, Europe, Asia, and Africa are also abundant. Navigation is quite easy, and they are adding maps all the time -- another 1000 maps were just added at the beginning of April.

13 to 20 May, 2007

Matt Fox's Google Earth Library

A remarkable effort to organize the content that is available for Google Earth. The blog focuses on content that shows off the technical abilities of Google Earth, has significant educational value, is of wide interest, and covers a large geographic area. There are numerous features, and navigation is quite easy. There are a prodigious number of categories, tweaks, mashups, and applications featuring everything from Antarctica to Natural Disasters, Travel, and even the Supernatural.

20 to 27 May, 2007

Atlas Nacional de Mexico

The National Atlas of Mexico is now available online. Hundreds of maps, mostly of very high quality, on subjects ranging from History to Economy. At present there are 600 images in 7 sections.

27 May to 3 June, 2007

Computer Generated Cartograms

From London's Daily Mail of 1 March, this article, with several examples, of a collaboration between the universities of Michigan and Sheffield, showing various interesting themes by changing the size of countries according. Interesting maps, with cartograms that don't adhere to some traditional standards for such maps -- having the countries balloon larger or smaller, rather than just get magnified.

3 to 10 June, 2007

Vital Climate Graphics Africa

The latest report from the UNEP/WMO panel on climate change notes a warming of .7 degrees C over most of Africa during the 20th century. There is general agreement that extreme events will get worse, and that trends will change in response to warming. This collection of discussions and graphics gives a very vivid picture of the adverse impacts warming is bringing, and will continue to bring, to Africa. See for example these maps of the dramatic reduction in size of Lake Chad.

10 to 17 June, 2007


HEALTHmap, a creation of two people at Boston's Children's Hospital, is a very clever Google Maps mashup, bringing together data sources to show the current state of infectious diseases globally, and their effects on human and animal health. The sources include news sources, the World Health Organization, and others, and includes names and locations of over 80 diseases. You can view globally, or by region or country, and a click on a marker gives you links to the citations for the particular diseases outbreak. A powerful and informative website.

17 to 24June, 2007

UN States in 10 Minutes

A clever and very challenging little task -- type in the names of all 192 of the UN member states in a 10-minute time limit. You must type the names correctly, although capitals don't seem to matter. As soon as you type a name correctly, it goes into the "finished" list, and you can begin typing the next. At the end of 10 minutes, you get a list of the countries you forgot. There is also a 15-Minute Version, which is more of a geography challenge, and less of a speed-typing challenge.

24 June to 1 July, 2007

Global Warming Vanishing Coastlines Mug

Many scientists and others have theorized that global warming will cause the seas to rise, and the present-day coastlines to disappear. When you add a hot beverage to this clever mug, it demonstrates what could happen if sea level were to rise 100 meters: big parts of the southeast US, a large portion of Brazil and Argentina, and most coastal cities just disappear. If nothing else, it's food for thought and discussion.

1 to 8 July, 2007

US States Renamed for Countries With Similar GDPs

A strange and wonderful map that suggests all sorts of similar excursions into comparative map-making. In this map, each state's economic output is compared to countries around the world; the result is totally meaningless and yet fascinating. For example, California's GDP equals that of France, while Wyoming and Uzbekistan have a similar GDP.

8 to 15 July, 2007

Inglehart-Welzel Cultural Map of the World

This map is the result of "World Values Surveys", designed to measure and assess area of human concern, "from religion to politics to economic and social life". Two dimensions dominate, and this this world map was created along those two axes -- 1. Traditional to Secular-Rational, and 2. Survival to Self-Expression values. Again, by itself this map is interesting, but even more so in what it suggests about possible other maps people could create.

15 to 22 July, 2007

The Principality of Hutt River

A tiny little area in Western Australia, the Hutt River Principality is Australia's oldest micronation. There are about 20 permanent residents, and an additional 13,000 passport holders worldwide. The area was the wheat farm of Leonard George Casley, who on 21 April 1970 declared independence from Australia, and became Prince Leonard I. They issue stamps and coins, and presumably make some money from tourism, but as an independent entity they have yet to be recognized by any other country. Although landlocked, the Principality has its own navy.

22 to 29 July, 2007

American Ethnic Geography

This is the web site for a geography course at Valparaiso University. Among its features: an amazing collection of maps, in the "Map Gallery" -- some GIFs, some PDFs. Topics include Ethnic Groups, Culture Regions, Religion, Language, Politics, and Socio-Economics.

29 July to 5 August, 2007

Animated Atlas: Growth of a Nation

A lovely little 10-minute animation presenting the growth of the United States from the original 13 colonies to the present. There are several features -- sound, changing the views of the timeline, selecting individual states for further information, etc.

5 to 12 August, 2007

Google for Educators

Google has gathered all kinds of information and tools to make Google work effectively in the classroom -- everything from lessons on creating an effective search string to best uses for Google Earth, ideas and lesson plans on Google Maps in the classroom, and what they call "crib sheets" to help teachers and students with Groups, Page Creator, Picasa, Sketchup, Blogger, and more. The site includes a variety of posters for classroom use, acccess to an online Teacher Community, and information about their free "Teacher Academy".

12 to 19 August, 2007

Zoom Into Maps

The U.S. Library of Congress has created this site to help students use historic maps from the LOC collection, and to understand what maps can tell us. A very large sample of the Library of Congress Geography and Map Division's 4.5 million maps has been digitized and is available on this site. The maps are well organized, easily navigated, and the site includes organizers and guiding questions.

19 to 26 August, 2007

UNESCO World Heritage site

With the addition on June 28 of seven new sites, the World Heritage List now contains 848 properties, including 656 cultural sites, 167 natural sites, and 25 'mixed' properties. Also on June 28, the World Heritage committee took the unprecedented step of removing a site -- the Oman Oryx Sanctuary -- because the Omanis announced their intention to reduce the size of the site by 90 percent. An interesting list in its own right, but also a fascinating cross-section of world history and culture.

26 August to 2 September, 2007

AirportLinger Airport Browser

Very interesting archive of google maps, showing photos of each of 2300 airports, worldwide. You can enter an airport code, or select a country and then a city and airport. They offer an OpenSearch airport locator which you can install in your browser, so that anytime you want to view an airport, you can simply type the code without actually having to begin at the website.

2 to 9 September, 2007

Mars Images

The Mars reconaissance orbiter features a special camera called the HiRISE camera, collecting imagery of the Mars surface in incredible detail. For details on the orbiter, check here

9 to 16 September, 2007

Explore the Sky with Google Earth

If you haven't already downloaded and made use of Google Earth, here's another reason: with Google Earth 4.2, downloadable now, you can click on the "sky" button and view the night sky directly over some point on Earth, and quickly switch between Earth and SKy. There are lots of interesting layers to turn on and off -- Hubble images, constellations, planets, and much more. The link here will take you to their video introduction, and a download button.

16 to 23 September, 2007

Earth Trends

The World Resources Institute sponsors this wonderful little page -- for each "research topic" there are several options, including Data Tables, Features, Country Profiles, Maps, and a Searchable Database. Within each searchable database are dozens of topics, which can be broken out by region, country, or other factors. Amazing volume of data here, presented in a very usable manner.

23 to 30 September, 2007

Breathing Earth

Created by David Bleja, a student at Monash University in Melbourne; about this site he says "Breathing Earth is a presentation that displays the carbon dioxide emission rates, birth rates, and death rates of every country in the world. It displays this information visually, and in real-time. I built the presentation in Flash, using graphics that I made in Photoshop. The data used was the most up-to-date I could find, taken from" It's a fascinating presentation; watch for a few minutes -- or leave it on in the background while you do something else -- and see how the Earth has changed since you began watching.

30 September to 7 October, 2007


A German site you can use to create your own digital maps -- select boundaries, or center on a city and zoom in or out, add layers, add places, develop a useful legend, make it printer-friendly, or download the map you've created in either postscript or illustrator versions. Very friendly, easy to navigate, fun to use. One of the cleanest "maps on demand" sites I know about. Note that the map data used is from the mid-90's, and much of it has been corrected, but they do advise that data may be outdated or incorrect.

7 to 14 October, 2007

Google Maps

Google Maps again, but it's worth revisiting because it just keeps getting better and better. In mid-September, they added 54 new countries, and so now have well over 100 countries for which maps are available. There are so many ways to use and enjoy these maps, both for personal use, for school use, for work and travel. To help users see what's available, and for general discussion of the possibilities, there are several blogs, among them: Latlong,Google Maps Gone Wild, and Google Maps Mania

14 to 21 October, 2007

Historical Hurricane Tracks

New on the NOAA website, an interactive mapping application that allows users to search and display tropical cyclone data for the Atlantic and Eastern Pacific. This site only provides historic information, from 1851-2006, including a tool for querying the database. For this year's tropical cyclones and tracks, NOAA offers the National Hurricane Center.

21 to 28 October, 2007

World Freedom Atlas

Very political, but deeply fascinating, this set of maps describes itself as "a geovisualization tool for world statistics". The base map is "raw political rights score", but you can overlay it with data from many different organizations, and all sorts of data, including "civil liberties", "freedom status", "electoral process", and more, as well as viewing maps over available years from 1990 to 2006.

28 October to 4 November, 2007

Matt Rosenberg's Geography Quizzes

Matt Rosenberg, the "guide" at, has a very useful archive of his weekly geography quizzes; these are fascinating and challenging quizzes that cover a wide range of geographical topics. For 'pub nights', or for fun, or for preparing for the next "geography bee", these are worth a visit, as is the entire site at

4 to 11 November, 2007


A flash map showing the spread of Wal-Mart stores across the United States. Truly eye-opening.

11 to 18 November, 2007

World Digital Magnetic Anomaly Map

Amazingly beautiful and weird, this is a global grid of the anomalies in magnetic intensity around the world, at an altitude of 5 KM. Compiled from satellite, marine, aeromagnetic and ground magnetic sources. A plug-in for Google Earth is available.

18 to 25 November, 2007

USGS Education Pages

Links to lessons, maps, and explanations about the Earth and how it is changing. Includes several links to quizzes.

25 November to 2 December, 2007

Sheppard Software

A collection of very entertaining and thoughtfully created games and activities built around geographic facts, map reading, and more. There are pages on the US, and on Africa, Asia, Canada, Mexico, Eurpoe, the Middle East, Oceania, South America, and the Globe. For each activity, there are several levels -- a tutorial level, and then tests for beginner, intermediate, Expert, and "Cartographer". Great fun, great link for school and home use.

2 to 9 December, 2007

Geonet Games

A fun and interesting online game from Houghton Mifflin; select a region, then choose from 6 categories of questions. For each category there are 5 or 6 questions; the game keeps track of your score. The questions are very reminiscent of the practice questions for the National Geography Bee, and might be a useful warmup for that kind of activity.

9 to 16 December, 2007

I Like To Learn

A collection of location and place-name games that are nicely constructed and would make good review activities. I like to dig into websites and see who the creator and host are, and curiously, this domain is registered in Estonia, and no other information is available about the site. I don't think that's a problem, but it is noticeable that the creator of the site doesn't even have an "about us" or "who we are" page.

16 to 23 December, 2007

OECD Statistics Page

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development is a loose affiliation of the governments of 30 countries "commited to democracy and the market economy". The site itself, at is worth exploring, but this particular page is their "Frequently Requested Statistics" page, comparing all kinds of data with and between the member countries, everything from Car Registrations to Hourly Earnings. An interesting site to visit. Another site worth visiting is Canada vs the OECD which compares the environmental records of the member nations relative to Canada's record. Very interesting stuff.

23 to 30 December, 2007

Population Reference Bureau

PRB presents very complex demographic data in clear and accurate ways, making it possible to quickly find and understand a lot of the issues related to what they call "Core Themes" -- Reproductive Health and Fertility, Children and Families, Population and the Environment, and Population Futures. You can select from several topics, and then choose regions or individual countries. There is a lot of very powerful data here.


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