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. Mapping the World
By Heart
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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:

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 2013 By Date

30 December, 2012, to 6 January, 2013

Map of Great Lakes Stress
From the UPI on Dec 17, a University of Michigan map showing human impact on this critically important ecosystem that contains 20 percent of the world's fresh water. Includes coastal development, pollutants, fishing pressure, climate change, invasive species, and toxics, among the 34 stressors that were examined.

6 to 13 January, 2013

Sheppard Software Geography Games
Help build that mental map of the world, by using these fun games to learn continents, countries, capitals, and more. Well organized, at various levels, and up-to-date.

13 to 20 January, 2013

Rethinking Schools Map Game
A game-based activity, built around the geography of North Africa and Southwest Asia. Pick a name from the list, drag the name to a country, and found out if you've labeled the country correctly -- if not, you get further chances. A good self-test. Note that South Sudan is missing from the outline of Sudan.

20 to 27 January, 2013

Printable Outline Maps
Free blank outline maps, printable, of the countries and continents of the the world. Part of the website, hosted by Matt Rosenberg.

27 January to 3 February, 2013

The Great Globe Gallery
Based at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland, Professor Zbigniew Zwolinski maintains this site; it offers an amazing collection of links ot geographic sites all around the web; you can find information and samples for projections, 3D Earth, Digital Elevation Models, Vegetation and Biodiversity, temperature, rainfall, land cover, gravity, and much, much more. A good site to bookmark.

3 to 10 February, 2013

Quick Maps
A very extensive resource of maps and map information. A quick browse of the index, a quick click, and a small GIF map opens quickly to show you the map of your choice. By country, by continent, or by themes, a huge amount of valuable information.

10 to 17 February, 2013

BBC School Site
From the BBC, a website of resources for school use; this one is for geography for ages 4 to 11, but you can browse around a bit through other topics, and different age ranges. A rich, rewarding site for teachers.

17 to 24 February, 2013

Great Circle Mapper
Calculate the distance and path between any two (or more) points on the Earth's surface. You can use Lat/Long coordinates, or Airport Codes. Easiest if you just enter two codes, with a hyphen, under "Paths", such as BOS-LAX for Boston to Los Angeles, or LHR-JNB-AKL for London Heather to Johannesburg to Auckland, and see what it returns. Once you get the idea, it's easy and fun to play.

24 February to 3 March, 2013

Dogs of NY
WNYC in New York has a "projects" page; this is one of their projects -- mapping the results from a survey of dog breeds and dog names throughtout New York City. The most common dog names in NY? Female: Bella, Princess, and Lola; Male: Max, Rocky, and Lucky. They also track dogs named after animals, gods, actors, and more. It's all quite wonderful, and silly, but also a clever use of mapping.

3 to 10 March, 2013

Mercator Puzzle
A Drag-and-Drop puzzle, using Google Maps API. This is a remarkable tool for showing the distortions of the Mercator Projection. The countries that need to be dragged change size (but not shape or orientation) as you move them around the map -- so you may not recognize a shape until you've dragged it around a bit and said "ah ha!". Example -- Greenland is shown overlapping a tiny bit of South America, but as you drag it north, it enlarges, and fits the Greenland underlay on the map. Have fun.

10 to 17 March, 2013

Get A Customer Service Human Being
OK, not a geography site, but this is an amazing service and tool. You want to talk to customer service at, say, Amazon, and nothing on their website helps you. Go to this site, and type "amazon" into the search box, and you get a number and several other options, and comments from other users about the best choice to use. Doesn't matter what company you want to reach, their number is most likely here.

17 to 24 March, 2013

The US Redrawn as 50 States with Equal Population
An art project, not a political statement, but fascinating as both geography and politics. Because the largest state is 66 times as populous as the smallest and has 18 times as many electoral votes, Electoral College results don't match the popular vote. The 2010 Census records a population of 308,745,538 for the United States, which this map divides into 50 states, each with a population of about 6,175,000. Fun to ponder.

24 to 31 March, 2013

The Scale of the Universe
Click "start". Use the scroll bar to zoom in and out from the entire universe to quarks. Click on objects to learn more about them. An amazing effort by a couple of California teenagers.

31 March to 7 April, 2013

Online Map Errors
Jonathan Crowe, who for many years ran the blog called The Map Room, now just runs hiw own blog at The page linked here, from the archives of The Map Room, is a collection of online map goofs and errors and failures. Entertaining and remarkable.

7 to 14 April, 2013

Gravity Map of the Moon
A perfectly cueball-shaped moon would have uniform gravity. As they write: "If the Moon were a perfectly smooth sphere of uniform density, the gravity map would be a single, featureless color, indicating that the force of gravity at a given elevation was the same everywhere. But like other rocky bodies in the solar system, including Earth, the Moon has both a bumpy surface and a lumpy interior. Spacecraft in orbit around the Moon experience slight variations in gravity caused by both of these irregularities." Interesting to ponder.

14 to 21 April, 2013

The Geography of Gun Ownership
A fascinating look at gun ownership in the US, by state, with a link to the wikipedia page about gun violence by state; the discovery to be made here is that the most-armed states are not necessarily the states with the most gun violence. An interesting addition to the conversation.

21 to 28 April, 2013

Teaching With Maps
From the University At Buffalo Map Collection, this very useful page called "Teaching With Maps"; it links to map sources, resources, and sites with geographical data. You can find links to big map collections, as well as to country maps, GIS maps and shapefiles, gazetteers, outline maps, and more. A great tool.

28 April to 5 May, 2013

The CIA World Factbook
The top page of one of the most useful resources on the web or in print, The CIA World Factbook "provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities. Our Reference tab includes: maps of the major world regions, as well as Flags of the World, a Physical Map of the World, a Political Map of the World, a World Oceans map, and a Standard Time Zones of the World map." This is a site where you can quickly drill down for the information you're looking for, or you can simply stay and play indefinitely.

5 to 12 May, 2013

Maps of India
This is one page from a remarkable site, Maps of India has just about every piece of information you want to find about India, in maps -- physical and political geography, road maps, rail and air networks, hotels and temples and hill stations, and on this particular page, links to maps and information on the States and Union Territory. Some ads to wade through, but worth the effort.

12 to 19 May, 2013

Projection Transitions
Mike Bostock designs interactive graphics for The New York Times, and does a lot of work with methods for data visualization. This page is ONE of many he has created to show different map projections and their relative distortions of shape and size. To see the amazing range of his work, go to and scan through the hundreds of displays of information he has posted

19 to 26 May, 2013

A "Who Do You Hang With" Map of America
An NPR report on a project to track the circulation of dollar bills, to see where people "do stuff together". Using data from Where's George, the researchers tracked where money goes, and -- also interesting -- where it doesn't go. One discovery -- virtual borders, lines that money rarely cross.

26 May to 2 June, 2013

Azimuthal Map Generator
The most common Azimuthal maps are polar projections, with North or South Pole at the center, and all the lines of latitude shown as concentric circles around that Pole. But these maps can be centered anywhere, and can tell you useful things; they preserve directions from the central point, and great circle routes from or through the central points show up as straight lines. So you can quickly calculate what direction to travel from the central point to get somewhere else, and how far away it is. Ham Radio Operators use these to see which direction to turn their antenna arrays for best reception of signals from remote places, and so it's unsurprising that Ham Radio Operators have created generators for these maps. This one does all the calculations and creates a map for you that is then automatically downloaded as a pdf. Here's another azimuthal map generator.

2 to 9 June, 2013

Great fun -- a really creative and challenging Google Map Mashup. You get a photo from google, and a map, and you have to identify the place in the photo by clicking on the map. About 4000 points possible per picture (depending on how close you are to the real location), and you get 5 pictures. Some are quite easy, but other pictures remind you that a lot of places in the world have similar features.

9 to 16 June, 2013

Visa Hunter
A site that seems quite authoritative and complete -- caution is always advised, but this might be a good place to start in that search for elusive information on visas and entry and exit regulations between countries. Search for a country of interest, and read the rule for visas -- who needs them, how long they last, how to get them, etc. Lots of information here.

16 to 23 June, 2013

History Mapped on Google Maps
This site contains 132 documentaries, in the form of interactive Google Maps on Historic Events, based on Exploration EBooks that allow you to digitally experience the events by finding the locations, and following the explorer. A chance to see up close the actual ancient ruins, forts, and pyramids. Many of the maps have Google Earth KMZ Movies and Google Earth KML files that enable you to digitally walk the map in 3D and experience the exploration for yourself.

23 to 30 June, 2013

National Air and Space Museum Resources
Online activities about aviation, space photography, and the basic principles of flight. There are six separate activities here, including Geography From Space, Airplane Anatomy, and the planetary CyberCenter. Start with Geography From Space, and test yourself on a variety of high-altitude photographs of the Earth taken from space and identify each area. Airplane Anatomy is exactly what it sounds like, and How Things Fly teaches students the basic principles of flight.

30 June to 7 July, 2013

NOAA Education Resources
This remarkable collection of resources is about the work of NOAA, the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. All kinds of useful, timely, global information here, from Aquatic Food Webs to Weather Systems and Patterns. A valuable go-to source for science and geography teachers.

7 to 14 July, 2013

World Bank on Climate Change
The World Bank commissioned this report in their series called "Turn Down the Heat". It takes a look at rising terperatures in 3 regions: Sub-Saharan Africa, South-East Asia, and South Asia. Urgent action is needed now to reduce potential damage, and, as they say, "build resilience". Note -- this is a small image; click anywhere on it and it fills the page and becomes readable.

14 to 21 July, 2013

New Yorker: Mapping the Rise of Craft Beer
A fun page to explore. From their text: "As of March, the United States was home to nearly two thousand four hundred craft breweries... What's more, they are rapidly colonizing what one might call the craft-beer frontier: the South, the Southwest, and, really, almost any part of the country that isn't the West or the Northeast. The interactive map... based on newly released 2012 data gathered by the Brewers Association, illustrates this phenomenon and offers a detailed overview of the American craft-beer industry.

21 to 28 July, 2013

Mapping the Movement of the Galaxies
This project, The Cosmic Flows, has mapped visible and dark matter around the Milky Way, up to a distance of 300,000,000 light years; the maps are shown as a video, using zooming, panning, and rotation to show how the universe moves. Worth exploring.

28 July to 4 August, 2013

U.S. River Map
Using only public data available from U.S. government sources, Russell McLendon, a software engineer, has created a breath-taking map of every river in the conterminous 48 states. Just amazing to ponder; for me, the most interesting aspect of the map was those places with no water at all.

4 to 11 August, 2013

RMS Teaching Site
This is the education portal of the Royal Meteorological Society. It's a doorway to all kinds of resources for teaching about weather and climate in primary and secondary schools; although the materials are tagged with British "Key Stages", they are sure to be helpful to any teacher, anywhere in the world, who wants to address weather and climate questions.

11 to 18 August, 2013

Placing Literature
Have you ever been reading a book and wondered "where is that place..."? This brand new site is based on a simple idea -- locate in the real world the places you're reading about in a book. This is an online database of places from literature, located by researchers and by readers themselves. If you're a reader or lover of maps, take a look.

18 to 25 August, 2013

Atlas of True Names
Fascinating atlas and map; while this page is a sales page from, you can also click on the image of the map and zoom around to see some of the "True Names". Worth a visit.

25 August to 1 September, 2013

Teaching With Maps
The library at SUNY Buffalo has assembled this remarkable collection of resources -- sites of all kinds, with geographical data and activities. Very wide-ranging and thorough, with something for every teacher.

1 to 8 September, 2013

Geology of Britain Viewer
The British Geological Survey has developed a really interesting interactive map of Britain that allows users to view the geology of Britain -- you can pan and zoom, select areas of interest, scan boreholes and 3D models, and more. Fun and interesting.

8 to 15 September, 2013

An Ancient Roman Road Map
At the website, this amazing document. Dating from 1265 CE, this ancient Roman road map was drawn by a monk from Colmar, and is made up of 11 parchment scrolls. Each of the sections can be selected at the top of the page; it can be very difficult to see what you're looking at, so the archive has done one very impressive thing -- you can click on a thumbnail in the left sidebar to see a modern map of the same place.

15 to 22 September, 2013

Euratlas -- History and Geography of Europe and the world
Following on last week's Ancient Roman maps, here is the whole Euratlas website. Categories include historic maps, world geography, ancient maps, and Europe photos. One click on "History of Europe" leads you to thumbnails by century, from 2000 back to the 1st Century CE. In this same category there are also detailed regional maps. One click on any of the thumbnails takes you to a larger detailed map. A really useful and interesting site.

22 to 29 September, 2013

Wired Magazine MapLab
Wired's Senior Science Editor Betsy Mason and Senior Science Writer Greg Miller have built this page to "indulge their obsession with maps". There are many pages of links here, the most recent being a hypnotic interactive map of London's underground, a collection of colorful maps of National Parks, some information about Wired's Atlas of the Web, a collection of very detailed fictional maps, and much more. A fascinating collection; a blog worth bookmarking.

29 September to 6 October, 2013

NGA GEOnet Names Server
The authoritative resource for geographic names; in their words: "The GEOnet Names Server (GNS) is the official repository of standard spellings of all foreign geographic names, sanctioned by the United States Board on Geographic Names (US BGN). The database also contains variant spellings (cross-references), which are useful for finding purposes, as well as non-Roman script spellings of many of these names. All the geographic features in the database contain information about location, administrative division, and quality. The database can be used for a variety of purposes, including establishing official spellings of foreign place names, cartography, GIS, GEOINT, and finding places." p class="datelight">6 to 13 October, 2013

What was there?
A fun googlemaps mashup, Whatwasthere ties historical photos to Google Maps, allowing you to tour streets you know, to see how they've changed over time. NOTE: Does NOT seem to work properly with Firefox.

13 to 20 October, 2013

Travel Posters
Great fun; the LA Public Library's collection of travel posters, digitized and searchable. Great old scenes of all kinds of wonderful places, airlines, shipping lines, and more.

20 to 27 October, 2013

Sound Maps
This is the British Library's archive of 50,000 recordings of sounds -- music, spoken words, and environments. Fascinating to explore; the oral history section is vast and powerful.

27 October to 3 November, 2013

Geography Games
A fun and challenging selection of interactive geography games from a company in South Africa. In their words: "Test your knowledge of world geography here with our many maps of the world games. Pinpoint the right countries, cities, states, rivers or mountain ranges on the maps. Choose from maps of different parts of the world and improve your knowledge."

3 to 10 November, 2013

Canadian Pacific Railway
The Vancouver Public Library has digitized and made available this fascinating collection of images of the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway. In their words: "The pictures portray rural and urban railway stations; railway bridges that are true engineering feats reaching out across the challenging topography of the province; the workers who laid the tracks and manned the locomotives; the passengers who travelled on the railway; and a myriad of buildings, hotels, yards and ships, all of which were part of the Canadian Pacific Railway in British Columbia. The pictures were captured by various photographers and they range in date from the 1880s to the 1950s."

10 to 17 November, 2013

Language Mapper
From the U.S. Census Bureau, this tool maps language use as found in the 2010 census. The information gathered includes how many in a household speak a language other than English at home, what language(s) are spoken, and whether English is spoken well or poorly. The Mapper Tool lets you choose languages to view on a U.S. map, and it also lets you choose a basemap -- a blank map, imagery with or without labels, or all the way down to street level (and several other base maps). Be sure to begin by reading the pop-up entitled "Where do I start?" A fascinating and informative tool for research or just for exploration.

17 to 24 November, 2013

ArcGIS "My Map"
A very comprehensive and thoughtfully-constructed GIS application to allow you to create a map of any place, with any content, with any basemap, and then to add notes or features, and share with others. You can start by zooming in or out to a particular area, or even choose an address or a place, and build from there. Great fun to play with.

24 November to 1 December, 2013

Global Forest Change
From the University of Maryland, an analysis of Landsat images from 2000 to 2012, showing forest extent, and forest change, as an interactive map. Fascinating. You can watch the whole world change, or zoom in one one area of interest. Worth a visit.

1 to 8 December, 2013

WorldViews Maps
From the Washington Post WorldViews blog. A recent post swept the web, entitled "40 Maps they didn't teach you in school"; this is the Washington Post's own collection of maps that are detailed and fascinating and mostly original to the author, Max Fisher. Starts with a politcal map of the world from 200 AD, and ends with an image from space, showing the North Polar ice cap over a 12-month period.

8 to 15 December, 2013

An interesting presentation from Human Rights Education Associates, explaining who refugees are, where they come from, where they go, the things from which they are seeking protection, and more. Read the introduction, and click through the small number of pages. Worth a visit.

15 to 22 December, 2013

WW2 in 7 Minutes
An amazing map of the changing front lines of World War 2. Watch the lines move, watch the neutral nations, watch the Axis Powers nearly sweep over all of Europe before being beaten back by the Allied Powers. It does take 7 minutes, but it's worth every second.

22 to 29 December, 2013

Peace Indices
Using the Global Peace Index and other indicators, these maps show the "peacefulness" of the political divisions of different countries, and of the world. The link above will take you to the Mexico Peace Index -- measuring the level of peace in each of the 32 states; select a state, and explore. Be sure to click on the other indices above -- the US and the UK, as well as the worldwide Terrorism Index and Global Peace Index.

29 December, 2013 to 5 January, 2014

Seterra Map Games
A great assortment of interactive geography games, by continent, by country, by physical and political features, and more. Fun to visit.

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