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.
1 to 8 January, 2017
Using Google Earth, explore the moon -- even in 3D! Tour lunar
landing sites, enjoy 360-degree panoramas, plus watch footage and listen to narration
from astronauts who've been to the Moon
8 to 15 January, 2017
Global Climate Change
A fascinating NASA site -- they call it "Vital Signs of the
Planet", and you can find all kinds of information here -- about the atmosphere, about
the Carbon cycle, about climate change myths and facts, about global warming, about
changes to the land, and to water and ice. They also include facts about Climate Change
vs Global Warming, and a solid resource center for educators. Worth bookmarking.
15 to 22 January, 2017
Based in Wellington, New Zealand, The Antarctic Report is
"dedicated to all things on Antarctica and the Southern Ocean". In their words: "The
site showcases the hard science which underlines the importance of Antarctica as a
bellwether of global climate change. It also highlights the continent's unique political
status, as well as the exceptional demands its environment places on people and
equipment, and the romantic allure for travellers and explorers as the least discovered
continent on the planet." Lots of news, information, facts on science and tourism, and
even a newsletter.
22 to 29 January, 2017
Health Statistics 2016
Comparable data and statistics on health, and health systems,
for all the OECD countries. Sections worth visiting include "Health Policies and Data",
"Social Policies and Data", "Families and Children", "Pension Systems", and
"International Migration". Easy to navigate, and there is also a user's guide available
to help you set up your own data tables.
29 January to 5 February, 2017
US Climate Change
A website devoted to exploring climate and climate change in the
US; the EPA explains the site this way: "The Earth's climate is changing. Temperatures
are rising, snow and rainfall patterns are shifting, and more extreme climate events â€“
like heavy rainstorms and record high temperatures â€“ are already happening. Many of
these observed changes are linked to the rising levels of carbon dioxide and other
greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, caused by human activities.EPA partners with more
than 40 data contributors from various government agencies, academic institutions, and
other organizations to compile a key set of indicators related to the causes and effects
of climate change. The indicators are published in EPA's report, Climate Change
Indicators in the United States, available on this website and in print." You can
explore all the indicators in detail here.
5 to 12 February, 2017
Charles Booth's London
In the late 1800's, Charles Booth, an English industrialist and
social reformer, was concerned about the poverty he saw in Britain. He devised,
organized, and funded a vast social survey of London life. Many of the results are
archived here, on the London School of Economics website. Select "Learn more" to see
and download the maps; select "Highlights" to read the police notebooks he maintained,
with vivid descriptions of the streets and street life.
12 to 19 February, 2017
London Heathrow Plane-Spotting
London Heathrow is one of the world's busiest airports, with
aircraft, and aircraft liveries, from all over the world. And Heathrow is very popular
with airplane spotters, who come from all over the world to add to their "life lists".
This website provides not only information for people who want to know places from which
to view airplanes, with samples of images taken from all those spots, but the site also
provides links to the Heathrow Cams and other websites of interest. If you're an
aviation enthusiast, you may want to bookmark this site; if not, it's still worth a
19 to 26 February, 2017
The European Space Agency's GAIA space telescope have released
data recording the position and brightness of over a billion stars. They are actually
asking for the public's help, because the store of information is too vast for the GAIA
scientists to sift. This website is the GAIA portal for the UK -- read the news, read
recent alerts, discover how to help, There are image and video galleries available to
explore (click on the Gallery tab).
26 February to 5 March, 2017
Yann Arthus-Bertrand has spent years collecting images and video
of human beings all around the world, exploring "what makes us human". Start with the 4
minute introduction, and then wander through the longer versions, and the shorter video
interviews with some of the subjects. Eye-opening, profoundly moving, and beautifully
5 to 12 March, 2017
The Aviation Herald
Calling itself "Incidents and News in Aviation", this site,
based in Salzburg, Austria, keeps a record of all kinds of items relating to aviation --
you can filter by "crashes", "accidents", "incidents", "news", and "reports". You can
turn each of the filters on or off, so you can see just one topic, or every topic.
12 to 19 March, 2017
12 Provocative Maps That Tell
From the BBC, a collection of 12 maps that tell about the
history of Britain. Some are children's games from the 18th and 17th century, others
are caricatures, showing the mapmakers' opinions about verious geopolitical issues.
There's even an "industrial revolution" game, teaching the children of the upper classes
how England makes money -- steel in Sheffield, coal in Yorkshire or Wales, etc. A
map/game called "The Royal Mail" will remind modern viewers of the game "Ticket To
19 to 26 March, 2017
US Map With 50 Equal States
From the page... "Neil Freeman redrew the state borders to get a
visual sense of what it would take for the electoral college votes to match the popular
vote. That is to say, for each state to be weighted evenly." Freeman notes, "this is an
art project, not a serious proposal."
26 March to 2 April, 2017
The Best Hans Rosling Videos
Larry Ferlazzo, a teacher in Sacramento, California, has a blog
tracking all kinds of wonderful websites, called "Websites of the Day...".; this
particular post tracks some of Hans Rosling's greatest videos, TED Talks and others. If
you didn't know, Rosling died in Sweden just in February, at age 68. But what a legacy
he has left. Spend some time here.
2 to 9 April, 2017
What 3 Words
Post codes and zip codes are all efforts to locate places in
particular countries; in Canada, for example, every physical structure has its own post
code. But people are trying to find a better way, a global way, to help people (and all
kinds of deliveries) locate themselves and others. A group of interesting and
imaginative people in London have devised a simple, friendly way to identify every
location in the world with an address of just 3 words. Every 3-meter-by-3-meter
rectangle on the face of the globe has been pre-allocated a fixed and unique 3 word
address. You can use their geocoder to find yours. For example, Stanford's, the
incredible map and globe store in London's Covent Garden is at useful.stuck.straw;
because there are multiple languages for this tool, and they are not simple
translations, the same address, in French, comes out as populiste.poutre,editrice. The
site's "about" page explains all the advantages of this amazing system, and offers all
kinds of ways to play with maps and addresses as well.
9 to 16 April, 2017
An amazing visualization of Earth's weather -- an interactive
globe, which users can move to re-center it wherever they wish. On the "about" page, be
sure to read about all the data, and near the bottom of that page, see the keyboard
shortcuts for going backward in time steps to watch weather changing.
16 to 23 April, 2017
A Twitter feed that boasts that it brings you "the most amazing
maps on the internet"; and these are in fact often very amazing. Recent maps include
Bird Migration Routes in the Americas, Climate Analogues of Australia, Executions by US
state since 1976, Cannabis possession laws around the world, the Swedish Empire from
1560 to 1815, and much more.
23 to 30 April, 2017
GOES-16 Color Imagery
A Gallery of color composite imagery of the Earth from NASA's
GOES-16 Geosynchronous Orbiting Earth Satellite; worth scanning, browsing, tracking
through various pages; there are full Earth images, and many regional images. Great
fun to see what this powerful tool can do.
30 April to 7 May, 2017
The Wayback Machine
Named for the fictional time meachine in the Mr Peabody and
Sherman segments of the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, this site attempts to catalog and
archive veb pages over the course of more than 20 years of Web history and changes.
Enter a web address, for example mapping.con, and you bring up an interactive calendar;
select a year, and you get that year's calendar, with the archived pages highlighted.
Thus, you can see how my site, mapping.com, looked on 11 January, 1998, the first day
they archived it. You can also find who owned a site before it became what it is today;
search for aa.com (American Airlines), and the archive for 1996 shows "Architects and
Arts", but by the year 2000, it's the website for American Airlines. Fun to play with,
and as you explore you'll find other feaures, such as the summary page, the subscription
service, and you can save an archived page for right now, in such a way that it can be
used for citations in the future.
7 to 14 May, 2017
North American Journeys, 1796-1801
Archived in the National Library of Scotland, these lively and
amusing journals were written by Henrietta Liston, whose Scottish husband was Minister
from Britain to the US from 1796-1801. Some of the diary pages are audio
transcriptions, uploaded to YouTube and read by a Scottish woman; other pages are
searchable and viewable in the original handwriting, barely decipherable to modern
readers, but mercifully transcribed for reading enjoyment. Her commentary is great fun
-- "...passed through Cambridge, where there is a University of some note..." (at that
time, Harvard was nearing 200 years old). Worth a visit, and not only for the maps and
14 to 21 May, 2017
A fascinating astronomy project in which the public is invited
to participate. The idea is to scan NASA's Wide-field infrared survey images, and
distinguish real objects from celestial artifacts. The organizers offer that "you may
... discover the Sun's hypothesized ninth planet, which models suggest might be in these
images". Even if you don't want to scan the billions of objects, the images are worth a
21 to 28 May, 2017
A wonderful site for word lovers, puzzlers, writers, etc. Not
only can you enter a word and see the OED citation for that word, but you can also use a
thesaurus, or a grammar checker, or read the articles offered on the top page. There's
so much here that I find it hard to leave whenever I head to this site to check a word.
28 May to 4 June, 2017
An eclectic and fascinating site about the nexus of medicine,
nature, life, history, and everything else human. The site calls itself "The free
destination for the incurably curious", and it is one of those wonderful sites that lead
you onward and onward from one page to another, long after you have found what you came
for. The library was founded using the collection of Sir Henry Wellcome, who amassed a
huge collection; the site ranges through anatomy and physiology to phrenology, alchemy,
withcraft, ethnography, and much more. Be sure to check out the YouTube videos.
4 to 11 June, 2017
On the Jet Propulsion Lab site at NASA, Mars Trek allows you to
view maps and imagery of Mars, and perform analyses and searches. There's a very
extensive introduction section that you can always get to from the HELP page, and there
are startlingly clear and comprehensive maps of Mars. Interesting and fun.
11 to 18 June, 2017
This is the PJ Mode Collection of "Persuasuve Maps" at Cornell
University. The maps were not intended to give geographic information, but to persuade
using various tools, including deception. Worth a visit, and worth sharing with
children just to help them see how many ways map-makers can deceive.
11 to 18 June, 2017
Writers for the New York Times went to Antarctica to see how
changes in the Antarctic Ice is happening, and to find out what they could about the
ultimate effect of this collapse on the rest of the world. In maps and text, the story
is all here, and it's not a happy one.
18 to 25 June, 2017
Ask the Pilot
Airline pilot Patrick Smith runs this site; it's a wonderful
accompaniment for anyone who travels by air at all. The stories and annotations are
great reading, and there is a ton of information here. As he says in his intro:
"everything you think you know about flying is wrong...Commercial aviation is a breeding
ground of bad information... Worth regular visits.
25 June to 2 July, 2017
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention publishes a
bi-annual Yellow Book, allowing travelers to explore health issues and information and
recommendations for travel around the world, including vaccine recommendations,
destination-specific travel advice, and lots of maps and tables, and more. If you plan
to head out this Summer for any other part of your country or of the world, bookmark
this and use it. It can save your life.
2 to 9 July, 2017
North Circumpolar Map
A bilingual map from the Government of Canada, showing the
geography of the region around the North Pole, north of about 55 degrees. Their
description: "all international boundaries, as well as the Canadian provincial and
territorial boundaries and Canada's 200 nautical mile offshore exclusive economic zone.
National capital cities are shown, as are other cities, towns, villages and hamlets.
Some seasonally populated places are also included. The map displays a number of
significant northern features, including the median sea ice extent for September 1981 to
2010, the tree line, undersea relief, land relief, the Magnetic North Pole, glaciers,
ice fields and coastal ice shelves. Many of the physiographic and hydrographic features
9 to 16 July, 2017
Australian indigenous languages are disappearing; in fact,
less-widely spoken languages around the world are disappearing as the juggernauts
Chinese, English, Hindi, Russian, Spanish, and others take over. One speaker of Marra,
in Australia's Northern Territory, has developed this website so that people around the
world can learn to speak at least a FEW words in her language, Marra, before it
disappears. Fun to follow along, and learn a few words.
16 to 23 July, 2017
Solar Eclipse 2017
The staff at space.com has put together this page about the
August 21 Total Solar Eclipse, which has a path from Northwest to Southeast over North
America, from Portland, Oregon to Charleston, South Carolina. Places for several
hundred miles on either side of the path will see totality, or a partial eclipse,
depending on how close they are to the path. There are a great many sites with
information about this phenomenal event. Here's a pretty dramatic one from accuweather:
23 to 30 July, 2017
Civitates Orbis Terrarum
The first printed atlas of towns around the world of the 1570's
to 1617.. These are 546 birds-eye and map views of cities from all over the world. So
much to learn here, about map-making, about the history of these cities, about human
geography, urban design, and more. A wonderful resource.
30 July to 6 August, 2017
From Ptolemy to GPS
From The Smithsonian Magazine, a great short article called "The
Brief History of Maps", one of the premises of which is that our smartphones and GPS are
changing the way we navigate around our world. A really good read, with lots to think
6 to 13 August, 2017
An amazing collection of physical media formats, including
audio, video, film, and data storage, all of which are obsolete, and many of which are
not even very old. Includes Game Boy, 35mm film and cameras, Polaroid Land Cameras,
Edison cylinders and vinyl records, instamatic cameras, all kinds of cassettes, and much
more. Worth a visit if only to remind ourselves how quickly things change.
13 to 20 August, 2017
Sacred Places, Sacred Ways
ESRI has a team that is working to produce powerfula nd
evocative Story Maps. Here's one about the sacred spaces of five of the world's great
religions: the Camino de Santiago (Christianity), Mecca (Islam), Varanasi (Hinduism),
Lumbini (Buddhism), and the Western Wall (Judaism). With pictures, maps, and detailed
explanations, the team presents each space thoughtfully and reverently. A wonderful
20 to 27 August, 2017
From the BBC Travel pages, the story of Euskara, the remarkable
language of the Basque people in NW Spain and along the Bay of Biscay shores. Banned
under Franco, it was taken underground and today is in daily use by about 1/3 of the
Basque people. It's the only living language in Europe with no relation to any other
27 August to 3 September, 2017
From the BBC Magazine Section, a story about the conflict
between Greece and the republic of Macedonia over the use of the name Macedonia. This
conflict is why at NATO or the EU or the UN, you see not Macedonia but FYROM, The Former
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. On a recent flight, my seatmate, when asked about his
residence, said "I am FYROMese." Good reading.
3 to 10 September, 2017
Teaching with Topographic Maps
The US Geodetic Survey publishes nearly 60,000 different
topographic maps, detailing elevation and landforms, water, transport, urban areas and
structures, and much more. Here are their pages on ways to use their topo maps for
teaching. You'll also find imagery, a pdf of topo map symbols, and collection of
addtional resources, and their map catalog, so you can order a map of the location of
your school. The lessons cover all grade levels, and each one is keyed to topics and
grade levels. A very useful resource.
10 to 17 September, 2017
The Maps We Wandered Into As
An old article from The Awl, a NYC publication about all kinds
of interesting topics. This article looks at the maps that were produced to accompany
the books we read, or that were read to us, as children. There are only a few here, but
it's great food for thought, and fun to read and remember.
17 to 24 September, 2017
The American Experience in 737 Novels
An ESRI storymap and essay; select a region and explore the
maps. You can easily zoom in on one particular state, for example, or a region around a
major city. Selecting southern Florida gives you books by Peter Matthiessen, John D
MacDonald, Edna Buchanan, Carl Hiassen, and Charles Willeford and more; select Seattle,
and you get David Guterson's "Snow Falling on Cedars", Raymond Carver's "Cathedral", and
Louis Owens's "Wolfsong". A rich tapestry of books and American life to explore.
24 September to 1 October, 2017
Sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Mosaic by
the UK organization Wellcome, this site offers the opportunity to explore how the health
of the world's people has changed since any given year -- they suggest you put in your
birthdate, but you can look at changes in the past 10 years, or the past 100 years. How
much longer do people live now than your chosen year? How does the place where a person
is born affect their longevity? How much safer is childhood now than in your chosen
year? While you're on this site, be sure to look at the links at the top of the top page
-- stories (about global health issues and solutions), Topics (follow links to their
articles based on the health-related topic), and much more.
1 to 8 October, 2017
Cassini Saturn Images
NASA's Cassini spacecraft burned up in Saturn's atmosphere
recently, afer 20 years in space, arriving at Saturn in 2004 after a 7-year voyage.
THis site presents 100 of the best, most powerful, most revealing images from the
Cassini missioin, along with interpretation and explanation. Wonderful site, with all
kinds of parallels to Earth -- for example, like Earth, Saturn has seasons, including a
northern winter and summer.
8 to 15 October, 2017
Brief History of Maps
From the Smithsonian Museum, this article walks the visitor
through the history of maps, from Ptolemy's early efforts, to GPS. The site presents
Misleading Maps, including, of course, the number of weird misdirections that GPS sends
drivers on. A good read.
15 to 22 October, 2017
NASA: Hurricane Pages
NASA's Hurricane and Tropical Storm Archive -- begins with an
overview, moves through images and videos, and then links to Media Resources. Lots of
information here, especially useful in this season of very strong tropical storms.
22 to 29 October, 2017
NYT Hubble Photos
From the New York Times; Amazing, powerful images of space --
galaxies, clusters of stars, nebulae, black holes, and views from the HUbble Deep Field
and Ultra Deep Field. The article dates from April of 2015, but is nonetheless timely
and mind-stretching and worthwhile.
29 October to 5 November, 2017
Mapping Literary London
"Fictional Geography", a new field of study, is not just the
geography of works of fiction, but can also mean geography that is tweaked to fit an
author's vision of a place and a time. This article, from Atlas Obscura, is about a
project at Stanford Univ called the Spatial History Project. The locale is London, and
the fiction they reviewed is works of British literature from 1700 to 1900. Some very
interesting discoveries were made as a result of this work -- specifically, the physical
London, and the fictional London, were surprisingly dissimilar. Worth a read by itself,
but also could provide impetus for classes to map the places they read about and see
what there might be to learn.
5 to 12 November, 2017
The USGS is creating a new database, in their words "a spatially
explicit inventory that lets any user, from the general public to professional land
managers, know what lands are protected, and allows them to easily use the inventory in
conservation, land management, planning, recreation, and other uses. The site offers a
rich variety of materials, maps, and more.
12 to 19 November, 2017
Language Landscape is a tool for mapping where languages are
spoken around the world. Markers placed on a world map allow users to click on the map,
and hear recordings of some of the languages spoken in those locations. Many language
samples here, and a map that is easy to navigate. A rich collection -- from English to
Creole to Yoruba and on and on, with many, many more.
19 to 26 November, 2017
A project of the DX lab at the State Library of New South Wales,
this is a fascinating effort to overlay ancient maps on to 3D globes. So far, only two
have been created, but more are on the way. Worth repeat visits.
26 November to 3 December, 2017
ESRI Story Maps are amazingly powerful tools for telling a story
or two about the Earth, using maps and imagery. This particular story map tells us
about tectonic plates and the world's seismic history. By illuminating the locations of
seismic events, we see tectonic plates being defined as a series of "small cartographic
events assembling into a crowded bright garland".
3 to 10 December, 2017
Map of Life
The Map of Life is a non-profit global organization; visitors
can explore data about life (all kinds of life) on Earth in a variety of ways -- there
are maps of species that will help visitors see where to find a vast number of species;
"location" lets visitors view species by country; there are also sections on indicators
and patterns, and also a link to explore the datasets used to run the site. They also
have a mobile app.
10 to 17 December, 2017
As they say, "Search, Map, Compare, and Download US Data".
Enter a place, or a job, or any of the many kinds of other data they have available, and
you can read about the demographics related to your query. Median income for
Bellingham, WA? What openings are available for elementary and middle school teachers?
Can I compare Fasting Lipid tests across US counties? An amazing storehouse of publicly
available information, constructed to give the easiest acccessibility possible. Fun to
play with. Tons of rich data stored here.
17 to 24 December, 2017
World Oral Literature
Oral literature -- stories told from one generation to the next
-- is central to cultures all over the world. Yale University and the University of
Cambridge are collaborating on thie project, to collect and map oral literature from all
over the world. They point out that oral works, including rituals, curative chants,
epic poems, folk and creation tales, myths and legends, are endangered. A rich site to
explore and come back to regularly.
24 to 31 December, 2017
History of Climate
The epic of Claude Lorius, who was the first scientist to study
Antarctic ice and prove the human activity has an impact on our climate. You can also
use their templates to create your own website on climate change, or borrow one of their
archived websites to share with your students or other interested parties.
31 December, 2017 to 7 January, 2018
Museum of Obsolete
This is an amazing archive of current and obsolete physical
media formats; searchable categories include audio, video, data, and film. The Museum
covers 480 different formats, from wax cylinder recordings to 10-inch 78-rpm disks, tot
the full range of video and audio tapes, all the cameras, and much more. Just as a way
to look at how media has changed -- both recently and over the last century -- this site
has great value.
14 to 21 January, 2018
Early Burma Maps
Three enormous maps in the Cambridge University Library have
recently become available in digital format; on this site, you can read about them and
explore them. The detail is wonderful, and the approach to cartography by Burmese
artists in 1860 is both fascinating and surprising. Worth a visit.
28 January to 4 February, 2018
Library of Congress
Geography and Map Room
There is so much on this page for anybody interested in maps and
geography that there isn't enough room on this page to list the features in detail. To
begin, you can click on "Worlds Revealed", their blob, to explore maps in the past,
present, and future; there a featured map in the middle, and links to collections, new
acqusitiions, and you can browse their entire online collection. Worth a visit and a
11 February, 2018
Earth, A Global Map
The full title is Earth: A Global Map of Wind, Weather, and
Ocean Conditions. The creator has produced a real-time animation of global conditions
that is both fun to watch, and truly informative the more you play with it. Users click
on the word "earth" to see variables that users can control, including the overlays
available, the mode, the size and scale.