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Tip of the Week: 100+ map and chart visuals that jump-start discussion

It’s no secret. I love maps. I’m pretty sure maps love me. Big. Small. Old. New. Treasure.

I love ’em all.

And the cool thing about the InterWebs is that someone is always making new maps that I can fall in love with. Recently it’s been the Washington Post.

We’re all visual people and the brain loves to look at stuff. So all of the maps and charts listed below would work great as writing prompts, hook activities to introduce units and lessons, resources for research, basic geography skills, part of PBL projects, or to simply act as a sweet way to jump-start a current events discussion.

But I’m also sure that you’ll come up with all sorts of things that I haven’t thought about. (Don’t forget to use the links associated with each map to help your kids explore deeper.)

Here we go:

  • 25 Maps and Charts That Explain American Today
    “At the start of every year, government agencies, think tanks and businesses release sets of data and reports charting the nation’s social, economic and demographic course. Individually, each release of data offers a narrow snapshot of a narrow issue — voter attitudes, migration, unemployment, an assessment of policies, etc. — but collectively they tell a broader story.”
  • 40 Maps That Explain the World
    “Maps can be a remarkably powerful tool for understanding the world and how it works, but they show only what you ask them to. So when we saw a post sweeping the Web titled “40 maps they didn’t teach you in school,” one of which happens to be a WorldViews original, I thought we might be able to contribute our own collection. Some of these are pretty nerdy, but I think they’re no less fascinating and easily understandable.”
  •  40 More Maps That Explain the World
    “Maps seemed to be everywhere in 2013, a trend I like to think we encouraged along with August’s 40 maps that explain the world. Maps can be a remarkably powerful tool for understanding the world and how it works, but they show only what you ask them to. You might consider this, then, a collection of maps meant to inspire your inner map nerd. I’ve searched far and wide for maps that can reveal and surprise and inform in ways that the daily headlines might not, with a careful eye for sourcing and detail.”
  • 40 Charts That Explain the World
    “One of the great things about charts is that they show not just how things are — but how they’re changing. So we searched for charts that would tell not just the story of how the world is — but where it’s going. Some of these charts are optimistic, like the ones showing huge gains in life expectancy in poorer nations. Some are more worryisome — wait till you see the one on endangered species. But together they tell a story of a world that’s changing faster than at arguably any other time in human history.”

Extra bonus coverage

  • Be sure to check out all of the History Tech map posts.
  • 15 Maps That Perfectly Explain the United States of America
    “These 19 maps are chock full of fascinating data. Every one measures a distinct historical, socioeconomic, or cultural milestone, and combines to form the rich and varied tapestry we call America.”
  • 36 Maps That Explain the World
    “There may be no better way of explaining the world than through maps. Whether they depict oil flows, internet cables, or migration patterns, a good map can explain a concept in a way that no other visualization can. They may be even better than charts.”

Have fun!

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