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Road Scholar

Page history last edited by Dianne Price 7 years, 12 months ago

Topographic Symbols - pdf - STUDY!!! 

National Road Scholar Resource Page



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Online Maps of the United States
USGS Education Map Catalog
Browse samples of popular USGS paper maps that are frequently used by educators. Order paper copies through this site. Where available, links are provided to pdf versions that can be freely downloaded. (Navigate to this site on your own by going to the USGS Store and clicking on "Education Products")    Icon for lab resources

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Map Teaching Resources
Topographic Map Resources for Teachers
An overall summary of useful USGS resources for working with topographic maps: where to get them; how to interpret them; how to use them; explanations of coordinates, datums, and projections; and lessons for the classroom. Also available as a 2-page PDF file.
Exploring Maps 
Exploring Maps is an interdisciplinary set of materials on mapping for grades 7-12.  Students will learn basic mapmaking and map-reading skills and will see how maps can answer fundamental geographic questions.  The map images and activities in this packet can be used in various courses, including geography, history, math, art, English, and the sciences.   Icon for teaching module  Icon for classroom activities
Topographic Salad Tray Model
An inexpensive and easy way to create a three-dimensional model using topographic map contours.
Map Projections
Every map projection has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Learn about the eighteen most common map projections and how their properties and uses compare. A popular poster version of this information is available for free through the USGS Store (product number 16573).

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Topographic Maps
27 Ideas for Teaching with Topographic Maps
Contains 27 ideas for teaching with the approximately 57,000 topographic maps that the USGS offers.   Icon for teaching module  Icon for classroom activities  Icon for lab resources
Map Mysteries
Sample questions to use with USGS topographic and thematic maps as starting points to uncover mysteries about the cultural and physical geography of the Earth.
Corn Maze Geography
Visit a corn maze and use these activities to learn about maps and geography.
Finding Your Way with a Map and Compass
A brief description of how to navigate using a compass and topographic maps.   Icon for classroom activities
How to Use a Compass with a USGS Topographic Map
Learn to navigate using a topographic map and a compass.
Topographic Maps Illustrating Physiographic Features
Topographic maps can be used to study a wide range of physical features in the United States. This helps students learn about the geologic evolution of the Nation's natural landscapes and shows how topographic maps reveal more about the land surface than just its shape and elevation. Roam your cursor across maps and images on this online viewer to learn about selected features of the American landscape .   Icon for lab resources  Icon for cost of supplies
Map Symbols
An explanation of topographic maps and map symbols.
Free Digital USGS Topographic Map Quadrangles
Click on "Map Locator & Downloader" to download free USGS topographic map quadrangles in georeferenced PDF (GeoPDF) format. Paper copies (a cost product) can be ordered at the same location.
125 Years of USGS Topographic Maps
December, 2009 marked the 125th anniversary of the USGS Topographic Mapping Program. View historical photographs of USGS topographers and cartographers at work.
US Topo: The Next Generation Topographic Map
Do you teach about maps, or do you use them in the classroom? The USGS has a new map series called the US Topo. Modeled on the old topographic series, these maps are derived from digital data that allow the entire contiguous U.S. to be remapped every three years. Download free digital US Topo maps through the Map Locator. Download PDF files of traditional topographic maps at the same site.

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Map Tools
USGS Geographic Names Information System (GNIS)
GNIS contains information for almost 2 million physical and cultural geographic features in the United States and its territories. Query the database to find individual features and their corresponding coordinates. Search results include links to online air photos and topographic maps containing the feature. GNIS is also a layer of The National Map (above).   Icon for lab resources
Elevations and Distances
Tables of information covering elevations of features and distances between points in the United States . Also locates the geographic center of each state.   Icon for lab resources
Map-It: Form-based Simple Map Generator
Enter the longitude and latitude of points to plot on a simple map. Download a postscript version of the resulting map.   Icon for lab resources

Satellite Imagery
Tracking Change over Time
Enhance students' learning of geography, map reading, earth science, and problem solving through landscape changes recorded by satellites in space.
Satellite Image Gallery
A special collection of satellite images that record beautiful sights, events of historic significance, and scenes that stir the imagination. Includes the 'Earth as Art' collection. All images can be downloaded for free as high-resolution JPEG files.
Free USGS Satellite Images
Most USGS satellite images are now available for free download. Download an entire scene containing all bands and metadata in a single zipped file. Access the data through Earth Explorer or the more user-friendly GloVis Viewer.
Download free georeferenced satellite images in JPEG format. In this format they can be visually interpreted and compared without the need for complicated software. Terra Look is a joint USGS/NASA project that anyone can use to see changes in the Earth over time.
A mesmerizing, near-real time viewer that displays data received from the Landsat 5 and Landsat 7 satellites as they pass over the United States.
Earthshots: Satellite Images of Environmental Change
Before-and-after satellite images of environmental change events. The image sets include detailed descriptions of what occurred, a list of references, and a question/answer.
Satellite Image of Your State
Download and print a spectacular free image of your state created by combining satellite imagery with the National Elevation Dataset.

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Download or Purchase USGS Maps and Satellite Imagery
USGS Store
A quick and easy way to find and order printed USGS products: paper maps, books, and other publications. Also use this site to download free 1:24K, 1:100K and 1:250K topographic maps for anywhere in the U.S. in GeoPDF format, and to browse educational products. Teacher discountsare available for some purchases.
Free downloads of digital USGS data including satellite imagery, digital aerial photos, and cartographic products. Some high-resolution scans of air photography must still be purchased. Locate products by name, coordinates, or define on a map.
Global Visualization Viewer (GloVis)
The most user-friendly method for browsing and ordering Landsat, Terra ASTER, MODIS, and EO-1 satellite images and NAPP photography. Allows convenient preview of images and scene mosaics. All USGS satellite imagery is available through this Web site.

Land Use History and Changing Landscapes
The Southern Appalachians: A Changing World
The video and educational guide entitled The Southern Appalachians: A Changing World describe the Southern Appalachian Mountains and how the geologic events that took place millions of years ago influenced the landscape, climate, soils, and living things that can be seen there today. Spanning a vast area from Virginia to Georgia, the Southern Appalachians are some of the oldest mountains on Earth and are known worldwide for their unusual beauty and rich biological diversity. A video, a teacher's guide, and a free booklet called "Birth of the Mountains" are included in this comprehensive resource. A recent map, Geology of the Southern Appalachian Mountains is designed for educational use.   Icon for teaching module  Icon for classroom activities  Icon for lab resources
Land Use History of North America
Describes the historical and on-going changes in land use and land cover for several regions around the U.S. The section on Land Use Changes in the Southwestern U.S. A section for teachers is under construction.
USGS Urban Dynamics Research Program
Describes a project that analyzes land use change in urban environments in order to provide a historical perspective of land use change and an assessment of the spatial patterns, rates, correlation, trends, and impacts of that change. Includes links to computer animations of urban growth in the San Francisco Bay Area and the Baltimore-Washington Area.
Urban Growth in American Cities
An on-line publication that illustrates the spatial history of urban growth in sixteen areas around the U.S. and the corresponding land use change. Images can be downloaded as GIF files.
Analyzing Land Use Change in Urban Environments (PDF)
Four-page USGS Fact Sheet describing and illustrating the need for urban growth studies.
Earthshots: Satellite Images of Environmental Change
Earthshots is an e-book of before-and-after Landsat images (1972-present), showing recent environmental events and introducing the concept of remote sensing. Some changes are due to natural causes and some are due to human causes. Each set of images includes a detailed description, photographs and maps, a list of references, and a question/answer. Images are best used on-line.   Icon for lab resources
Repeat Photography for Mojave Desert Ghost Towns and Mining Sites
Look at photographs from multiple years to see how human activity has impacted the landscape around Mojave Desert mining towns and, alternatively, see the ephemeral nature of some of the towns and the degree to which the landscape has recovered from their presence.

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Thematic Maps
USGS Map Catalog: Culture and History
Click on "Education Products" then "Culture and History" to browse maps related to the exploration, history, and cultural resources of the United States. Most of these maps can be purchased in paper format. Map titles include:   Icon for classroom activities  Icon for lab resources  Icon for cost of supplies
  • Indian Land Areas Judicially Established
  • Indian Land Areas
  • Indian Lands in the United States
  • Early Indian Tribes, Culture Areas, and Linguistic Stocks
  • Lewis and Clark: A Legacy of Science
  • Routes of the Principal Explorers
  • 1857 Map of the USA
  • An Emerging Nation (first map of the United States, made in 1784)
  • Electing the President (political map for 2000)
  • Public Land Surveys Map (1776 through 1965)
  • Outline Map of the United States
Federal Lands and Indian Reservations - Printable Maps
Maps showing Federal lands and Indian Reservations for the entire U.S. or individual states. Maps print on 8.5"x11" paper.   Icon for lab resources
Congressional District Maps for the 113th Congress
Each map shows the Congressional District overlaid on top of State and county boundaries along with interstate and US highways, select streams and water bodies, and major cities. Maps are available in GIF and PDF file formats and print on 8.5"x11" paper.
Presidential Elections: 1789-2012 - Printable maps from The National Map
Fourteen pages designed to be viewed and downloaded from the web. The pages are a standard 8.5 by 11-inch landscape format. Each map is available in GIF and PDF file formats that allow you to view and print the maps on 8.5"x11" paper.

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Historic Exploration of the United States
The Lewis and Clark Expedition and the USGS
Links to USGS publications and other resources related to the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Includes resources specifically targeted to teachers and students.   Icon for lab resources
A Satellite View of the Journey of Lewis and Clark
A collection of satellite images that provides a contemporary view of the route that Lewis and Clark took from St. Louis , Missouri , to the Pacific Coast . Includes descriptions of events that took place at each location. Images can be viewed on-line or high-resolution JPEG files can be downloaded and printed.   Icon for lab resources

GIS (Geographic Information Systems)
Exploring Africa's Physical and Cultural Geography Using GIS
Use either ArcView or ArcGIS software to explore the geography of Africa through seven activities.
Digital Elevation Model (DEM) Creation and Analysis
Create a DEM using interpolated elevations from a topographic map and GIS software.


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