Whether you're looking for a street map of Santa Monica or directions
to the dentist, map sites on the Internet can help you find your way.
Web-based technology has given birth to numerous sites with
interactive mapping programs that are free, comprehensive and easy to
use. So throw away that cumbersome, impossible-to-fold paper map, log
on and look it up.
The Maps section of LibrarySpot.com is an excellent source. There you'll find everything from airport maps to road maps to ski maps.
How to Get There from Here
If you want to look up the location of a specific address, four of
the biggest and best sites are Google Maps,
MapQuest, Rand McNally and Yahoo! Maps.
With the mapping technology on these
sites, you can see a street, satellite, or hybrid map of any address or intersection, and you can zoom in or out and create full-page printouts. You can
also get driving directions between practically any two points,
whether you are going from New York to Orlando or just around the
corner. One feature allows you to find businesses
nearest a specific address, which can be helpful if you are
unfamiliar with the area or looking for a great place to eat dinner. Google Maps also has a
great feature called "Street View" that you can use to see a ground-level, 360-degree view
of any address in select cities. You can also use the Rand McNally site to see personalized traffic alerts
and have them sent to your cell phone.
Learn While You Look
National Geographic has long been known for its detailed political
and historical maps. The publication offers a
these maps from its Web site. Another good source for educational
maps is Atlapedia Online. This site
contains full-color physical and political maps, and key facts and
statistics for nearly every country in the world, along with more resources for students. Microsoft's
Terraserver boasts that it will
locate "anyplace on Earth." One neat feature allows you to view
images and maps of dozens of famous places like Mount Everest or
The University of Texas at Austin
has one of the world's largest collections of maps. Their online
collection features maps of many countries, historical maps and more
than 700 maps of the United States. For fun, also check out How far Is It?.
Simply enter any two locations on Earth and the calculator will tell you the distance.
Maps for the Serious Geographer
In 1997, the U.S. Geographical Survey set out to create the most
complete and current National Atlas of the U.S.A..
These topographical maps show every
hill and stream in the country. From their Web site, you can customize your own map, play with interactive maps
and print or order complete maps. The U.S. Census Bureau's
Tiger Map Service
allows users to map locations using a layer
technique. For instance, you could overlay zip codes, bodies of water, railroads,
congressional districts and dozens of other census data sets.