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, three of
the biggest and best sites are MapBlast,
MapQuest and Maps on Us.
With the mapping technology on these
sites, 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. For fun, also
check out How far Is It?. Simply
enter any two locations on Earth and the calculator will tell you the
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. 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
Venice, Italy. You can also link to articles on the subject from
Microsoft's Encarta encyclopedia.
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.
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 view
sections 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 and
congressional districts or dozens of other census data sets.