Great Apps and Websites for Mapmaking

Interacting with maps helps students develop spatial-thinking skills that carry over into other subjects like math and science. As they begin to see the relationships between the places and spaces around them, students will find it easier to visualize difficult concepts and make connections. Check out these apps and websites that let students create and customize maps by annotating points of interest, pinning photos to locations, creating virtual field trips, sharing with students and teachers, and more.  

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Top Picks


National Geographic Education

Explore the fascinating, wide world with multimedia resources

Bottom Line: It's a wonderful resource for anyone looking to learn more about science, geography, ecology, current events -- basically, the world we live in.

Google Earth

Virtual globe shines with breathtaking features, endless possibility

Bottom Line: Outstanding features, interactivity, and astonishing versatility -- the virtual total package for kid explorers.

Google Treks

Cool tool uses maps to create fun projects, could use some updating

Bottom Line: The site offers a good variety of subjects and grade levels, but project quality across the site could use more consistency.


High-quality customizable maps help students understand their world

Bottom Line: This map app takes time to learn to use but offers both teachers and students highly useful tools for creating custom maps and interactive social studies and science presentations.

Atlas Obscura

Explore forgotten spots, hidden gems with user-submitted photos, tales

Bottom Line: A fun gateway to real-world exploration through a stellar online experience.

National Archives DocsTeach

Historical texts, interactive activities can promote critical thinking

Bottom Line: This text-rich app encourages students to conduct their own analysis of history, but the formats and graphics may prevent them from making a thorough analysis.


Unique annotation tool adds learning depth to images, videos

Bottom Line: It's unlike anything else out there, helping students and teachers produce interactive multimedia presentations embedded in images and videos.


Crowdsourcing is key to making history accessible, approachable

Bottom Line: Historypin is an engaging tool to get kids interested in the history of their community and the world.

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