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Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States


found in: arts; social studies; 6-8; 9-12

Atlas of the Historical Geography of the United States  is a digital version of an atlas first published in 1932 and, in close to 700 maps, illustrates social, political, and environmental topics from 1492-1931. The atlas can serve as a source of information and infographic ideas for students in grade 6-12 social studies, history, and art/design. The digital atlas offers functions like animation and clickability. On the About Page, an Introductory Video (1:26) provides an overview. It also demonstrates additional functions and provides tips for navigating the atlas. Note: Use the navigation buttons on each page when provided. Using a browser’s back button will not always return you to the previous page.

The Table of Contents lists the atlas’s chapters or thematic collections. The Natural Environment, for example, has additional subheadings. One of these, Explorations in the West and Southwest, 1535-1852 covers Spanish, French, and American exploration. French Explorations in the West, 1673-1794  charts 19 expeditions from Joliette and Marquette in 1673 to Truteau in 1794. Buttons in the upper right corner of the page allow users to toggle the map legend on and off and bring up brief accounts of each expedition. Click the animate button in the lower left corner to reveal a timeline and to trace each expedition on the map. Because they contain a lot of detail and information, the maps will work best on a large screen, ideally a whiteboard.

Other maps show maritime explorers’ routes, snow cover, cloudiness, industry and transportation, political parties, distribution of wealth, city plans, and more.

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