Thursday, September 29, 2016

Maps, LA Times, May 26, 1999

Maps are more than a means for locating places throughout the world. Meteorologists use maps in forecasting weather and geologists use them in predicting earthquakes. There are skills that can help you become a more effective map reader. Explore the world through map-making or cartography by using the direct links on The Times' Launch Point Web site:
Here are the best sites for getting your schoolwork done or for just having fun.
Level 1
Mapmaker, Mapmaker, Make Me a Map: How do mapmakers take a three-dimensional object like the Earth and represent it using a two-dimensional object like paper? They use different systems of projection, which means that some dimensions are in perspective while others are distorted. Learn how different types of maps are made and find out what it takes to be a cartographer.
Weather Maps: Weather maps summarize what is going on in the atmosphere at a certain location and altitude. Learn about the symbols on a weather map and find out how meterologists use these maps to predict the weather.
Color Landform Atlas of the United States: Relief maps show elevation by color. View the 50 states through a variety of perspectives, from relief and satellite maps to historical maps from the 1890s.
Level 2
Learning About Maps: Learn about the concepts of latitude and longitude, find out how undersea maps are made and used, and try some mapping activities.
Cartography: The Art of Making Maps, the Science of Where You Are: Scientists use maps from different perspectives for many uses. Explore Puget Sound using satellite maps, topographic maps and weather maps and discover a variety of uses for maps.
National Geographic Xpeditions: Whether it's a state, province, country or continent you want to view, use this interactive collection of more than 600 maps to get a clearer picture of the world.
Level 3
Mathematics of Cartography: What Are Maps? Maps can be used to represent anything that can be spatially conceived. Learn more about different kinds of maps, read about the history of cartography and discover the mathematics behind mapping, including some fun map challenges.
Finding Your Way With Map and Compass: Maps are drawn to scale, which means that the distance between points on a map is in mathematical proportion to the actual distance depicted. Learn what the symbols mean on a topographic map and how to use one with a compass to get your bearings.
The Map Room: Early Polynesians created stick charts to mark navigational routes between islands while the ancient Babylonians made durable maps from clay tablets. View photos of the first maps and measuring devices, develop your map-reading skills by learning about scale and projection, and enjoy an assortment of maps and fun map facts.
Launch Point is produced by the UC Irvine department of education, which reviews each site for appropriateness and quality. Even so, parents should supervise their children's use of the Internet. This column was designed by Bret M. Lynes and Anna Manring.
The answer to this Internet quiz can be found in the sites at right.
If one inch represents one mile on a map, what is the map's scale?
CLUE: See Finding Your Way With Map and Compass
Find What You Need to Know: Have a project on California history? Need help doing a math problem? Launch Point now covers more than 80 topics for getting your schoolwork done. Go to for the full list of subjects and links to the best Internet sites.
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