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Monday, May 16, 2011

TOS Review WonderMaps

If you are like me Geography is a struggle.  When I was young we moved, a lot.  I don't remember ever learning the 50 states so when I hit 8th grade and they handed out a map of the states to fill in I was the only one that couldn't do it.  It was embarrassing and frustrating.  To this day, I am unsure of where all the states go. :(  Should I have admitted that?  hmmm, don't think less of me okay?  ;-)

So, am I doing better for my kids?  Um...If I am being honest I would have to say no.  Unfortunately.  I try but it is so hard to fit it in along with everything else we want to accomplish.  I also don't enjoy Geography curricula by itself so I don't buy them!  That means that my kids aren't getting enough Geography.

For one thing it is so difficult finding the map you need to fit with the studies you are doing.  And sometimes when you find the map then you can't find the Teacher's Map to go with it.  Consequently it sometimes doesn't get done.

I have recently found something that could help others like me turn the corner.  It is WonderMaps from Bright Ideas Press.  It is an amazing computer software program that is full of maps that are changeable to what you need.  It is has been great fun to play with!

Wondermaps Logo

From the website:
What is WonderMaps? It’s a customizable collection of over 350 different maps. With nearly endless possibilities, WonderMaps makes it easy to regularly integrate map study into a variety of lessons and make the most of every learning opportunity.

WonderMaps is designed with easy-to-use layers that allow you to enjoy great customizable features with just a click. Select:

  • historical or modern-day maps
  • outline, reference, political, or topographical maps
  • black-and-white or color maps
  • features including:  names, borders, rivers, cities, physical features, and graticules
WonderMaps includes:

  • 60+ maps of the world
  • 60+ maps of the USA
  • 125 historical maps, including 25 biblical maps
  • The complete map sets from The Mystery of History vols. I–III and All American History vols. I & II
Sound cool?  It is!  I was able to find the exact map we needed with just a few clicks of the mouse and I was printing both a map for my kids and map for myself.  It was easy to adjust WonderMaps to fit our history curriculum and that benefits my whole family! 

Watch this video and see what you think.

Cool, right?

Here are some pictures to drool over!

Check out all these cool options!

Here is the 'original'...

Here is a customized version.

opening page
Easy to navigate sections take you to the right maps every time.

This is just such a cool program that I can't even begin to tell you and show you all the things that come with it.  I was just playing around with it and was laughing out loud with how cool it is!  I pulled up the Historical Maps, clicked on the era I wanted which happened to be the Revolutionary Era and found the map of the Revolutionary Battles in America.  I was then able to remove the key, remove the path of the British, French, or Americans, remove the state borders, city names, and battle sites.  What I print depends on what we need at the time.  That one map could serve so many different purposes in our school setting.

This is a product that is truly worth the money.  How much is it, you ask?  Well, let me tell you!  WonderMaps can be purchased on disk or download for $49.95.  That is a pretty small price considering the amount of versatile maps you get and the fact that you can use it with as many students as you have.  This is one of those handy tools you wish you had.  It is available for Mac or PC and requires Adobe Reader v.9.1 or higher.

Check out this great new product, you won't be disappointed.

If you want to find out what other Crew members thought, head over to The Crew Blog and check them out.

**I received a copy of WonderMaps through The TOS Crew in exchange for my honest review.

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