Explore your world with map themes, data, and tools for customizing your map
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Welcome to the MapMaker Interactive
This tutorial explains how to explore National Geographic Education's interactive GIS mapping tool and tools for customizing outline maps for print.
Use the zoom bar to go from a world view to a local view (or in cartographic terms, from a large scale to a small scale). If you zoom out to a world view, you will see that the map is in a Mercator projection.
Use the location menus at the top to zoom from a world view to a continent, country, or other region.
Identify your geographic position on the map using the latitude and longitude display at the bottom left. The latitude and longitude values change as you pan around the map.
Switch between different styles of base maps including a custom layer from National Geographic, satellite, terrain, and topographic views.
Using the 1-Page base map, click on a continent, country, or state to load the corresponding MapMaker 1-Page map.
The tabs on the left offer different tools for working with the map: themes, drawing tools, and markers. Open and close the tabs by clicking the arrows.
Use the transparency scroll bar to change the transparency of map layers. This is a useful tool when you are viewing more than one layer at a time and want to explore relationships between layers.
Notice that not all layers can be viewed at every zoom level. Some map layers will become unavailable when you zoom in to a large scale.
Use the Drawing Tools tab to access tools that allow you to draw lines and shapes and add labels to your map.
Use the Markers tab to find markers that you can drag and drop on the map. You can adjust the marker size to meet your needs.
The measure tool lets you measure distances on the map in either miles or kilometers. Select the tool, click once on the map and move your mouse. Click again and the distance value will appear along your line segment. Keep clicking and panning to measure additional segments and the total distance will display at the end of your line, by the cursor. Double-click to finish and select the arrow tool when you are done measuring.
You can download your map as either an image file to include in a report or presentation or as an XML file that you can re-open. The XML file type is helpful if you are creating a custom map and want to come back to it to work on later.
Then find the saved file on your computer, select, and open. Now you can continue working on your map.
MapMaker 1-Page MapsLooking for downloadable, black-and-white maps of the world, continents, countries and states? Try our MapMaker 1-Page Maps. Below is a selection to get started with. Or, view them all.