Charting the World: Geography and Maps from Cave Paintings to GPS with 21 Activities

Overview

As soon as early humans began to scratch images on cave walls, they began to create maps. And while these first drawings were used to find hunting grounds or avoid danger, they later developed into far more complex navigational tools. Charting the World tells the fascinating history of maps and mapmaking, navigators and explorers, and the ways that technology has enhanced our ability to understand the world around us. Richly illustrated with full-color maps and diagrams, it gives children an in-depth appreciation...

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Overview

As soon as early humans began to scratch images on cave walls, they began to create maps. And while these first drawings were used to find hunting grounds or avoid danger, they later developed into far more complex navigational tools. Charting the World tells the fascinating history of maps and mapmaking, navigators and explorers, and the ways that technology has enhanced our ability to understand the world around us. Richly illustrated with full-color maps and diagrams, it gives children an in-depth appreciation of geographical concepts and principles and shows them how to unlock the wealth of information maps contain. It also features 21 hands-on activities for readers to put their new skills to the test.

            Children will: build a three-dimensional island model using a contour map, engrave a simple map on an aluminum “printing plate,” determine the elevation of hills in their neighborhood, draw a treasure map and have a friend search for the hidden stash, create a nautical chart of a small puddle, survey their backyard or local park, navigate a course using a compass, and much more.

            Now more than ever, the study of geography is crucial to understanding our ever-changing planet, from political change and warfare to environmental conservation and population growth.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The 21 side activities are enlightening and range widely in difficulty without requiring expensive or hard-to-get materials." —Kirkus Reviews

“With its vast array of information delivered in a dense text, this volume is for dedicated students.” —School Library Journal

Children's Literature - Amy S. Hansen
I love maps but I recognize that not everyone is as fascinated by them as I am. Panchyk's book helps explain why maps are exciting, how they expand our world, and have done so for generations. He starts by explaining his own passion: "To me, maps had a magical way of reducing vast and distant lands to manageable sizes so that I could conquer these places in my imagination and easily follow wide rivers, climb high mountain peaks and cross great deserts with the tip of my finger." Maps document the lay of the land, the placement of cities, and the height of mountains, among many other things. Panchyk walks us through these mapmaking skills, offering activities along the way. The activities will not create full-fledged cartographers, but will put their job into perspective. Panchyk also provides sidebars about such notable explorers as Amerigo Vespucci, for whom America was named. And of course, the maps in the book are fabulous. From the gilded world map circa 1586 to the Bird's-Eye View map of Virginia City, Nevada (1875), the maps show different ways of looking at the world and different ways of turning the unknown into the known. Highly recommended. Backmatter includes glossary, selected bibliography and index. Reviewer: Amy S. Hansen
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up—Serious map junkies and aspiring cartographers will find this book fascinating, but many general readers will be lost. One disappointment is that the maps are so small. The author recommends copying them for the suggested projects, but a magnifying glass will also be useful. Much attention is devoted to how maps have been produced over time: from an initial outline on a rock to developments involving etching copper plates and eventually aerial mapping using satellites and computers. Because discovering the Americas required charting undocumented territory, the book primarily focuses on the time period after 1492 and more specifically on mapping the United States. Numerous historical facts such as the settlement of the Canadian/American border, the Missouri Compromise, and the origin of the Mason-Dixon Line are included. The author explains how maps can help track the outbreak of disease or outline political sensibilities in an election year. He discusses treasure maps and how they first appeared in literature. While noteworthy, these sorts of details clutter the presentation. With its vast array of information delivered in dense text, this volume is for dedicated students. Others may simply examine the captions. Projects employ easily accessible materials, but with complicated explanations and the math element inherent to mapping, they may also be daunting.—Janet S. Thompson, Chicago Public Library
Kirkus Reviews

Historical examples and enrichment activities aplenty partly compensate for dry prose and iffy language in this broad overview of maps and their uses.

In topical chapters, the author covers the development of local and world maps, explains map reading in painstaking detail, covers geophysical features and forces, focuses on New World maps, then closes with considerations of specialized and political uses of maps and (in a cursory way) how satellites have mapped our planet and others. Absent a needed illustration of the prehistoric maps he mentions, there are otherwise color maps or photos on every spread, accompanying barrages of informative observations and facts. Some of these, like a tally of European explorers who "discovered" parts of the Americas and a note that gold rush prospectors encountered "Indians, mountains, deserts, and great rivers" on their way to the gold fields, could have been more sensitively expressed. Aside from a vague invitation to disprove the four-color theorem somehow by coloring a map, the 21 side activities are enlightening and range widely in difficulty without requiring expensive or hard-to-get materials. If readers come away thinking that "graphy" is a Greek word, they'll also have a clear notion of why maps are worth studying.

A wide-angled survey, but the pictures carry the problematic narrative. (bibliography, online resource list, index; not seen) (Nonfiction. 10-14)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781569763445
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/1/2011
  • Series: For Kids Series
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 691,152
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.40 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Panchyk is the author of World War II for Kids, Franklin Delano Roosevelt for Kids, and Galileo for Kids, and the coauthor of Engineering the City.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2011

    Is it good

    I dont know if I should buy it

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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