I’ve always enjoyed maps. When taking the Iowa Test of Basic Skills tests many years ago, the map part of the test was the one that I enjoyed doing and the part that I always did well on.

Today, the maps on your phone are great for getting from point A to point B. They really don’t give you a sense of distance or what is in between the start and end points. It’s easy to put in 2 points and it calculates the trip distance and time. A 1003 mile trip in 15 hours is easily computed. But that doesn’t include stops for gas, food, hotel, etc.. Plus, there is a multitude of places that you might was to stop in between!

I grew up using the large paper state maps. When planning a trip, you would need to decide on which roads to take and calculate the distances from one location to another. Attractions or places of interest would be noted on the map as you planned your route. You never know what you might find to make the trip more interesting! Seems like there is a poem that contains the phrase, “I took the one less traveled”.

Of the various map types, I enjoy historical and topographical maps the most. The following links point to some references where you can find these types of maps.

The USGS has topographical and historical maps of the entire U.S dating back to the late 1800s. You can find them at You will want to select “View and Download maps now”. You can even see how a place has grown over time.

Historical Topographic Map Collection

The Library of Congress has collection the contains a wide variety of historical maps.

Map Geeks has a variety of information and a good collection of historical maps Texas maps are at:

Maps that relate to stories help put the story into perspective. Think about the maps for Narnia, Lord of the Rings, and the Hundred Acre Woods. It gives both scale and a quick guide to the world that the story is written in.

Many games have maps as an integral part of the game. Sometimes mapping the levels or the world are the only way to win.

As you can probably guess, I can spend a lot of time just browsing at maps. It’s a wonderful world to wander about in.

Peace, David

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