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National Geographic's Giant Traveling Map visits Juneau
Published: 12/03/2009 17:39:00
National Geographic's Giant Traveling Map visits Juneau
VIDEO: National Geographic's Giant Traveling Map visits Juneau (Image: Mikko Wilson / KATH-TV)


The maps are cartographically accurate and highly detailed
The maps are cartographically accurate and highly detailed (Mikko Wilson / KATH-TV)

The Traveling Giant Map comes with a crate full of educational activities
The Traveling Giant Map comes with a crate full of educational activities (Mikko Wilson / KATH-TV)

One of the Giant Map activities is a race to place a cone on states as they are called by name
One of the Giant Map activities is a race to place a cone on states as they are called by name (Mikko Wilson / KATH-TV)

This week students have been experiencing geography on a really big scale with one of National Geographics Giant Traveling Maps. Katie Kennedy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks has bought the massive map of North America to Juneau and is teaching lessons from a new perspective.

Kennedy told us how the large scale of the map allows for hands on exploration: A really neat thing to do on this map is latitude-longitude studies because its such a large portion of the globe, that it a allows students to really grasp; they can literally walk along a line of latitude or longitude and really get the sense of walking from 10 degrees north all the way up to 80 degrees north latitude. And thats a hard concept not only to teach, but really to learn. So its really cool to have the map to do things like that. Its physical, its kinesthetic, theyre learning all kinds of stuff, but they dont really feel like it because theyre moving around and interacting with the map.

There are only 10 of these maps, which are believed to be the largest in the world, created at a cost of about 35-thousand dollars each. They are based on the maps by the same name that appear in the National Geographic world Atlas, the imagery is enhanced however to allow for the larger edition. The North America map measures 26 by 35 feet, weighs in at 101 pounds, and travels in its own special 11 foot long case.

I really love the moment when kids first walk into the room, and they yell whoa, that things huge, its really fun to see the awe factor they have at the beginning like wow cool. But teachers have really enjoyed it as well, and Ive gotten really good feedback everybody wants me to come back and do it again if possible. Unfortunately theres only a small number of these maps, and they are out on loan throughout the school year all over the country, they go from state to state on a first come first served bases. I was just lucky enough to get the map. Kennedy comments.

There are plans for the Giant Map Africa to visit Juneau in the Spring.

http://events.nationalgeographic.com/events/special-events/giant-traveling-maps/

By: Mikko Wilson - mikko@kath.tv