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Yahoo! Internet Life Honors National Geographic Site

Map Machine Shows New Interface, New Collection of Historic Maps

National Geographic Society's popular and award-winning Map Machine now has even more features to use. Boasting a new user interface and the addition of historic maps from the Library of Congress, Map Machine is one of the most in-depth and user-friendly online interactive tools used by map lovers, avid explorers, outdoor enthusiasts, and professionals who are looking for the latest map data. The place to go on the Web to create, find, and print maps of every description is

In fact, Yahoo! Internet Life was so impressed with the site that they named it one of the "50 Most Incredibly Useful Sites" in its July 2001 issue.


To create this ultimate map application, National Geographic teamed up with Esri. Map Machine uses Esri's ArcIMS to enable people to access maps and the vast amount of up-to-date geographic data from a variety of government agencies and the National Geographic Society. It's all in one place and in a format that is easy to use.

Web visitors to can pan and zoom from global to local scales and search an index of two million place names, as well as create and print thousands of maps by choosing theme, scale, and area of coverage. The dynamic maps and geographic data are organized by themes, such as political, cultural, physical, and meteorological. If a user wants to examine a specific country or region--the United States' Midwest, for example--they can zoom in or type in a state and then click to see earthquake information, tornado patterns, transportation density, political boundaries, ecological regions, land use zones, and other geographic information. By clicking on "Map Key" to the right of the map, the user can clearly understand each rich, dynamic map.

Map Machine can take you from the street to the planets and back in time. The new collection of historic maps from the Library of Congress makes understanding the nation's heritage even more compelling and shows us just how much geography has changed. Historic maps are grouped by five themes: panoramic, railroads, explorations, battles, and general historic maps. If you want to see what Los Angeles was like in 1909, or zoom in on a map of Lewis and Clark's journey across the country (1814), or print a Civil War battle map, they're now located with all the other dynamic maps at A scalable map of Mars and the WildWorld interactive atlas, both added this year, provide additional depth and a "cool" factor to the site.

Visitors can further customize maps by adding icons and bookmark and e-mail maps to others--all without charge.

Map Machine is a continuously updated source of map information. Much of this information is provided by the many federal agencies that maintain and update maps in the public domain including National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Aeronautic and Space Administration, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, U.S. Geological Survey, and Environmental Protection Agency.

For more information, contact Carol Seitz, National Geographic Society (tel.: 202-828-6678, e-mail:

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