Saturday, September 24, 2011

WonderMaps CD Review

I was given the opportunity from Timberdoodle to review WonderMaps by Bright Ideas Press.

This is a unique mapping 'program' / CD where you build what you want in your map in layers and can print off specifically what you are studying.  WonderMaps works with both a PC or a Mac and requires Adobe Flash Player 9.1.  (I had to load Adobe on my MacBook to use this because I use another reader.)

First the nuts and bolts:

WonderMaps is designed with easy-to-use layers that allow you to enjoy great customizable features with just a click. Select:

  • historical or modern-day maps
  • outline, reference, political, or topographical maps
  • black-and-white or color maps
  • features including:  names, borders, rivers, cities, physical features, and graticules
WonderMaps includes:
  • 60+ maps of the world
  • 60+ maps of the USA
  • 125 historical maps, including 25 biblical maps
  • The complete map sets from The Mystery of History vols. I–III and All American History vols. I & II

So how does this work?  Our first foray into the program didn't go so great.  For schooling here we are 'set' with our math program and everything else kind of just follows depending on our interests.  I had decided a few weeks ago to start Veritas Biblical history.  We were reading the Bible, and AJ wanted to know where the Garden of Eden would be located.  When you go into WonderMaps you can choose from four sections...The World, US, Historical and Thematic maps.

I did check the Bible section but that does not start until The Table of Nations in Genesis 10 so I hopped over to world regions and found the correct map.  The nice thing about this program is that you can declutter your map to include just what you want..rivers, states, capitols.  But, I never did find Iraq.  For some reason those countries are not labeled on the map.  Perhaps it is because they are war torn and there is no way to know exactly what the foundations look like.

As I mentioned, sometimes we go with the wind on what we will study.  AJ saw "World Wars" and wanted to take a peek.  This is one of the choices underneath the Thematic section.  This is a great section that shows the lay of the land at various points in history.

I decided to just keep it simple from this stage and to have AJ identify the places he has been.  As fans know, we went on quite a trip this summer.  Just for fun I will include a few fun pics.

AJ is not one to fill out a worksheet but because we had been to these places he found a connection and gladly looked at a map (without the states) to try and fill in the blank.

You can watch a six minute tutorial to see more about it here.

And you can see other reviews by going here.   This sells for $44.95 on Timberdoodle.  It is a unique CD and I have never seen anything else like it anywhere.  It takes some getting used to but it can be used throughout your children's education.

A few final words.  Timberdoodle, if you are not aware, has many items that many homeschoolers and 'brick and mortar' schoolers could use.  They also have a homeschool specific catalog both online or in print.  (I am betting many 'after-schoolers' would like this as well.)  Of course they have a facebook page!  I have spent just a few dollars with Timberdoodle.


I receieved a copy of WonderMaps as part of the Timberdoodle review team in exchange for my honest review

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