A free online atlas can give you all sorts of information to help you with a geography class, a report you're writing or with a general search for knowledge. Whether you want to learn about another country, locate latitudes and longitudes or find out what bodies of water are where, an online atlas is a great way to find out that information.
Where to Find a Free Online Atlas
Some of the best atlases you find online give you more than just where countries are situated. Most everybody probably knows where the continents are, but becoming familiar with countries and smaller areas becomes easier with the assistance of an atlas. Use any of the following websites to view maps and atlases that encompass all areas of Earth:
- World Atlas.com provides a large number of comprehensive maps for you to view. It's possible to get lost with all the clicking you can do. When the site loads, you are presented with a world map. That's where you start: begin clicking on an area you want to look at; detailed maps are available after that. Note that new tabs or windows will pop up with each new map you select. The World Atlas site lets you select various maps within a continent or country map. For example, you can look at the map with capital cities, lakes, landforms or topography, a simple outline and major rivers. Many of the maps include the latitude and longitude numbers. One downside to the site is that is ad-heavy, but that's why you get to look at those maps without paying!
- National Geographic has a free online atlas run by Java applets. View it at National Geographic's Student Atlas. This is a student edition of their MapMachine, so you cannot only view maps by country and continent, but also by "themes." Themes include culture profiles, language and viewer-submitted photos. If you are a student, you can print wall maps or smaller maps for free and if you are a teacher, you can view and print themed lesson plans about different countries for your class. The Standard edition of MapMachine is your basic mapping system where you can view satellite images and delve down into street maps.
- World Atlas.net (notice the .net instead of the .com) gives you basic relief maps of the continents of the world. Clicking on a continent gives you topography visuals like mountain ranges and major rivers and other terrain specifics. The site is nearly clutter-free and easy to maneuver around so if you need a quick relief map of a certain continent, then visit this site.
- Geared more for children, the free online atlases at Your Child Learns are simple maps showing the country shape and any major cities, including the capital of the country. Some maps are interactive, meaning you can click on icons on the map and learn about history or tourist attractions located at that icon. All the countries are represented and you can either click on the country in the full map or select from a list of countries. Also available on the site are map puzzle games you can download and play on your computer. You drag the states or countries to the right locations and you can even learn the capitals by dragging them to the right state or country.
- For more comprehensive atlases, visit Atlapedia. You are able to view political maps as well as relief maps and even key statistical information about the country you select. You have the option of looking at a map of the country or the region around the country you're interested in viewing.
Using the above sites will ensure you have different options when seeking maps of certain countries or needing specific information about an area of the world.