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Make History Interactive with HistoryMaps

by Miguel Guhlin

Historians and K-12 students use historical maps for a similar purpose. Maps provide a window into the past. They enable us to see what people knew or understood at a particular time in history. You can find paper maps and digital maps in great plenty online, but one outlet for digital maps is the free, interactive site HistoryMaps.

Learn, Interact, Explore with HistoryMaps

HistoryMaps, available online or via the Android or iOS app, makes it easy to access historical maps. Additionally, the interface is available in multiple languages, including Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.

The founder of HistoryMaps, Nono Umasy, describes his goal in this way:

Once upon a time…I loved reading stories about far-off lands from picture books at the local library. Much of that same sense of wonderment still remains with me today. I still love History. I’m still curious about stories from remote places that happened a long time ago. So, when I decided to study again, I wanted to create something to help me. This was how HistoryMaps started.

About HistoryMaps

Explore HistoryMaps, and you’ll find a different aspect of history represented with each period offering interactive stories, images, and videos, like this one:

Periods Shared

HistoryMaps offers insights into various periods in history, including:

  • Ancient History
  • Medieval Period
  • Early Modern Period
  • Late Modern Period

As you find your way through each story, images of maps and various people from the time period appear.

Screenshot by author

For example, when you search for United States History, you’ll see this:

Screenshot by author

The videos that accompany each HistoryMaps are about twelve minutes long. There are embedded video advertisements that would appeal to student viewers. You will want to review these sponsored videos for relevance and appropriateness.

Mobile Apps Available

You might want to use the mobile app version of HistoryMaps website. Each HistoryMap on mobile features an opening page with content, characters, and text. The text source for characters is Wikipedia, so critical examination is a must.

Screenshot by author

In examining The History of California, you will find the mobile version. The images and maps are stunning, as is the cover art.

Screenshot by author

Critical Examination of Content

Watching The Colonial History of the United States, you will see references made to Paleo-Americans. More information appears to address concerns of Indigenous Peoples. You might want to pair student use of HistoryMaps with critical tools that look for bias in history.

Here are four blog entries that offer approaches that may assist you:

You will find Black History included as part of the Civil Rights Movement HistoryMaps.

Screenshot by author

Powerful content is available to fuel learning in the classroom. Be sure to learn, interact, and explore.

Feature Image Source

Screenshot by author, HistoryMaps website

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