I’m still in love with my iPad. Even though I’ve had it for just over seven months, it’s hard to imagine free time and work without it. I know it’s weird but there it is. I use it all the time.

And so during a recent conversation about the educational impact of mobile devices like the iPad and iPod, the discussion shifted to useful geography apps. I’ve been using several that I like but heard about some new ones. Figured I’d share out what I’ve learned.

So here ya go . . . 13 very cool and useful mobile apps for teaching and learning geography. (Where the app has both iPod and iPad versions, I’ve linked to the iPod version)

1. Stack the States – As you learn state capitals, shapes, geographic locations and more, you can actually touch, move and drop the animated states anywhere on the screen. Carefully build a stack of states that reaches the checkered line to win each level. As you earn more states, you unlock the three free bonus games: Pile Up, Puzzler and Capital Drop.  Both iPod and iPad versions.
99 cents but also a free Lite version
(grades K-8)

2. Stack the Countries – Same idea as Stack the States but with countries and continents.
$1.99
(grades K-8)

3. History Maps of the World – Huge collection of high resolution historical maps from around the world. Both iPod and iPad versions.
Free
(grades K-12)

4. History Maps of the US – Same as History Maps of the World but for the US. The same publisher has maps of all the continents. Both iPod and iPad versions.
$4.99
(grades K-12)

5. Learn with Maps US – This full version has over 150 historical maps with the ability to create favorite lists, create slideshows and searchable by theme or year. The free version has 24 maps.
99 cents for either iPod or iPad version
(grades 5-12)

6. Learn with Maps World – Same as above
99 cents for either iPod or iPad version
(grades 5-12)

7. Discovery US Geography – A very cool app with tons of goodies. Become an expert in U.S. Geography while being entertained for hours on end. With dozens of breathtaking videos, interactive gameplay, global competition and sharing.
$4.99 for iPod version
$6.99 for iPad version
(grades 3-12)

8. National Geographic World Atlas – Uses the high resolution images and maps and contains seven different levels of National Geographic cartography, plus seven bonus levels of sat images that zooms down to house level. Also has up-to-date, expertly researched, flags and facts database which contains concise geographic and socio-economic data.
$1.99 for either iPod or iPad version
(grades 3-12)

9. The World HD – Touch a country and its factbook slides onto the screen, each topic neatly organized as tiles along the edge of the map. Touch a tile and it zooms out to reveal detailed information about that topic. Not sure where a country is located? Select it on the drop-down list and The World zooms in on it and opens the factbook.
$3.99 iPad only
(grades 3-12)

10. Rome / Virtual History – Though not technically a specific geography tool, Virtual Rome is just too cool not include in this list. It does contain maps of but a truly fantastic voyage to Ancient Rome,  reconstructed in virtual form and which you can explore in a “full-immersion” panoramic experience. 3D models and maps make this a must for World History teachers. Incredibly awesome!
$9.99 iPad only
(grades 3-12)

11. MapProjector with Google Maps – Present live maps and satellite imagery from your iPad to a TV or projector. Map projector lets you save multiple maps with landmarks, and present them on the big screen. Live updates let you zoom and scroll your maps and add colored pins to mark points of interest with a title and caption, all while presenting your maps to a larger audience. Perfect for teacher and student presentations.
$1.99 iPad only
(grades 3-12)

12. Maps.com US History Atlas – These carefully created maps provide detailed coverage for many major United States historical periods. Maps are easy to read and zoomable, as well as categorized by index for ease of use.
$1.99 iPad only
(grades 3-12)

13. US Census Atlas – Contains almost 800 maps and data from decennial censuses  support nearly 150 maps and figures, providing context and an historical perspective for many of the topics presented. A variety of topics are covered in the Census Atlas, ranging from language and ancestry characteristics to housing patterns and the geographic distribution of the population. A majority of the maps in the Census Atlas present data at the county level, but data also are sometimes mapped by state, large cities and metropolitan areas and selected American Indian reservations.
$1.99 for either iPod and iPad version
(grades 3-12)

Have fun!

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