Geography can be difficult to teach – sometimes it can seem like it’s mostly just facts and places. Regions. Types of mining in different places. Weather patterns. Vegetation. Lots of, well . . . boring stuff. It becomes easy to simply present the facts and ask kids to memorize things.

But we can do better. One way to do better is to ask better questions. Let kids discover things on their own. Let them solve problems. One way to do this is ask questions about maps. But not just regular, turn to page 47 in your geography textbook kind of maps. But, you know, cool maps.

So here ya go. A world map using only the locations of the world’s runways, helicopter pads and airports.

airport world map

Here’s another one. A moving world map using 420,000 hacked computers.

hacked computers

How about this one? A map highlighting world wide Facebook usage.

facebook world map

So you got some maps. What questions can you ask?

How about:

  • Where are the developing countries? How do you know?
  • Does location make a difference in who has access to knowledge? Does this matter?
  • How does access to electricity impact how people live?

What questions can you come up with?