Over the past few years, we have had the opportunity (and pleasure) of reviewing a few of the products from Bright Ideas Press. And, each has been received well in our home. To say I was elated to be one of the Crewmates reviewing their new WonderMaps would be an understatement. I’d heard a little about it before it was launched and was already thinking it looked like a great product.
Now, I recognize that there are plenty of companies with different mapping products available. And, we have used several of them in the past.
What makes WonderMaps different is that you can customize for your needs really easily. Opening the program brings you to a menu that reminds me a lot of Illuminations. From there you can choose what type of map you want to obtain.
- 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
For each map, you can select what ‘layers’ to include. In some ways, this reminds me of the layered transparencies some teachers had. You know the ones… there’s a base layer and then they could add other layers on top of that one OR start with the stack and peel off the layers as needed. Only, with WonderMaps you are using the click of a mouse to add or subtract details (e.g. rivers, cities, or even colored to represent political alignment.)
Map options could be modern day (e.g. world and United States) or historical in nature.
Along with navigating through the actual map options, you can find resources for the teacher as well. I really appreciate ideas of how to incorporate maps for our studies. Just the 50 Bright Ideas for Using Outline Maps could keep me busy for quite a while.
Below is a brief tutorial about WonderMaps to see the features and how you navigate through the pages:
With all that is included, you could spend a few years utilizing it all. Which is a good thing for stretching your homeschool budget across multiple kids!
I have to confess that while we’ve looked over the product on the computer, we have not printed any of the maps. It wasn’t for want of using the product, but rather an uncooperative computer. (Nothing has been printed here for several weeks.) However, I can say with certainty that I’ll be opening up this program in the future to grab maps for our studies. Just being able to add and subtract details from the maps was a learning experience for the boys.
WonderMaps retails for $49.95 and is available through Bright Ideas Press as a download or download with CD mailed to you.
Disclaimer ~ We were provided with a downloaded copy of WonderMaps by Bright Ideas Press for the purpose of this review. No other compensation was provided and the opinions expressed are our own. You can see what the other TOS Crewmates have to say about this product by visiting the TOS Crew Blog.