The crazy life of the ClarkClan. Living a life of grace through Jesus Christ.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Bright Ideas Press- WonderMaps



by Bright Ideas Press

  • Customizable using Layers
  • Historical or Modern Day Maps
  • Black and White or Color options
  • Outline, Reference, Political or Topographical maps
  • Over 60 world maps
  • Over 60 USA maps
  • 125 Historical maps including Biblical maps

Bright Ideas Press has a new product that adds geography lessons to almost any subject.  History, Literature, Science, Current Events and Bible studies have added depth when a map is involved. Studying Europe? Quickly print off a map of Europe. Focusing specifically on France? Click on France to bring up a detailed map. Pick the features to include, rivers, cities, borders, country names and more. All features quickly customize with a click of a button. Explore the map on the computer or print out.

WonderMaps software is an Adobe PDF program. It is user friendly with many customizable features. For example, say you want to find a map of England.

1.First go to the World Map menu.

WonderMaps World map

2.Click on Europe.


3. Click on the picture of England.


4. Now the fun begins. On the left side of the page choose which layers you would like to include.

WonderMapslayers features

There are many facets to the WonderMaps program. This video explains in even more detail the features of the program.

WonderMaps video tutorial

     The Teacher’s Guide included within the program is very in-depth.  To help you get started it includes a quick start guide, video tutorial, and user manual. There are six resources to enhance the use of the program.  These resources range from Bright Ideas to Mapping Projects. As a bonus, two workshop MP3 files are included  for download.

ClarkClan Opinion

    WonderMaps is an impressive program.  I like to bring geography into many different subjects. Our globe is in an easily accessible spot and used often during our school week.  With WonderMaps, we still used our globe to begin with, but then were able to precisely pinpoint what country we were studying and print out a map to have handy.  For example, we were reading a book about missionaries to Burma, Adoniram and Ann Judson. I was able to go to WonderMaps, find Asia in the main menu, then click on Southeast Asia and print out a map of Burma, now called Myanmar, with only the features I requested. I liked that we were able to put into context where Burma (Myanmar) was in relation to the other Southeast Asian countries.

WonderMaps Asia


     Historical and Theme maps are a great resource with this program.  There are four categories of Historical maps included

  • The Ancients:  Creation to 33 AD
  • The Middle Ages:  33 AD to 1456 AD
  • The Renaissance, Reformation & Growth of Nations: 1457 AD to 1707 AD
  • Revolutions to Rising Times: 1708 AD to Present times

     My kids have been learning the different state names and locations. With WonderMaps I am easily able to create a map of the United States having taken off everything except the outlines of each state. This was useful for the kids to be able to write the name of each state.

WonderMaps US no names

     As you can see from the many pictures I have shown, this is a very detailed map program. I liked that while it was very intensive, it was also very easy to use.  As I was exploring this program, I called Matthew (18) over to see how neat it was.  His comment went something like, “I wish we would have had this when I was studying American and World History. Those maps from World War I and II would have been great to use.”  I felt the same way for him, but am excited that we will have it for Sarah (14), Ben (9) and Rebekah (7).


     WonderMaps is available from Bright Ideas Press.  The price of this program is $49.95.  It is available for PC or Mac and either in a CD or download format.  WonderMaps does require that you have Adobe Reader v.9.1 or higher, but this is a free program that is readily available online or through the Bright Ideas Press website.

     Bright Ideas Press has many different homeschooling products available. They specialize in practical, fun, and affordable history, geography, and science resources.  Last Fall I reviewed another of their products called Composers.  Click here to read that review and find out more about what Bright Ideas Press has to offer.

     As always, I am not the only one to review this program. Visit the Crew Blog to read what my Crew Mates thought about the program.

As an Independent contractor for The Old Schoolhouse and member of TOS Homeschool Crew I received  a download of  WonderMaps  for free from Bright Ideas Press in exchange for my honest review of their product.

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