Monday, May 16, 2011

Bright Ideas Press: WonderMaps

Bright Ideas Press is known for publishing quality curriculum that brings history and science to life for our students.  These are not just boring textbooks, which is why they are embraced by homeschoolers from many different educational philosophies.  Bright Ideas has added a new product to their store and it's wonderful!  They've obviously succeeded once again in creating a product that ANY homeschool family would love!


WonderMaps is a customizable collection of over 300 maps, including 125 historical (and biblical) maps.  There are also 60+ modern maps of the US and 60+ modern maps of the world.  If you use other Bright Ideas Press products, you'll be glad to know that this includes the full set of maps from Mystery of History, volumes 1 - 3, and All American History, volumes 1 and 2.


Each map has layers that can be turned on and off.  You can choose between color, black and white, topographical, political, reference, outline, with or without cities and capitals, etc.  The maps can be made more difficult for older students, or kept basic for your younger students.  I personally like the color and topographical maps when viewing them at the computer with my children.  But I love the outline black and white maps when printing them for use in our history lessons.



WonderMaps is both simple, and complex.  It's simple in that it is just a PDF file, not a complicated software you have to install.  The complexity comes in the many layers you can adjust for each map, and the large number of customized maps available to you.  It really is a wonderful treasure-trove of maps ... right at your fingertips!  No more searching the internet or trying to photocopy a map in a textbook you're trying to hold flat on the copier.


When you first open WonderMaps, you can click buttons to take you right to the Teacher's Guide, Mystery of History maps, All American History maps, World Maps, US Maps, Historical Maps, or Thematic Maps (such as Explorers).  You maneuver within WonderMaps using Home, Next, and Previous buttons. Once a map is chosen, it opens a separate PDF file of that map, where you can choose which layers and attributes you want to use to customize your map.  To close that map, simply close that PDF file and return to the WonderMaps main PDF that should still be open.


This video from Bright Ideas Press helps explain what WonderMaps is, and how it works!


WonderMaps is available for PC or Mac computers, but you must have Adobe Reader 9.1 or higher installed.  The WonderMaps License Agreement does not allow it to be re-sold.  You can install it on TWO computers within the same family and make ONE copy for back-up purposes.


WonderMaps retails for $49.95, and is available as a Download Only, or a Download + CD.  Hint: If you subscribe to The Old Schoolhouse magazine, check the Spring 2011 issue (page 30) for a 20% off subscribers-only coupon code.


Homeschoolers love flexibility!  They love curriculum and products they can adapt to fit their needs and their family's style.  The easier it is to adapt the curriculum, the better!  Homeschoolers also love having products that are readily available for whenever those teachable moments arise.  WonderMaps makes geography simple and adaptable for any family or any curriculum.  It is a wonderful resource and I highly recommend it!


This item was provided free for our review as a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew.  We received no other compensation, and this review is our honest opinion.   Visit the TOS Homeschool Crew blog to read more reviews on this product by other Homeschool Crew members.

Trusting In Him,


  1. Just stopped by to say "Hi" and let you know that I love your blog. It looks great too BTW!


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