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World of Maps Clip Art Antique Maps CD Collection Review by Cindy West

Bruce Jones Design, Inc.
661 Washington St.
Norwood, MA 02062
718-255-7171
http://www.mapsfordesign.com

The World of Maps CD Collection contains CDs packed full of antique maps that you can use in your classroom. Upon purchasing the set, the images become royalty free, which means you can also freely use them on your websites and within other publications you might produce.

The maps come from the US Library of Congress and range from the 1500s to the 1900s. There are more than 125 maps. All continents are included, with several regions on each continent highlighted. In the CD case is a table of contents that shows each of the maps available on the CDs and the year in which they were created.

Upon placing the CD into your computer, you must go through named files to find the maps you're looking for. Thumbnail pictures do not pop up, and there are often several files to search. So the ease of usability isn't the greatest.

Each map seems to be a scanned image of an antique map. In other words, the detail is great, but reading the details is nearly impossible. Each image is available in 300dpi and 72 dpi. If you try to enlarge the photo any more, the image becomes blurry. From my perspective, the maps look really great, but they were quite unusable for finding information because I couldn't read any of the detail. Now, I must admit that I'm not the smartest cookie in the cookie jar when it comes to figuring out computer issues, so there may very well be a way to see the images more clearly that I'm simply not aware of.

The set comes with a bonus CD that includes much more crisp computer-generated maps on everything from world countries to U.S. areas to images from space. There were even flag graphics for every country. Again, though, the ease of usability isn't the greatest as you have to click through folders. But once you find what you're looking for, the images on this CD are outstanding. On the bonus CD you can find every map imaginable: color, black and white, latitude and longitude lines, regions, labeled, unlabeled, etc. You can find oceans, ocean currents, rivers, interstates, and more. Of the four CDs, this bonus CD is the one I believe would be most useful to homeschoolers.

Would I buy this set if I hadn't received it for review? Unfortunately, I have to say no. I might purchase the bonus CD separately, but I wouldn't waste my money on the antique maps. At the time of review, the company's website was unavailable, so I'm not sure if the bonus CD is available for purchase separately.

Product review by Cindy West, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, July 2009

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