What did all of these recent newspaper stories have in common:

  • A train derailment in Watertown and another along the Mississippi River.
  • A proposed mega-hog farm in Bayfield County.
  • The 40th remembrance of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald.
  • A discussion of the Enbridge pipeline corridor.
  • The crash of a Russian jet liner in Egypt.
  • Today’s weather.

The answer is that each story had an accompanying map.

As we celebrate Geography Awareness Week from Nov. 15-21, we are reminded that the 2015 theme, “Explore! The Power of Maps” points us to a tool we all use in our everyday lives, perhaps even more than we realize.

Spatial thinking through maps is one of the most important skills we can develop as we learn geography, history, environmental sciences  and so much more. Students, teachers, and parents can go to education.nationalgeographic.com to find a wealth of games, lessons and other activities pertaining to maps and map-making.

You never know, you just might find yourself needing another map tomorrow.

-- Carlo Kumpula, Spooner

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