Yo! History and geography teachers: Free state maps!


In the summer of my 8th year, after my uncle, Roland Christian*, sent me his collection of “official” state maps from his latest cross-country drive, several of us kids tried to collect maps of all 50 states. Considering we were in Burley, Idaho, it’s amazing that we could accumulate 36 different states, just by our badgering local gasoline stations for the free ones. We got on our bicycles and visited the stations, one after the other.

Free educational materials: A memory from a distant past.

I haven’t seen a free map from a gas station in years, maybe two decades. My love of geography, my love of chasing odd city names, strange routes, great sights, and history, was spurred by that map collection, I’m sure.

Today, though oil companies have gotten out of the tourism and driving promotion business, state tourism offices, or state road departments typically issue free maps. How to find them all?

To the rescue comes Less Than a Shoestring, with a list of the places to ask in each state, to get a free road map of the state. These maps are great helps for students doing a “project” on a different state. For the history class on your own state, if your school offers such a course, I think such maps are indispensable.

We teach Texas state history and geography in 7th grade. When I taught that course, one of the best classroom aids I had was a collection of the official map of Texas — a year old, but I got a couple dozen copies from the state’s tourism promotion group. They were anxious to get rid of the old maps, and I was very happy to have them.

Here’s something curious: The site, Less Than a Shoestring,  doesn’t list a place to get a map from the District of Columbia — Washington, D.C. You’d think that a town that depends so much on tourism would have an office to promote tourism that would pass out maps to make tourists’ trips easier. Is this just an indication of the great dysfunction of the D.C. government, or did we miss finding the site? Let me know in comments.

Tip of the old scrub brush to the Business Blog @ Capital Active.

____________________________

* Uncle Roland was a minister for the 7th-Day Adventists, and he traveled to preach around the country. Stuck in a small Idaho town for my first nine years, I thought Roland was a great world traveler. He always stopped to spend a night when he was within a state or two — he was a minister trying to travel on a shoestring, after all — and with his wonderful, deep, preacher’s voice, he had wonderful stories to tell. I miss him still, more than two decades after his death. Which of your nieces and nephews can you influence as Roland did?

Here’s the complete list as compiled by Less Than a Shoestring — you should go visit that site, however, since the links are probably fresher there.

Insider tip: Many states don’t finish printing the year’s new guides until February or March, so now is the perfect time to pre-order information, generally with a full events calendar, for the coming year.

+ Alabama Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ Alaska Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ Arizona Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ Arkansas Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ California Tourist Information and Highway Map ($2.15)
+ Colorado Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ Connecticut Tourist Information and Highway Map (request from CTVisit)
+ Delaware Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ Florida Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ Georgia Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ Hawaii Tourist Information and Highway Map (request from GoHawaii)
+ Idaho Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ Illinois Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ Indiana Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ Iowa Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ Kansas Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ Kentucky Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ Louisiana Tourist Information and Highway Map (contact the LA DOTD)
+ Maine Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ Maryland Tourist Information and Highway Map (other maps here)
+ Massachusetts Tourist Information and Highway Map (contact MassVacation directly) (turnpike map)
+ Michigan Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ Minnesota Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ Mississippi Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ Missouri Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ Montana Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ Nebraska Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ Nevada Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ New Hampshire Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ New Jersey Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ New Mexico Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ New York Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ North Carolina Tourist Information and Highway Map (other info here)
+ North Dakota Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ Ohio Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ Oklahoma Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ Oregon Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ Pennsylvania Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ Rhode Island Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ South Carolina Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ South Dakota Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ Tennessee Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ Texas Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ Utah Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ Vermont Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ Virginia Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ Washington Tourist Information and Highway Map (other maps here)
+ Washington, DC Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ West Virginia Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ Wisconsin Tourist Information and Highway Map
+ Wyoming Tourist Information and Highway Map (contact Wyoming Tourism directly)

If you notice that a link is broken or outdated, please contact me! Thanks.

  • Planning a North American driving adventure? Link here to my comprehensive guide to Canadian Tourist Information and Highway Maps.
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    One Response to Yo! History and geography teachers: Free state maps!

    1. Jason Dragon says:

      Thanks for the link. It is always nice to find a new blog, and yours looks really nice. I will add it to my reader.

      Jason Dragon

      http://blog.capitalactive.com/

      Like

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