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Planes, Trains, and Automobiles with Maps101

Posted on July 17 2022

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles with Maps101

Dear Educator,

This week, Maps101 is taking a look at travel and transportation. Kids of all ages are fascinated by vehicles. And many families will be travelling this summer for vacation.  We will be exploring the world’s busiest airport, long-haul flying, the transcontinental railroad, the Indy 500 motorcar race, interstate highways, and more. How will you or your students be travelling this summer?
Also, check out our Summer of Where landing page to discover even more content to inspire you as you plan how to bridge the learning gap that comes with the inevitable summer slide.

Geography News Network

Many people take summer vacations far enough away that they need to fly. With COVID-19 restrictions waning, more people are flying again. This GNN article is about Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, which is often listed as the world’s busiest airport. It serves about 275,000 passengers a day! Which airport is closest to your school? Students can benefit from creating a map showing how to get to the nearest airport. Younger students can learn to identify its relative location. You can also use the questions at the end of this article to spark classroom discussion. View the PDF version to access the questions at the end.

Geography News Network

People can travel all over the world by airplane, however, many of these flights are many hours long. These are known as longhaul flights. Singapore Airlines had a nonstop flight from Singapore to Newark, New Jersey, that took 19 hours! Qantas Airlines of Australia flies from Sydney to Dallas, Texas nonstop. Learn more about longhaul flights and how planes are able to fly such long distances without stopping, in this exclusive GNN article.

Geography Skill Builder

This skill-builder activity includes a map, text, and questions at the end. Students will explore travel in the 1920s and consider how to read the map when answering the questions. Would students rather take a train or a plane today?


Before airplanes, when travelling over long distances, people rode trains. Trains also provided transportation within cities, and they connected towns. There were numerous train lines in the 1880s, built to help settle the West. This map identifies major transcontinental lines in the U.S. at that time.

Geography News Network

During the Memorial Day weekend, one of the largest one-day sporting events in the world takes place in Indianapolis, Indiana. Indy cars are specialty cars that are designed for racing at very high speeds. The track at the Indy 500 is an oval. Drivers race for 500 miles around the 2.5-mile-long track. Read more about the race and discover math concepts along the way!


In 1956, President Eisenhower supported the passage of an act that helped create the interstate highway system. You probably have used the interstate system while taking a long trip by car. Many major cities are connected by this system. This map identifies where the different interstates are located. It also includes the time zones in the continental United States.


This is a small sample of the kind of content available to you with your Maps101 subscription. Every week, the editors at Maps101 will provide you with highlights from our extensive collection in this GeoJournal newsletter. We suggest you make a folder to store them for future reference. Expand your students’ world with Maps101!

Don’t forget to visit our Summer of Where landing page to discover even more content to inspire you this summer, and frankly, anytime!

High-quality geography products for the classroom. From globes to wall maps, atlases to games, offers a wealth of products to help put your classroom on the map.
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