What is my blog about? It's about Torah family living. It's about letting Torah affect our daily lives, from mealtime to bedtime, homeschooling to farm chores.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Wondermaps! Review for Timberdoodle

I am pleased to bring you a review of Wondermaps, a very exciting geography tool.

This software program is basically a one stop shop for all your map needs. It has 350 maps and an ingenious layering tool that allows you to customize each map. With a few clicks, you have a personalized map ready to print. It has modern, historical, and biblical maps. Want to see Christopher Columbus's journeys? There's a map for that. Want to see Jonah's travels? There's a map for that, too. You can even print a map showing the countries in the UN.

Let me give you an example of the layers and how they work. Here is a map of Israel with all the layers on. I love the colored terrain. That is hard to find in printable maps.

Here is the same map of Israel with several of the layers turned off. Do you see how now the student can fill in the country names, city names, and river names without working around the terrain?
How can you make good use of a versatile program like Wondermaps? Well, here are a few ideas I came up with.

  • Keep the globe safe, and look up places in Wondermaps.
  • Print the maps smaller by setting the printer to multiple sheets per page. Then you can use these little maps in lapbooks or notebooking. Particularly useful with the historical maps. Back when I was homeschooled, we hand traced little maps to put in our timeline notebook.
  • Print off several maps to create a mini atlas to keep in the child's notebook.
  • Create blank maps for the student to fill in. Print a filled in map for the student to copy as they learn new material.
  • Look up settings and locations that you run across in books. The clicks are so fast to find what you want that this is very practical.
  • Compare historical and modern locations. How have things changed?
  • Understand the terrain where historical events took place. Was it mountainous or near water?

Okay, I hope by now you are excited. If you are like me, you have spent hours in the past scouring the internet for maps. If you did find the one you needed, it was probably only modern, and almost never topographical. So let me give you the nuts and bolts now. What are the pros and cons of Wondermaps?


  • It is not internet based. I know I am part of a dying breed, but I have dialup. This is an important feature.
  • It is PDF based. I like PDF because it is very easy to work with.
  • The maps are professional looking.
  • You can add terrain to the maps. Most maps out there lack this feature, and I think it is very important to have.
  • The combinations possible with the layering options are phenomenal.
  • The program and maps are flexible enough to fit in with any geography approach.
  • You aren't going to find most of these maps free on the internet. Believe me, I've tried.
  • Two words: Pan zoom. If the labels are a bit small on the screen, go to View, Zoom, Pan & Zoom. Very cool feature that magnifies those little details.
  • To be frank here, after starting at the world map, clicking on a continent, then clicking on a country complete with mountains and deserts and grassy plains, I was a little disappointed to not be able to click one more time and see photos of house styles and local wildlife. I know, I know, you can't have everything! :) The program just had me that wrapped up in the excitement of far off places.
  • The price does seem high at first glance, but as I explored the options and reflected on all the lost hours of vain searching in the past, I concluded that this program is complete, thorough, and will serve us for many years. 
Wondermaps was reviewed by my entire family, and we all enjoyed it. The maps of Isreal above were printed at Daddy's request and he spent much time studying them. The next pic shows Isaac (6) and I looking up every country he could think of, from India to Cuba


We also will be filling in some maps of the Middle East this week. We just learned about the rivers where the first civilizations after the flood popped up. Of course, I was able to turn off the river names for their map, and print a copy all filled in for them to copy. This will be a popular way for us to use this program.

If you feel this program would be helpful in your family, I would encourage you to head on over to Timberdoodle to get your program. But don't take my word for it. You can read more reviews here:

Because Mom Said

I received a free copy of Wondermaps in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. The review shared is based on my personal, honest opinion.


Andi said...

Great Review Heidi! Wonder Maps are awesome!

Heidi said...

Thanks, Andi!

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