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Giant Maps

Frequently Asked Questions


Product Information

What is a Giant Map?

National Geographic Giant Maps are an expression of the National Geographic Society’s commitment to educators who are teaching students about the world and empowering them to make a difference. The maps are oversized vinyl floor maps, designed using the expertise of National Geographic's cartographic division and research on elementary spatial thinking. They require a school gym or large room for use. The maps come in one piece, and require no assembly.

Learn more about the history of the program here, and watch a video on how kids interact with the map. Click here to download the full price sheet, or here to place an order.

How do I obtain a National Geographic Giant Map?

National Geographic Giant Maps will be available for purchase soon. Click here to download the full price sheet. Please note that in 2017, National Geographic Giant Maps transitioned from a rental to a sales model so that when you purchase a National Geographic Giant Map, it will be yours to keep. You will be able to share it with other schools and use it multiple times throughout the school year.

Which maps are available for purchase?

Currently, we offer maps of Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, South America, the Pacific Ocean, and the Solar System. We also have State Giant Maps for all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Click here to download the full price sheet.

How big and heavy are they?

The sizes of the maps vary, and they are not all made to the same scale. Below are approximate sizes for the maps currently available:

  • Africa: 26’ x 35’
  • Asia: 26’ x 33’
  • Europe: 26’ x 26’
  • North America: 26’ x 35’
  • Pacific Ocean: Approx 26’ x 35’
  • South America: 26’ x 35’
  • Solar System: 25‘ x 31’
  • State maps range from 21’ x 14’ to  21’ x 17’ 


The continental maps range in weight from 63 to 65 pounds, and the state maps range in weight from 23 to 30 pounds. Click here to download the full price sheet, which includes specifics on the size of each state map.

Who produces the maps?

The National Geographic Society produces National Geographic Giant Maps. Maps are updated by National Geographic's cartographic division every 3-5 years.

Are the maps cartographically accurate?

Absolutely. National Geographic’s renowned cartographic division performed all cartographic work necessary to create these maps. The maps are modeled after those that appear in the National Geographic Atlas of the World (9th and 10th Editions) and the National Geographic Kids Atlas. Maps are updated by National Geographic's cartographic division every 3-5 years.

What ages are Giant Maps designed for?

Maps of the continents and Pacific Ocean are designed for K-8 students, and the Solar System Map is intended for K-12 students. State Giant Maps are designed for third-and-fourth-grade state studies.

How to Use the Maps

Where should we use the map?

A Giant Map is a great centerpiece for a special event in your school, and can be an exciting way to engage parents and community members. The continental maps are too big to fit in a classroom, but some state maps may fit in large classrooms (see size specifications above). Usually the maps are set up in a gymnasium, cafeteria, or media center. Typically this will require you to negotiate use of the space with the physical education teacher and principal. With this in mind, we encourage physical education teachers to join in this educational exercise, and we suggest a number of activities that would be appropriate. If necessary, the maps may be quickly folded and rolled out of harm’s way.

The maps are designed to be used indoors. Using a map outside might result in faster wear and tear of the vinyl material and will reduce the lifespan of the map. Similarly, wearing shoes on the map will reduce the life of the map.

How should I transport my Giant Map?

A Giant Map can be easily folded and transported in the back of a sedan, SUV, or van. Because the maps are heavy, at least two people should help carry the map from one location to another.

What kind of curriculum comes with the map?

Each map comes with National Geographic activities that are designed to take advantage of the map’s scale and to allow students to experience the map in a physical way. Download activities. Each activity has a suggested grade range, but may be adapted to suit classes outside the range. Watch a video on how activities are used with the map.

Where can I find map activities?

Existing continental and state Giant Map activities are downloadable and available on our websiteWatch a video on how activities are used with the map.

How much time should I plan for my class to engage with the map?

The amount of time needed to complete the provided activities ranges from one 45-minute class session to three sessions. We recommend scheduling each use for a minimum of one 45-minute session. Most teachers find three to four sessions are ideal for students to get a rich experience.

A local reporter is interested in doing a piece on the Giant map in our school. What should I say?

The maps are a big draw for local media. Take advantage of media requests by highlighting your school’s efforts to bring rich and meaningful educational experiences to your students. Please let us know of any inquiries you receive by emailing GiantMaps@ngs.org.

Care Instructions

How should the Giant Map be cleaned?

  1. Unfold and spread out the map.
  2. Sweep any loose debris from the map using a dry mop.
  3. Prepare an appropriate mixture of nontoxic general purpose concentrated cleaning solution (we suggest Simple Green).
  4. Use a wet mop and clean the map using the cleaning solution. Ensure the cleaning solution does not puddle and dry on the map (wet mop as much as possible off the map).
  5. After mopping, use towels to dry the map.
  6. Do not fold or roll the map until it is completely dry.
  7. If adhesives or gum are found on the map, a small amount of Goo Gone can be used to remove the sticky residue. Make sure to clean the area with soap and water after using the adhesive remover.

How can I repair my Giant Map?

  1. You can use duct tape or Gorilla Tape to repair or delay the growth of small holes caused by wear and tear.
  2. First, remove debris and clean the damaged area.
  3. On the back side of the map, place a piece of tape over the hole or worn area. The tape does not need to be much larger than the hole.
  4. Press and rub down on the tape to ensure a tight bond to the map with no wrinkles.

How can I reduce wear and tear on my Giant Map?

Maps typically wear thin and/or develop holes at the seams, the folds, and in areas of heavy use. Folding the map in different directions after each use helps reduce worn-in folds. We suggest the following to help limit wear and tear of your map:

  1. Do not wear shoes on the map. Individuals should remove their shoes before walking on the map to help preserve it.
  2. Individuals should wear socks on the map. This is not only for hygienic purposes, but because the oils from people’s feet will damage the ink over time.
  3. Discourage using any writing utensils—which can permanently damage the map—on or around the map. Do not use overhead or erasable markers on the map because they will eventually remove the ink.
  4. Discourage horseplay and sliding on the map.

How should the Giant Map be stored?

Giant Maps should be stored in a cool, dry place. Maps may mold if stored in a damp or wet location.

Pricing & Order Placement

How much does a Giant Map cost?

See below for list prices. Shipping and handling is a separate charge.

  • State maps (small) - $675
  • State maps (large) - $775
  • Giant continental maps (Africa, Europe, Pacific Ocean, Solar System) - $1,215
  • Giant continental maps (Asia, South America) - $1,550
  • Giant continental maps (North America) - $1,860

Click here to download the full price sheet.

How much is shipping/handling?

  • State maps:
    • US contiguous: $25.00 UPS Ground  
    • Alaska and Hawaii: $80.00
  • Continental maps:
    • US contiguous: $85.00 UPS Ground  
    • Alaska and Hawaii: $160

Click here to download the full price sheet.

What is included when you purchase a Giant Map?

All Giant Maps come with free downloadable activities to use on the maps. If you purchase a continental map, you may receive a supplemental map in addition to the one your ordered. Below are the continental maps that include a supplemental map:

  • North America includes Hawaii and the Aleutian Islands
  • South America includes The Galapagos Islands
  • Asia includes New Guinea

State maps do not come with supplemental maps. Click here to download the full price sheet.

Please note that the trunk with materials for the map activities is no longer provided with the purchase of a Giant Map. Instead, we have updated the activities to include modifications and suggestions for materials to incorporate that can be easily found within most schools.

How can I place an order?

Giant Maps will be available for purchase soon. Click here to download the full price sheet.

How do I make payment?

You may pay by credit card or check. If using a credit card, you’ll enter your payment information on the online order form. There is also a check payment option on the online order form. Please note that if you select this option, your order will not be shipped until payment is received. You’ll typically receive your shipment within two weeks of receipt of payment. Maps are shipped UPS ground, and shipping and handling is in addition to the order total.

Make checks payable to:
National Geographic Giant Maps
PO Box 293142
Kettering, OH 45429

Click here to download the full price sheet.

Have a question regarding payment or billing?

Please contact customer service by emailing GiantMaps@ngs.org or calling us toll-free at 1-844-601-5020, Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.

Is there funding available to supplement the cost of the map?

Yes! We understand that finding resources for your school can be difficult, so we have researched some fundraising opportunities that can help with the cost of the map. Listed below are suggestions for local, state, federal, and online fundraising.

Local Funding - Local organizations or business that may give grants to schools:

  • PTO/PTA school organizations
  • The Rotary Club
  • Kiwanis Club
  • Walmart Foundation
  • Local businesses (your Chamber of Commerce can be a great resource for finding local businesses)
  • Large corporations with a local presence
  • University foundations
  • Many school districts have their own Education Foundations that fund classroom resources.  Visit the National School Foundation Association (NSFA) website to view your local foundations: http://www.schoolfoundations.org/list-foundations.

State Funding - Check with your state’s Department of Education for state funding opportunities.

Federal Funding - Search for federal funding grants for your school at Grants.gov.

Online Funding 

  • DonorsChoose.org - Create a classroom project request for Explorer magazine and tap into their network of donors.
  • Ziggedy - Invite supporters to shop at online retailers through Ziggedy’s portal and a percentage of all purchases go towards your classroom.
  • Grants for Teachers -Provides teachers with the latest updates and information on grants. Search for grants by category, location, or grade.

Delivery

When will I receive my order?

You should expect to receive your map delivery within two weeks after we receive payment.

My order has not arrived yet.

If more than a week has passed since the estimated arrival date, please email customer service at GiantMaps@ngs.org or call 1-844-601-5020, Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.

I did not receive the correct map.

We’re sorry to hear you did not receive the correct map. Please tell us more about your situation by emailing GiantMaps@ngs.org or calling 1-844-601-5020, Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.

When the map arrived, it was damaged and/or missing a supplement.

National Geographic is not responsible for damages to the Giant Maps after delivery, and all sales are final. If the map you received was damaged, or arrived without all supplemental maps, email us at GiantMaps@ngs.org or call 1-844-601-5020, Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.

Why is there no trunk with props to accompany the map?

The trunk with materials for the map activities is no longer provided with the purchase of a Giant Map. Instead, we have updated the activities to include recommendations for materials—all easily found within most schools—that you can use during the exercises. We have listed alternative options if primary recommendations are not available for some materials, and links to purchase other materials. Check out our free downloadable resources.

Can I get a refund?

All sales are final. For questions, email us at GiantMaps@ngs.org or call 1-844-601-5020, Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.

Miscellaneous

I’m having technical difficulties. What should I do?

Sorry for the problem. Email customer service at GiantMaps@ngs.org. We will respond to you as soon as possible. For urgent matters, call a customer service representative at 1-844-601-5020, Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.

How can I give feedback?

Check your inbox. We will occasionally send out surveys to find out what you think about the product. You can also tell us what you think at any time by emailing GiantMaps@ngs.org.

What if I still have a question?

Email customer service at GiantMaps@ngs.org or call 1-844-601-5020, Monday-Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.