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Welcome to the MapMaker

Launch Guide

MapMaker is National Geographic’s online mapping tool for exploring the world through a variety of basemaps, data layers, and annotation options. With this web-based app, anyone can visually experience and interact with geospatial information about Earth’s interconnected social and physical systems while also exploring the art of mapmaking.

MapMaker is designed to be intuitive and simple to use. This guide offers background information and tips for getting started, to help make the most of this adaptable tool.

What Do You Need Help With?

Illustration of a compass

Getting Started  

Here are some tips to get started using MapMaker’s updated intuitive design.

Illustration of a globe with points.

Annotation Tools  

Highlight locations, features, and other key information with annotation tools.

Vibrant basemap

Choosing a Basemap  

MapMaker offers several options for the map you use as a base.


A teacher holds up a tablet displaying a MapMaker activity in front of the class.

A Note to Teachers  

Learn more about incorporating MapMaker into actionable learning objectives.

A teacher assists two students with an assignment on their tablets.

Working with Your Maps  

Begin working with your maps with these steps to get started.



Want to share a printed version of our Launch Guide with your students?


Note: MapMaker has been placed onto the table screen in the image for the A Note to Teachers image with photo editing software.