North Map Basics
One of the most unique and exciting aspects of Journey North is the opportunity
to use the real-time maps based on observations submitted by students,
other citizens, and scientists. We maintain "live" maps of the
monarch migration each fall and spring. If
you want students to practice mapping skills you can purchase a large
classroom wall map or make your own. If you are not working on
mapping skills — or lack time to routinely update maps — students
can still analyze the migration by using Journey North's online maps.
Here is basic background information:
and Using Journey North's Live Maps
do I find the live online maps?
do I use the live maps?
what students can do with the maps:
their own sightings and see them appear on the map. The MapServer
updates maps five minutes after an observer submits a sighting.
and view a map that shows all sightings for any species.
on any data point to read comments from the observer. (This is useful
if students have questions about sightings.)
distances between sites.
- Zoom in
- See the
timing of the migration at a glance. Locations of sightings are coded
with a different color for every two-week interval.
the ? icon on any map for help navigating.
a "Practice Report"
now. Then find it on the live
do I print Journey North maps?
In order to analyze our maps,
your class may want printed copies. We
provide two formats for printing. Test each to find which works best for
1)Print directly from the live
2) Print this sample "printer-friendly"
migration map. (A link to "printer-friendly" maps is provided
in the migration updates only.) If neither map prints properly, please
review the suggestions in Printing
Journey North Maps. You can also send questions to Journey North via
our feedback form.
Your Own Map
If you choose to
plot the migration on a classroom map, students can build mapping skills
and an understanding of math, science, and geography concepts such as
latitude and longitude.
do I find the data for the maps?
All Sightings appear
instantly in our database as soon as they are reported. We also provide
a Data Summary for Classroom
Mapping in each week's Journey North News Update. The summaries only
a) sightings that have been reported recently, and
have been reviewed by our staff for accuracy. Sightings include:
date, town, state/province, latitude, and longitude, comments. Students
can use this data to locate observers' sites so they can plot them on
Data on Your Map
Town and State (or Province)
If you use the town and state/province information to locate sites, you
will need a road atlas to find the location (or online atlas such as Google
Maps which works even better). Once students find the location, they
will need to find the same place on their wall map. This approach gives
students good practice using an atlas and index (or search engine), but
it can be tedious work.
Latitude and Longitude
All Journey North sightings include latitude and longitude. You
may find it easier to locate a site using latitude/longitude coordinates
than a town name, depending on the age of your students.
that we use decimal degrees, whereas many maps use degrees,
minutes and seconds. (To convert: There are 60 minutes in 1 degree. For
example: 45.50 decimal degrees equals to 45 degrees, 30 minutes. If this
is confusing, simply round off to the nearest degree and use the town
name to pinpoint the location.) Final note: All longitude values are given
as negative numbers when in the western hemisphere.