This unit looks at the history of maps from earliest times. Children can study aspects of continuity and change by seeing some similarities and differences between the maps of the past and present.
Using evidence: The maps shown are examples of written primary evidence from the past. Children will need to make some deductions from the evidence. They will be told some information about who made some of the maps and why. The unit contains some very interesting images of early maps from Ireland and elsewhere. Children can zoom in on the many map images provided. This will allow them to see what was depicted on maps, speculate on why certain things were depicted and see how information was conveyed on maps through colours, pictures and symbols. Some of what they discover here can be applied to a study of local maps.
Time and chronology: Children will be able to see the way map-making skills have changed and developed over the centuries. By working through the various sections children will be introduced to ancient and more modern cartography. They will see the wide range of materials on which maps were produced and will learn about hand-made maps and later printed maps. By being able to see examples of old maps children can see how surviving maps act as evidence about people and places in the past. Attention should be drawn to the records of buildings, placenames and homes which these maps contain. One particular section looks at maps of Ireland made over the centuries while another looks at examples of historic maps of Dublin. A map timeline game and a map drawing task are included in the section Map Developments in Ireland.