How to Create Free US & Territories Maps

by Quinten Plummer

Because the US territories have commonwealth status rather than statehood, many US map customization utilities often exclude the territories. The distance between the States and US territories also plays a factor in their exclusion. But if you need to design a map of the US and its territories, you can still find a solid selection of free map making utilities and templates to handle the job.

Generate a map of the US and its territories using the National Atlas's web-based Map Maker utility (see Resources). The free utility allows you to define your map with roads and labels, everything from state capitals and county names to waterways and highways. You can also include data from one the utility's 11 categories, like "Agriculture" and "People," and you can also generate a key for your map's data.

Download a free copy of Sacmeq's StatPlanet Map Maker to create a map of the US and its territories (see Resources). The Flash-based map utility features a US map template, which excludes the territories, but you can select the US and its territories from the utility's world map template. You can also create a map that includes the US and its territories only, but you'll need to edit the "map.fla" file with Adobe's Flash CS3 software.

Create a free US map using the blank US and US territories map template at the Wikimedia Commons (see References). Licensed under the Creative Commons Attributes license, you are free to add whatever data you wish to the blank template and distribute it as much as you want. All that's required is to attribute the CC license on your US and US territories map.

About the Author

Quinten Plummer began writing professionally in 2008. He has more than six years in the technology field including five years in retail electronics and a year in technical support. Plummer gained his experience in music by producing for various hip-hop acts and as lead guitarist for a band. He now works as a reporter for a daily newspaper.

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