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Michigan State University

MSU Map Library: Links to Useful Sites: Make Your Own Maps

Provides links to major (Free) online mapping resources including interactive maps, static maps, and scanned originals for the World, North America, United States, and Michigan.

GIS Lite

Color Your Own Map

Making a map is a surprisingly complex process, and full-blown cartography software (such as ArcMap) has a steep learning curve.  Here are a few ideas on how to make a simple map:

1.  Take a plain outline map and add features using a paint program such as mspaint (which comes free with Windows) or the free website "Sumopaint" (http://www.sumopaint.com).  Below you can see a plain map, and how it was colored and labeled using MSPaint.

Blank outline map
Blank outline map from P & P World Map

Colored Tanzania map

Same map colored and labeled in MSPaint (free with windows) saved as PNG

same image saved as jpg

PNG format does a better job preserving straight lines.  Compare to the jpg image above, which is fuzzy.

Blank maps

Michigan State University