First Time Users

Historic Maps in K-12 Classrooms is a high bandwidth, interactive web/CD ROM educational program. The following guidelines will help ensure that you are using the best tools for maximize your teaching experience.

Technical Requirements
Historic Maps in K-12 Classrooms will function best on computer systems within the following guidelines:

  • Monitor resolution of 800 x 600 or greater.
  • Netscape or Internet Explorer versions 4.x or higher with the Macromedia Flash plug-in installed.
  • High speed (ISDN, DSL, cable modem or faster) internet connectivity.
Monitor resolution
This site has been optimized for a screen resolution of at least 800 x 600 dpi (dots per inch).

If your screen resolution tested at less than 800 x 600, you may wish to determine if the system is capable of running at a higher resolution before attempting adjustment. For the technically oriented, the adjustmentis fairly simple, but bear in mind that a mistake can render the system unuseable without intervention from a technician. If you choose not to make the adjustment, the site useability will be less than optimal, but still acceptable.

To Upgrade:

Macromedia Flash
The 'core maps' are presented using Macromedia Flash technology. If you do not have the Flash plug-in installed on your computer, upon attempting to download a map you will be prompted to download and install the plug-in. This is a simple process--just follow all the directions. If your computer does not ask you to install Flash, or if you are on a Mac, you may have to negotiate this upgrade yourself: Get Flash here. The Macromedia site should detect which platform, operating system and browser you are using and serve you the correct version of the software.

Managing your windows
Due to the intensive nature of the application, extensive use has been made of pop-up windows. Some of these windows will close as soon as the user clicks elsewhere on the screen.

For technical reasons, the windows which contain links to other windows and other web sites cannot be closed automatically. These windows will move behind other windows when not in use and may not come to the front when the link which originally launched them is clicked again. This can lead to confusion, with the user thinking the link is not working. In this case, simply look in the "tray" at the bottom of your screen and click the icon that relates to the window for which you are looking. Mac users don't have a tray at the bottom of their screen.

Download times
To facilitate high resolution required for the core map zooming feature, the 'core map' files are large--some over a megabyte. This can pose a problem if you are accessing the site over a dial-up connection. In extreme instances, modem users can expect a download time of up to 15 minutes. If your internet connection does not allow quick, seamless use, if you are not satified with your download times, or of you want to use the site in a location without internet access, you may want to consider using the CD-ROM version of "Historic Maps in K-12 Classrooms." Copies of the CD-ROM are available free of charge to classroom instructors, while supplies last. Contact the Smith Center at to request a CD-ROM.

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