Walkable map of Illinois map lets kids check out their state

MACOMB, Ill. (AP) _ Western Illinois University Professor Christopher Sutton is teaching geography with a walkable map.

Sutton introduced an interactive map of Illinois in a Distinguished Faculty Lecture at WIU last month. He’s used the 14-foot by 21-foot floor map in other lectures and visited schools.

The map created by the Illinois Geographic Alliance is made of tarp material. Visitors can walk across it, finding cities, rivers and points of interest.

Amy Bloom is co-coordinator of the Illinois Geographic Alliance and geography professor at Illinois State University. She was pleased with Sutton’s interest in using the map because he “is an enthusiastic ambassador for geographic education.”

Sutton says it can be used by any organization. He says we get most information visually. He says maps are “a pretty powerful thing.”