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North America Travel Maps

When you're traveling through the United States, Mexico, and Canada, it's helpful to have a map of North America. There are different types of maps available that are suitable for different uses, such as road atlases that show driving routes and topographic maps that show features of the terrain, sometimes in addition to roads. Maps let you get where you want to go in the most efficient way possible, and you can count on them in remote areas where cell reception isn't great.

What's included in a travel map of North America?

A North America map will typically have details for all three of the continent's countries: Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Atlases commonly include:

  • National Parks: You can see the different parks to visit in a specific area or state or in all the countries of North America. These maps will usually show trails and other unpaved roads available within the park that aren’t shown on road maps.
  • Bodies of Water: Some maps will show you the major bodies of water, such as rivers and lakes, in the area it covers. You will be able to see the name of a river and its natural path across the landscape as well as locations of public boat ramps or marinas in some cases, for example.
  • Theme Parks, Historical Sites, and Other Points of Interest: Some maps let you search for points of interest within a specific area.
  • Travel Routes: Of course, on road maps, you can plan out the best routes to get you to where you’re going.
What are the different types of maps?

There are many types of maps. What you need to do, whether it's driving across country or explore the undeveloped wilderness, will determine which type will work best. Some of the types of maps available will be the following:

  • Road Atlas: An atlas is a book that features a number of individual maps highlighting specific areas, such as the United States or all of North America. Atlases often feature road names and let you search for the locations of major attractions or public buildings in those areas.
  • Folding Map: A folding type usually covers just one state, county, or even city and focuses on the roads in that area. Because roads can be built or closed, these maps change over time, and some older ones become collectible.
  • Poster Maps: Poster maps are large-format printouts that might feature topographic maps of an entire continent or one specific region. These usually don’t include roadways but do let you view the cities and towns within the country or continent featured on it.
What is a topographic map?

A favorite of hikers, topographic maps focus on the landscape of an area and have information such as elevation levels, sometimes with colored lines representing the contours of hills and valleys. They also usually provide the names of places and cultural details for the area covered. Some of the details on topographic maps are mountains, rivers, railway routes, and airports.

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