Educational Wall Chart
May 23, 2007 12:05 PM   Subscribe

Can you help me find a great educational wall chart to put on our living room wall?

I have seen these previous askme questions. I am considering this history poster or a National Geographic world map, but maybe I am missing something fantastic? Do you have an opinion over which is better/nicer/more useful?

I am looking for something that is quite big, at least two meters (about 80 inches) wide. I am hoping to find a happy medium between useful/educational and great looking (and for that reason I currently lean towards the world map, since the history chart looks like it is quite cluttered). It would be nice if the subject was kind of broad, I am not really looking for a dinosaur or planet poster or a poster, but if there is something astounding that does not meat all my requirements, I will consider it. It should be interesting for young children and adults alike. I do not have any specific goal in my mind, I am not planning to use it to actively teach my children, just as something interesting in the house.
posted by davar to Education (28 answers total) 45 users marked this as a favorite
I think you can't go wrong with a world map, though the National Geographic one you link to is one of the lamer (IMO) versions I've seen in wall size. Believe it or not, IKEA has a nice one. Lots more to choose from here
posted by mcstayinskool at 12:19 PM on May 23, 2007

Consider taking a look at an information visualization blog, and having one of the gorgeous images displayed there printed up. Beats a world map, IMHO.
posted by fake at 12:20 PM on May 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

I have the National Geographic map framed at home, much better in person than in that pic.
posted by zeoslap at 12:29 PM on May 23, 2007

Not that this is all that easy to find, but a couple of years ago my SO gave me 2 wall charts from a 1960's med school depicting the front and back muscular/skeletal structure of the human body (it was a male body).

Lots of folks think they are a bit weird, but my young nieces and nephews love them. We have lots of very fascinating conversations about why we have bones and muscles, and does everybody have bones and muscles, and what would happen without one or the other. . .Plus, the images are gorgeous and I love to look at them.

I bring them up not to say "Spend the next 15 years looking for the perfect thing" but to say that bodies and their parts are often a mystery to kids, and beautiful to look at - a winning combination! I'm sure you could find something at your local teacher's center - if you find something you like, maybe a printer could blow it up? Good luck!
posted by dirtmonster at 12:45 PM on May 23, 2007

I used to have this awesome timeline of world history that showed the rise and fall of various empires much like the summary timeline at the end of a game of Sid Meyer's Civilization. I think it was a Rand-McNally product. Looking for more info now.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:49 PM on May 23, 2007

Found it!
posted by Pollomacho at 12:53 PM on May 23, 2007

Edward Tufte's poster of the russian cosmonaut's cyclogram is prett darned cool, says me.
posted by cmiller at 12:55 PM on May 23, 2007

We have a big Mercator wall map of the world but the globe is "upside-down" -- of course, there's no "right-side up," but to see all the countries from that unconventional perspective is extremely weird and interesting.

Here's a 36x56 version, perhaps there are larger ones out there.
posted by luser at 12:57 PM on May 23, 2007

I like this one that shows the connections between different fields of science.
posted by HighTechUnderpants at 1:23 PM on May 23, 2007

Something a tad geekier: The Frequency Spectrum Allocation Chart.
Warning: Direct PDF link
posted by Thorzdad at 1:25 PM on May 23, 2007

Response by poster: Wow, thanks! This is exactly what I was looking for. I will check everything out. More suggestions remain very welcome of course.
posted by davar at 1:45 PM on May 23, 2007

I have been thinking about getting a custom topographic map centered on our house but so far the wife is not interested. If you check out the site there are a lot of options for scale and size as well as laminating, aerial photos, and so on.
posted by TedW at 2:11 PM on May 23, 2007

These German educational wall charts are pretty seriously cool, though they are specific subjects and 85x120 cm each. As a bonus, they're on canvas with a dowel, so they don't need mounting/framing. You can see them in a design context here.

That post also leads to these historical French pedagogical charts.
posted by pekala at 2:24 PM on May 23, 2007

History Shots has a nice selection , though a bit smaller than you wanted.
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:24 PM on May 23, 2007

i want an ipa chart, and you can get them online. just google for 'em.

the ala used to have great "so and so famous person for america's libraries" posters. i have a big one that has cheesy 80s david bowie barefoot wearing a letterman's jacket reading dostoyevsky while in a mid-air jump. love it.
posted by ifjuly at 3:00 PM on May 23, 2007

If you want to give them a "different way of looking at things", a large wall map of Asia is a good choice. What I like about it is that, based on the way that the projection for just Asia differs from a world map version, Norway and Sweden both point towards the left (instead of downwards) which just looks cool. The most awesome wall map I ever saw was in Russian and was in a youth hostel in Irkutsk. I haven't a clue where they got it.

There are supposedly large wipe-erase maps as well. Those would offer you a lot of flexibility.
posted by Deathalicious at 3:05 PM on May 23, 2007

Given a choice, I will always vote for the map.
posted by desjardins at 3:22 PM on May 23, 2007

I've always liked the biochemical pathways charts made by Roche. You can request a copy and get them for free -- I've got one of them hanging in my study at the moment.

Not sure how useful they are, though, unless you are into biochemistry/molecular biology.
posted by The Bishop of Turkey at 3:26 PM on May 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

I don't know exactly where you are, but I used to have the London A-Z map as a poster. It was very handy.
posted by pompomtom at 4:39 PM on May 23, 2007

Bishop of Turkey, how big is that biochemical pathways chart?
posted by decathecting at 7:55 PM on May 23, 2007

I've always wanted to print Demian5's lifecode to hang on a child's wall. He is a reasonable kind of guy, so I'm sure he would allow it for personal use, especially if you were so kind as to throw a few bucks his way.

Lifecode preview
posted by choice at 8:57 PM on May 23, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks again, these suggestions are much better than I expected. I am starting to give up my idea of a nice grown-up living room and have a wall with lots of great posters instead :)
Phatkitten, that elements table was fascinating! When I clicked through I expected to not really like it, because I am not that interested in physics, but I ended up reading the entire website. It was so great to read that Oliver Sacks came to visit.

That custom topo map is a great idea as well, but only if you live in the US :( Someone please convince our governments that map data belongs in the public domain?
posted by davar at 2:51 AM on May 24, 2007

I like these posters
especially Historical Visual Diary of a Spaceflight: the Cyclogram
posted by Soulbee at 5:28 AM on May 24, 2007

decathecting: It looks like it is about 3 ft by 3.5 ft.
posted by The Bishop of Turkey at 5:53 AM on May 24, 2007

You missed an AskMe post here. I still favour something off of Strange Maps... Maybe the Eisenhower interstate system, If Planets were Countries..., or the ever popular world population map.
posted by anaelith at 5:55 AM on May 24, 2007 has a great selection

ThinkGeek :: Brilliant Earth Poster

ThinkGeek :: Electromagnetic Radiation Spectrum Poster

ThinkGeek :: Internet World Poster

ThinkGeek :: The Universe Chart

ThinkGeek :: Solar System Chart
posted by phritosan at 1:01 AM on May 25, 2007

it's not exactly stylish or trendsetting, but i remember when i was a kid, my parents had put up a poster of the multiplication tables up in my bedroom. i looked at it everyday, and this poster was crucial in helping me memorize my multiplication tables. the highest it went was 12 x 12 = 144.
posted by fac21 at 1:47 AM on May 25, 2007

Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States of America comes in a super wall-chart version. I wonder if such a thing exists for other parts of the world.
posted by billtron at 11:36 PM on May 25, 2007

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