20th Century Maps
Maps of the World

What to Look for When Surveying a Map of North America

A Map Of North America is a great way to get an idea of countries' differences.  portrayalMost people who travel to the other country will only travel by plane. When looking at the map, you can see just what countries each one has to offer as well as some differences in the way they treat their citizens. A map is great for seeing what all is around you and it also helps to learn about the history of each country. Identify locations in Mexico and the U.S. A. Interpret a map of North America by using basic map reading skills to identify locations within both countries. The three most popular border areas are the Rio Grande, the San Diego to Los Cabos National Park border, and the Tijuana to Tampico border. In Mexico, the most popular areas include Acapulco, Xalapa, Ensenada, and Mexico City.  graphicIn the U.S., areas such as San Diego, California; El Paso, Texas; El Centro, New Mexico; El Paso, Texas; Las Vegas, Nevada; San Francisco, California; Tucson, Arizona; and Washington, D.C. Compare similarities and differences between Canada and Mexico. Canada and Mexico share a border but there are many major differences in culture and lifestyle. Mexico is a country where many people are involved in the drug trade while Canada has a rich history and culture. The two countries also share a border with the Caribbean Sea, which means that there is no place for illegal drugs from Asia or the Caribbean into the U.S. Mexico is also famous for its casinos.

Mexican and Canadian Borders

Compare areas of Mexico and Canada along the border. The United States has a border between Canada and Mexico and the border has changed over the years.  portrayalThe Rio Grande used to divide the border between the two countries but now it is a concrete barrier. Many areas in Mexico have large amounts of land along the border such as the Pacific Ocean, where the water meets the Atlantic Ocean and where the two oceans meet. Compare the differences in the climate of Mexico and Canada. When traveling on either side of the border, it can be difficult to tell the difference in weather, terrain, soil, and climate. Both countries have highlands that experience hot summers and cold winters while lowlands tend to have mild climates. Compare differences in the wildlife in the United States side of the border. There are animals such as deer, elk, moose, and buffalo. Many birds such as sparrows and eagles, as well as reptiles such as snakes and turtles inhabit areas of the U.S.  illustrationborder.

Cultures vs. Borders

Compare the cultures in Mexico and Canada on a cultural level. People who visit the border often come with their own set of beliefs and customs. For example, in Canada, people believe that rainbows form over a hill in the spring when the rains are at their highest. In Mexico, this belief is called chichimea. You will find that the culture is quite different in each country. Compare the political system in both Mexico and Canada.  exampleBoth countries have a system of government and have elected leaders who lead. The United States has a very active House of Representatives and Senate. In Mexico, the president is elected directly by the population. Both governments have fair elections that allow every citizen equal rights. Compare the political systems of the United States and Mexico. The United States has a direct democratic government, while Mexico has a representative democratic system. In Mexico, elections are much closer than in the United States because the voters are able to elect representatives to the national assembly. The representatives then form the legislature. Both have border disputes regarding land ownership, illegal immigration, and drug trafficking, which all affect how people move around their respective countries and also the security of their border. So, now you have some important decisions to make for your next vacation or travel to Mexico. Now that you know the differences between the two countries, make your decision. It's time to go visit. Think about all the reasons you want to see in these two amazing nations.