Estimating the Area of Virginia - Learning to Use the Virginia State Map

Julie Clark, Caren Diefenderfer, Steve Hammer, and Trish Hammer,

To complete this project you will need to understand how to use the interactive map of Virginia shown below.


Using this Live Map
  • Click any place on the map to move the cursor to that point.

  • Notice the readout at the upper right gives the location of the cursor measured in pixels from the lower left corner of the map.

  • You can fine tune the location of the cursor by clicking on the four arrows at the left, right, top, and bottom of the map. Each click moves the cursor one pixel in the direction indicated by the arrow.


  1. Find the coordinates of Roanoke and of Richmond.

  2. For our purposes, we will assume the coordinates of the southwest corner of Virginia are (24,98).  Locate this point on the map.

  3. Click the blue Mark point button to create a point on the map at these coordinates.

  4. Mark any 5 additional points on the northern state boundary.  Record the coordinates of these points.

  5. Assume the coordinates of the southeast corner are (474, 98).  Mark this point on the map.

  6. Click the red List points button.  (You may need to enlarge the window that opens up.)  Compare the values that you recorded to the ones in this list.  Can you see how they are the same?

  7. Click the black Clear points button, and then repeat steps 2-6 until you are comfortable with this process.


The map used here was obtained at

The applet used here is described in the Lite Applets article and can be downloaded from the resources page at the end of the article.