East Dorset, Vermont.  October 2, 2002—Someone has stolen precious items from Lady Hartley’s mansion, and the culprit must be caught! In Map Detectives, an innovative map-reading software program, students become private detectives and learn critical geography skills.  Kids are so motivated by the constantly changing plots in the two interactive mystery games that they hardly notice how much they are learning as they navigate through the program. The humorous graphics and animations keep kids engaged as they use geography and mapping skills to solve a series of baffling burglaries.

There are twelve suspects with names like Jailbreak John, Ruthless Richard, Devious Della, Crafty Connie, Monstrous Mick, and Shifty Shirley, and each time the games are played, the culprit changes.  To locate the missing objects and find clues about the thief, students must interpret map symbols, type in grid references, and use distance, scale, and compass directions as they click their way around a variety of maps. 

The Village Mystery game begins with a panicked phone call from Lady Hartley—someone has stolen items from the displays in her mansion and garden.  Students then look at detailed plans of the displays, and compare them to photographs in order to identify which objects have been stolen.  Using an ordnance survey map of the village, the detective then enters coordinates to zoom in on particular locations where they will find objects and witnesses who will offer clues about the crime.  Once enough clues have been gathered, students may review the information about each of the suspects and then make an accusation.  If they are correct, the thief is put behind bars and the detective receives a generous reward.

In The Daylight Robbery, detectives must track down suspects who are scattered over a wide area.  A cycling map, a subway map, and a walking map are used to travel to a variety of locations in search of clues.   Each map calls upon the student to use map-reading skills particular to that kind of map. Animations and photographs accompany the traveling detectives each step of the way, adding an element of realism to the program.  The CD-ROM is accompanied by printed support material for the classroom, including colored suspect cards with character descriptions, three colored fold-out maps, and illustrated directions for navigating each map. 

Map Detectives also include customization and record-keeping options that allow teachers to adjust levels of difficulty and view and print records of the “registered detectives”.  The length of each game, the difficulty of the mapping exercises, and the difficulty of the mysteries can be altered for each student or group of students.  Teachers can monitor the progress of each student by viewing the records showing which maps and activities have been completed, and at what level of difficulty. 

Minimum System Requirements

Win: Win 3.1+, 486, 66 MHz, 8 Mb RAM, 2x CD, SVGA

Mac: LC475, 8 Mb RAM, 2x CD-ROM, 640x480, 256 colors


To Order:

The single unit price of Map Detectives is $59.95

Multi-pack and site license pricing is available

Order online using our secure ecommerce engine
To order toll free from the US or Canada call (800) 220-8386
Fax your order to (802) 375-6860
Email your order to

Printable order forms are available at

About Tool Factory

Tool Factory conducted an exhaustive search for unique educational software in various markets around the globe. Their flagship product line consists of 26 educational software tools, which were hand-picked for their innovative contribution to computer-based learning. To complement the tools and applications, Tool Factory is also distributing an extensive range of curriculum titles throughout North America. Their second catalog launches with 127 CD-ROM products, many of which are new releases in North America.

For press inquiries, please call Kendra Ericson at (802) 375-6549 or email