National Atlas: Interactive Mapmaker | MS Geography Resources |

The National Atlas that is available online has an extensive database for simple online mapping.  This is "GIS-light," an easy way to explore the spatial patterns within U.S. census data and other data sets.  The lists all contain a wide variety of variables, making this a good way to get students to explore potential research topics.  Thanks to the Connecticut Geographic Alliance coordinator for suggesting this link.   

Via Seth Dixon