Where can I find information about transportation?
Entry last updated: 23/02/21
Transportation is the movement of people or goods from place to place. People need transport to get to work, to shop, or to go on holiday. Transportation is necessary for the import and export of goods and services, and this makes it important for a country's economy. So much has changed in transportation over the years, and this has made it quicker, more efficient and more affordable.
Modes of transport
There are many ways people and goods are transported around the world.
Road: This includes cars, buses, motorbikes, trucks and bicycles.
Rail: Trains and trams are two kinds of transport that run on rails.
Air: This means of transport travels through the air like planes, helicopters, hot air balloons and blimps.
Water: Travels across the sea, rivers or lakes and can take place by passenger ships, container ships, waka, ferries and other kinds of boats.
Animals: Horses, oxen, camels, and sled dogs are some animals used to transport people and goods.
History and types of transportation
Here are some websites that cover the history and types of transport, and other aspects like routes, and new inventions in this area.
This is one of the EPIC databases, a collection of reliable databases covering lots of different topics. It has been put together for New Zealand schools.
To find information about transport using this database, follow these steps:
- Choose your level, we suggest starting with Middle .
- Enter the keyword 'transportation' into the search bar at the top of the page.
- Select the article transportation (technology) to read information on modes of transport, transport routes, transport costs, history of transport and more.
- Check out the Related resources tab to find links to articles about the bus and more.
- Remember you can move up or down a level by choosing from the Reading level at the top of the page.
- You can also search for specific types of transportation using words like 'sea transport', 'air transport' or automobiles.
Tips: To get to the EPIC resources you will need a password from your school librarian first. Or you can chat with one of our AnyQuestions librarians between 1 and 6pm Monday to Friday and they will help you online. Some EPIC databases may also be available through your public library.
National Geographic is well-known for its illustrated magazine and its website includes full-text articles on a variety of topics, including heaps of articles about different aspects of transportation.
- To find these, select the Education tab at the top of the page.
- Next, enter in the keyword 'transportation' to find all the resources about transport.
Tips: The grades mentioned in the articles is for the American system of education, which is a little different to the New Zealand system. Just add 1 onto the grade to get the New Zealand equivalent, eg, if an article says it's written for Grades 5-8, that's Year 6-9 in New Zealand.
This site has interesting videos on lots of different topics, including science, technology, engineering, arts and maths.
- Enter the search words 'transportation' into the search area.
- Watch the short animated video on the History of Transportation Through the Centuries.
- You will also find some interesting videos like the one on the driverless bus in Greece, or explore the world's largest container ship .
Tips: Websites that have .com or .co in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About us link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the company’s mission and values are.
Transport in New Zealand
These websites have information about the history of transportation in New Zealand and how it developed.
Te Ara is an excellent starting point for all questions about New Zealand Aotearoa. If we scroll down to the bottom of the page we can see that the website belongs to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage, so the information is well-researched and reliable.
- From the homepage, select Economy and the City.
- Next, choose Transport and then choose an article to read about the history and development of different types of transport in New Zealand.
- There's also information about transport infrastructures, like roads, streets and lighting, bridges and tunnels.
NZHistory is another great website from the Ministry for Culture and Heritage for information about New Zealand Aotearoa.
- From the homepage, choose Culture and Society.
- Next, select the heading Transport.
- There is information here about railways, shipping, ferries, tourism and more.
Tips: We like sites like this because they’re reliable. You can tell because of their web address – they have either .govt or .ac, meaning they are from government or educational organisations. They’re also New Zealand sites, so relevant for us.
Impact of transport on health and environment
Transport has a large impact on the environment. The network of roads and rail cuts into the physical environment, many modes of transport need fossil fuels to run, and exhaust from cars contributes to air pollution. To fight this, people are coming up with sustainable forms of transport.
The World Health Organisation is interested in healthy sustainable transport because of its impact on the environment and people's health. Many types of transport, especially cars, lead to increased levels of air pollution, and many people every year are injured in road accidents.
- First, select the tab Health Topics from the top of the page.
- Next, choose the heading Transport and Health.
- You will find lots of data, statistics, news, and articles on the impacts of transport caused by air pollution and updates on sustainable transport.
Another EPIC resource, this site covers a range of environmental issues, so it's a good source for information on fossils fuels, air pollution, and the impact of transportation infrastructure (such as roads).
- Go to Browse Issues, near the top of the page.
- Select the article you are interested in, such as Transportation Infrastructure, Fossil Fuels , Electric Vehicles .
- You can also enter in search words like 'sustainable transport' or solar cars to find articles like Solar-Powered Car Seats Family of Four.
Tips: Search words, or keywords, are the most important words in our question. Usually it’s better to leave out small words like ‘the’, ‘a’ and ‘of’ and just choose the main ones, eg [transportation]. We can always change our keywords or add more if we need to.
This website from the government of New Zealand has lots of information on the role of transport in the country, economy and the environment.
- Notice that the home page has facts and figures on the use of public transport, transport-related GHG (Greenhouse Gas) emissions and more.
- From the home page go to Select an area of interest and select Environment and climate change. This page has up-to-date facts and figures of impacts of GHG emissions from transport.
- Further down the page is what the government is working on, like use of biofuels, clean cars , reducing harmful emissions and other sustainable measures.
- You can also use the search feature to look for information on the use and impacts of maritime transport, air transport or public transport.
Tips: Many web pages have links to further information or to other recommended sites. Following these links is a great way to find out more. This searching method is called “pearl growing” because you are picking up pieces of sand to make a beautiful pearl!
Check out some of these books, or ask your school or local librarian for more recommendations.
- Amazing Transport: Journey through the history of transport by Tom Jackson
- The history of transport by Chris Oxlade
- Planes, trains & fast cars: a history of transport by Christine Brown-Paul
- From here to there: the story of how we transport ourselves and everything else by H P Newquist
- Door to door: the magnificent, maddening, mysterious world of transportation by Edward Humes.