December 17, 2009

Maps of the News - December 2009 Edition -

1918 Western Theatre of War Map
Since our inception as a division of the National Geographic Society in 1915, National Geographic Maps (originally the Cartographic Division) has routinely published maps that illustrate the news of the world. Our first supplement map, which appeared in the May 1918 issue of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, titled the Western Theatre of War, served as a useful reference for overseas military personnel and soldier's families alike. Similarly our February 1967 map of Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos, and recently, our Iraq and the Heart of the Middle East titles filled similar roles.

Maps are an excellent tool for the newshound, providing an accurate sense of place to issues local and abroad. To assist those that are interested in further understanding global news stories through good maps - we're pleased to announce a new monthly feature here on Contours that will highlight maps pertinent to today's news stories.

:: December 2009, Maps of the News ::

Afghanistan and Pakistan. Revised in Fall of 2009, this political map of the region contains thousands of place names, ideal for following news stories and deployed family members. Like all National Geographic cartography, our new Afghanistan and Pakistan map was carefully researched and edited and contains thousands of place names.

Iraq, Iran and the Middle East. This region dominates daily news stories. Our Middle East wall map covers over 18 nations in the region including: Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and more.

Philippines. Follow the recent eruption of the Mayon volcano in the Philippines, with our Asia classic and executive style wall maps for the continent.

Vancouver and the Winter Olympics. A detailed city guide, perfect for global travelers attending the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Brazil and the Summer Olympics. As Brazil enters the limelight and begins preparations for the 2012 Summer Olympic games in Rio, our Brazil wall map makes an ideal addition to your map collection. Completed in the summer of 2009, this large 41" x 41" wall map is one of the most detailed maps available for the country.


Greenlight said...

Happy New Year, Mike!

I'm confused about the reference to May 1918 as the first map supplement to the magazine. There's a bibliography of NG Magazine maps that mentions 1889 as the first map supplement. The link is here. Can you please clarify?

Mike Dyer said...

Greenlight - Good catch, my post warrants some further clarification...

The first supplement map prepared entirely by the National Geographic Cartographic Department was the 1918 "Western Theatre of War" map, which was released in the May issue of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC.

However, there were two notable supplement maps which were included in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC prior to that.

The first, as you pointed out, was in the October 1889 issue, and was the U.S. Geological Survey quadrangle map, "North Carolina - Tennessee - Asheville Sheet."

The second supplement was released in August 1914, just as World War I erupted. "Map of the New Balkan States and Central Europe" was prepared beforehand by NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Editor Gilbert H. Grosvenor, who saw war looming, and stored in the basement. This begins a National Geographic tradition of timely map supplements published during periods of world crisis.

A year later, in 1915, Albert H. Bumstead, formerly with the U.S. Geological Survey and Hiram Bingham's expedition to Machu Pichu, establishes the Cartographic Department within the National Geographic Society. Bumstead becomes the Society's first Chief Cartographer.

Hope this sheds some further light on NG Maps history. Thanks for reading and the comment!