July 30, 2008

Iran Insights

The August issue of National Geographic Magazine features an article on ancient Persia (Iran), supported by a supplement map of the Persian Empire. The reverse side is a current physical map of Iran. Coming to a mailbox or newsstand near you!

July 24, 2008

Finalists for The Outdoor Geographic Awareness Awards

National Geographic Maps and National Geographic Adventure Magazine are pleased to announce the finalists for the first annual The Outdoor Geographic Awareness (TOGA) Awards.

The awards seek to identify and showcase outdoor retailers, manufacturers, nonprofit and government organizations and individuals who are finding new and creative ways to promote geographic awareness and build outdoor participation.
The awards will be presented on Friday, Aug. 8, 2008, at 4 p.m. at the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City, in the National Geographic Maps booth #30039.

Here are the finalists:

Outdoor Retailer Category:
- Great Outdoor Provision Co.
- Midwest Mountaineering

Outdoor Manufacturer Category:
- Bells from Everest
- The North Face
- Patagonia

Nonprofit Category:
- American Hiking Society
- The Conservation Alliance
- Leave No Trace

Individuals Category:
- Sam Drevo (eNRG Kayaking)
- Eric Laren (Save the Poles)
- Sarah Wilson (Adventure Heroes)

TOGA Awards reflect National Geographic’s mission to inspire people to care about the planet and to encourage people of all ages to explore their world.

July 17, 2008

Map Projection

This corny school film from the 40s does a pretty good job of introducing the concept of map projection - the art of translating the round Earth to a flat piece of paper.

Ironically, at the time of this film most schools displayed maps using the Mercator projection. This projection was created for maps that would show shipping channels and was never suited for use as a general use political or physical world map.

All projections involve some distortion, whether of shape, land mass, or distance; generally all three. Thus choice of projection is based on the area depicted, the purpose and desired aesthetics of the map.

National Geographic currently employs the Winkel Tripel projection for all our world maps.

For teachers, a lesson plan on projections is here.

July 14, 2008

Video: Nat Geo's Outdoor Recreation Mapping Program

Here's an overview of our outdoor rec. map program including interviews with VP/Products Dan Ortiz and Trails Illustrated Product Manager Shane Matthews:

July 13, 2008

NatGeoMaps Coming To Trail Festivals Saturday

Two of America's great local trail events happen Saturday, July 19th in Washington and Colorado, and NatGeo Maps will be at both:

The great outdoors of Washington is calling! Come to TrailsFest at Rattlesnake Lake near North Bend. This outdoor extravaganza features clinics on everything from wilderness first aid to hiking with kids to backcountry cooking. Take a guided hike, tie a fly on, or climb a rock wall. Try out a new s’mores recipe, or hang out with packgoats. Visit dozens of exhibitors, including gear companies and outdoor groups.

Celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Continental Divide Trail — the highest and wildest national scenic trail — at TrailFest at McPhelemy Park in Buena Vista, Colorado. There will be free guided treks – everything from family-friendly hikes to mountain biking to a 14er summit, plus outdoor booths, free gear demos, clinics and activities for kids.