March 2, 2010

Maps of the News - March 2010

For those actively following the World's news, here is our monthly quick reference to National Geographic maps which add perspective to today's news stories.


The 8.8 Magnitude earthquake in Chile, has left substantial devastation to the port town on Concepcion and left thousands homeless in the Capital city of Santiago. Our recently updated South America Wall Map contains place names for most major and secondary cities, plus physical features, and major transportation networks.

When I first heard about the Tsunami threat for the Hawaiian Islands, Australia, Japan and the islands of the Pacific on Saturday, I turned to our World Pacific Centered wall map. Unlike the wall map you likely had hanging in your classroom, which was Atlantic Ocean centered, our Pacific Centered edition provides a seamless view of the entire Ocean. This different perspective made it easier to understand the path of the Tsunami waves and helped clarify why places such as the California, Oregon and Washington coasts were under the warning as well.

Beyond the Chilean earthquake, this winter seems especially harsh, and on Sunday, France and four other countries were battered by a deadly storm named "Xynthia". In its wake the storm left 51 dead, millions without power, and generated extensive property damage throughout the region. Winds in excess of 130MPH were recorded over the Pyrenees with 100 MPH gusts along the Atlantic coast. National Geographic has a collection of up-to-date reference maps for most of the countries in Europe including: France, Belgium & The Netherlands, Spain & Portugal, and Germany. Additionally we recently revised our Europe wall map, which is available in several styles.


Here on the home front, winter weather continued to make headlines last week with the Northeast receiving another record breaking snowfall. National Geographic publishes a wide variety of United States Wall Maps, varying in style, size, and format that will assist with following nearly any US based news story.

The Tsunami warning for the Hawaiian Islands last Saturday had me turning to one of our most beautiful wall maps, The Hawaiian Islands, which exposes the dramatic terrain of the ocean floor around the island chain.


Now that the Winter Olympics have concluded, it's time to turn our eyes south to Arizona and Florida as MLB Spring Training kicks off today. If you're heading to watch any of the games, we have two useful maps for your glovebox, the Florida State Guide Map and the Arizona State Guide Map. Both maps have up-to-date road networks for the State, plus detailed inset maps for the major cities, like the Spring Training hubs of Tampa, Ft. Myers, Scottsdale and Tucson. While I'm a big fan of GPS for turn-by-turn directions, sometimes its just a little faster to use a real map, and you certainly get a better perspective of what's ahead when on a road trip.

As always - we love to hear your comments, questions and ideas for future posts.