Juan Valdes

2013 — A Cartographic Recap

It’s that time of year—a time to reflect on how our world has changed over the past 365 days. There are many ways to gauge such changes, but none more tangible than comparing National Geographic maps published in 2012 to ...

2013 — A Cartographic Recap

It’s that time of year—a time to reflect on how our world has changed over the past 365 days. There are many ways to gauge such changes, but none more tangible than comparing National Geographic maps published in 2012 to ...

Updating Place-Names for Our New 10th Edition Atlas of the World

For over 125 years the National Geographic Society has fulfilled its missions in many ways—one of the most visual has been through the publication of its atlases. In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of our first edition Atlas of the ...

25th Annual National Geographic Bee, May 20–22, 2013

25th Annual National Geographic Bee, May 20–22, 2013 This year marks the 25th anniversary of the National Geographic Bee. As in 1989, the Geo Bee—as it is affectionately known around the Society—is part of the Society’s overall mission to “increase ...

2012—A CARTOGRAPHIC RECAP

Besides a shift in the delineation of the International Date Line, the self-declaration of two semi-autonomous regions, and the discovery of a “phantom island” in the South Pacific, 2012 has proven to be quite an interesting year. Read on: International Date ...

Cartographic Diligence

One of the greatest advantages of living in the digital age is that geopolitical events, regardless of what remote corner of the planet they occur, are posted on the web within minutes if not hours after they happen. Sometimes pivotal ...

Of National Geographic Maps and Urban Legends

Rarely a year goes by that I am not asked the following question: “Is it true that, for copyright purposes, National Geographic cartographers always embed an error or two on their maps?“ I always respond with an emphatic NO! Quite ...

Where scale permits

As is frequently the case, National Geographic mapmakers―for that matter, mapmakers worldwide―often face the problem of having to fit too much cartographic information into too little cartographic space. Scale, which defines the mathematical relationship between linear measurement on ...

2012 National Geographic Geo Bee: How do you pronounce that?

Since 1989, the National Geographic has encouraged teachers to spark student interest in geography through the National Geographic Bee. As outlined on the Study Corner page of the Geo Bee site, there are many things that students should do to prepare ...

Cyrenaica, Libya: Part II

Map of the Countries Bordering the Mediterranean Supplement, January 1912 A year ago, a blog titled Cyrenaica, Libya  was posted on the NGM Blog Central site. It was spurred by a number of letters received about the meaning of this geographic ...

Cyrenaica, Libya: Part I

    NG Maps knows that many of our readers are curious about place-names on our maps because of the number of letters we receive. But it’s during times of political upheaval that our maps are more closely scrutinized, ...

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC’S CARTOGRAPHIC TYPEFACES

Our maps have long been known for their distinctive typefaces. But few outside the Society know little of the history that lies behind them. Until the early 1930s, most of our maps were hand-  lettered—a slow and tedious process ...

2011—A CARTOGRAPHIC RECAP

Although nothing compared to what we mapmakers experienced during the heady days following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the early 1990’s, National Geographic maps have kept pace with–and portrayed–all of the major and minor geopolitical events ...