Exploring the Pitcairn Archipelago with Maps

Pitcairn is a small island in the South Pacific Ocean at about 25° South latitude, just a couple degrees away from the Tropic of Capricorn (23° S). It’s approximately 130° West in longitude, a line of longitude not shared with much land–except parts of Antarctica, the Pacific Northwest, and Arctic regions of Canada many thousands of miles north. In fact, there’s not much other land around Pitcairn and its tiny island neighbors. This small island group–including Pitcairn, Ducie, Henderson, and Oeno–is remote, but remote does not mean insignificant. Pitcairn has a rich history and is currently the site of an expedition being conducted by NG Explorer-in-Residence Enric Sala as part of the Pristine Seas project. Want to explore the geography of Pitcairn? Here are a few National Geographic Education mapping resources to get you started.

InteractiveMap_WorldPolitical_250x.jpgMapMaker Interactive: Use the National Geographic MapMaker Interactive to zoom into Pitcairn (25° 04′ 36” S, 130° 06′ 06” W) and explore. Zoom back out again to get the larger context of the geography of this remote archipelago. Use the measure tool to calculate the distance between Pitcairn and some of its closest yet distant neighbors, including Easter Island and Tahiti.


WorldPolitical_MegaMap_300x.jpgWorld MapMaker Kit: Download the MapMaker Kit as a mega map or smaller tabletop map and
use it as part of a class project to study the Pitcairn island group, and
other islands and archipelagos around the world. Print and laminate your
map for use with dry-erase markers for hands-on activities.

Oceania_MegaMap_300x.jpgAustralia & Oceania MapMaker Kit: For a regional geographic view of Pitcairn, use the Oceania MapMaker
Kit, which provides more detail of this region than the World MapMaker
Kit. Study the islands of Oceania and the South Pacific Ocean, including
the political geography.

For example, did you know that Pitcairn is a British Overseas

–By Sean O’Connor: Project Manager, Educational Mapping, National Geographic Education

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