Presidential Campaign Botches U.S. Map


Ben Carson’s presidential campaign shared a map of the United States in which five New England states were placed in the wrong location. (Washington Post)

Use our resources to . . . Explore! The Power of Maps this Geography Awareness Week.

Teachers, scroll down for a quick list of key resources in our Teachers’ Toolkit.

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Can you label a map of the United States? Check your work here.

Discussion Ideas

  • What states were misrepresented in the disputed map? What was wrong with the way they were mapped? Use our simple 1-Page map of the U.S. for some help.
    • “Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine are moved northeast by about 150 miles or so.”
    • “Vermont and New York [lacking the boundary states of New Hampshire (Vermont) and Massachusetts and Connecticut (New York)] now have hundreds of miles of new beachfront property.”
    • “Massachusetts [north of Vermont in the map] shares a border with Canada.”
    • “Maine [pushed north into Canada] straddles the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.”
    • “Virginia’s portion of the Delmarva Peninsula is colored red to match Maryland.”


  • The Washington Post article assures the campaign that it has “plenty of company when it comes to geography troubles.” (Learn more about that here.) Here are some common cartographic conundrums:
    • “A study last year found that a majority of Americans couldn’t place Ukraine on a map.” Can you?
    • “A 2006 survey commissioned by National Geographic found that six in 10 young Americans couldn’t find Iraq on a map of the Middle East.” Can you?
    • “[The same survey found] half [of young American surveyed] couldn’t place New York on a map of the United States.” Can you?




Washington Post: Ben Carson’s campaign made a U.S. map and put a bunch of states in the wrong place

Nat Geo: Explore! The Power of Maps!

Nat Geo: Celebrate Geography Awareness Week

Nat Geo: 1-Page Maps

Nat Geo: MapMaker Interactive

Nat Geo: Why are U.S. Students Bad at Geography?

Nat Geo: The Road Map Project

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