Elizabeth Ault-Cook incorporated her student’s interests in dance and poetry into an introduction to map vocabulary. She then led her student in a map-reading activity that involved plotting and comparing the locations of sports teams. Continue reading Educator Spotlight: Making Mapping Relevant
Tory Watanabe’s seventh-grade students researched their ancestral lands. As part of the interdisciplinary project, students made artistic maps accompanied by creative writing pieces. Continue reading Educator Spotlight: Uncovering the Importance of Place
GEOGRAPHY Scientist Unravels Mystery of Ghostly Sandy Island A research ship cruised through the Coral Sea, bearing down on Sandy Island. The digital scientific databases used by the researchers showed the island to be 24 kilometers (15 miles) long and about 5 kilometers (3 miles) wide. Manhattan-sized. But when the ship reached the place where the island should have been, the researchers saw only open … Continue reading Scientist Unravels Mystery of Ghostly Sandy Island
In the comedy Black Adder, there is a short scene in which Lieutenant Gorge (played by Hugh Laurie) demonstrates the dangers of insufficient map-reading skills as he crawls into “no man’s land” during the trench warfare campaign in World War I.
While the situation was dramatized for comedic effect, the message of the clip rings true. Decades after World War I, the art of map reading has begun to go the way of the dodo bird as a result of new technologies and the changing face of the world we live in. Mapmaking used to be a revered profession. Even people who were not employed as surveyors or cartographers would strike out to chart new courses and expand the known world as far as it could go. While that zeal for navigating and cataloging the physical world may still characterize the work of some professionals today, such as scientists who explore the deep ocean floors or explorers, the general population has become much less concerned with maps.