National Geographic : 1942 Dec
New Map Shows Asia's Role in Global Warfare T IMELY addition to the National Geo graphic Society's series of wartime maps is the new Map of Asia, distributed to 1,165,000 member-families as a supplement to this issue of their NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE.* With this notable map of Asia, National Geographic Society members have received in 1942 five map supplements. Others were: Theater of War in the Pacific; North Amer ica; Theater of War in Europe, Africa, and Western Asia; South America. In all, the National Geographic Society has printed in a single year nearly six million wall maps in color-a world-area mapping pro gram unprecedented anywhere, any time, in all the history of map-making. Map-making constituted one of your So ciety's important contributions to the war effort, as attested by requests for some 125,000 maps by the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, State Department, and other Government agencies. "The Continent of Superlatives" Printed in 10 colors, on a sheet 40 by 26J/ inches, the Map of Asia reveals by a wealth of cartographic detail how global war has en meshed the "Continent of Superlatives." Asia is the world's largest land mass, ap proximately 16,000,000 square miles or 51f times as big as the United States. If adjoin ing Europe, which really is a peninsula of Asia, be included, the entire Eurasia area is nearly 20,000,000 square miles. In the Himalayas rises our planet's tallest peak, 29,002-foot Mount Everest; off the Philippine coast the ocean floor plunges to its greatest known depth, 35,400 feet below the surface of the Pacific. Lowest sheet of water on the earth's crust is the Dead Sea in Palestine, 1,286 feet below sea level. Biggest depressed continental area is the Caspian Basin and Sea, a territory larger than the State of California, and for the most part 85 feet below ocean level. Coldest place in the world-colder than the North Pole-is Verkhoyansk, Siberia, where the thermometer drops to more than 90 de grees below zero in winter. On this huge continent dwell half the earth's people-most diversified group of races and creeds on the globe. On this one chart your Society's cartog raphers have mapped an expanse of some 65,000,000 square miles, about three times the area of all Eurasia, to reveal the strategic relationship of widely separated campaigns. The map's extreme longitudinal spread is 240 degrees. In latitude, the map reaches from the North Pole to Brisbane, Australia, some 8,120 miles. Two-thirds of the northern expanse of the sphere is represented, from Ireland and the Faeroes to the Aleutians. In the south, the map covers the vital area from Fort Lamy, Free French outpost in Equatorial Africa, through Portuguese Mozambique, British-held Madagascar, Japanese-occupied Netherlands Indies, embattled northern Australia, and the beleaguered Solomon Islands.t Japanese Mandated Islands in the Marshall and Caroline groups come within the eastern border. Scaled on a New Projection This is the first general map to be based on the transverse polyconic projection system. Tomapanypartofaglobeonaflatsur face requires a compromise called a "projec tion," or a grid of lines, representing latitude and longitude. Conventional projection sys tems would seriously distort distances over so vast a stretch of territory from east to west. Your chief cartographer, James M. Darley, turned to the projection system devised in 1900 by C. H. Deetz, of the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey. Basic principle of this system is to select on the globe a great circle which cuts across the center of the map. From this circle and its relation to the usual lines of latitude and longitude, Wellman Chamberlin, of The Society's Cartographic Department, made exacting calculations neces sary to establish the new grid. On the flat map of Asia this selected circle around the spherical earth appears as a straight line, running directly across the map in its center. From east to west it passes near the Hawaiian Islands, the Japanese Mandated Islands, and southern Japan. The Chinese supply lines from India, Russia, and *The National Geographic Society maps of the continents and oceans, with the accompanying in dexes, make a magnificent atlas and gazetteer of the world. The Society provides a handy map file, bound like a book, 1034 x 734 inches, with Manila pockets which accommodate 20 folded maps or 10 maps with their respective indexes. Members wishing additional copies of the new Map of Asia may obtain them by writing the National Geographic Society, Washington, D. C . Prices, in United States and Pos sessions, 50¢ on paper (unfolded); $1 on linen; Index, 25¢; Map File, $2.50. Outside of United States and Possessions, 750 on paper; $1.25 on linen; Index, 500; Map File, $2.75. All remittances payable in U. S. funds. Postage prepaid. t See, in the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, "Madagascar: Mystery Island," by Paul Almasy, June, 1942; "Java Assignment," by Dee Bredin, Janu ary, 1942; and "Life in Dauntless Darwin," by Howell Walker, July, 1942.