National Geographic : 1942 Oct
New National Geographic Society Map Charts South America's WITH this issue of THE GEOGRAPHIC, the National Geographic Society dis tributes to its 1,165,000 member families an up-to-1943 map supplement of South America, which charts our neighbor continent's progress, vast resources, and war time development. What can South America's republics con tribute to the United Nations' war effort? How may their natural resources be de veloped, moved, and utilized in the Western Hemisphere's struggle for survival? What tropical products do they offer to re place those cut off by war's closure of Far East markets? Printed in 10 colors, on a sheet 26/ x 374 inches, and scaled to one inch for each 134.2 miles, the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC'S new wall map shows the continent's rich natural re sources, political and geographic boundaries, temperatures, and transportation routes by sea, air, rail, and vehicular highway.* A special aerial timetable gives distances and flying time between strategic points. From Dakar, West Africa, to Natal, Brazil, for example, requires an 8-hour flight; from Natal to the Panama Canal, 14 hours; from the Panama Canal to Miami, 5 hours. Members familiar with their Society's De cember, 1937, map supplement of South America will note two changes in the new map. Gone are the words, "Disputed Territory." For the first time, National Geographic So ciety cartographers can mark definite boundary lines between Ecuador and Peru, and between Bolivia and Paraguay. Arbitration finally solved these longstanding problems. A new boundary is marked between Brazil and Co lombia, the fruit of completed surveys and peaceful agreement. More important economically is the addi tion to the new map of highway markings. In 1937 good motor roads in South America were negligible; even fair-weather roads were not vitally important. The Battle of Transport The map reveals the continent's geographic handicaps to road building. Vast distances separate big cities. Spacious deserts and swamps, flooded river valleys, waterfalls, and sparsely populated jungles bar the way. In the west, the Andes chain lifts a barrier more than 4,000 miles long, rising 23,081 feet high at Aconcagua, its tallest peak. Railway builders have conquered some ob stacles. Black lines on the map show that they Vartime Importance have laid down nearly 83,000 miles of rails. But many of these tracks center in a few lo calities-in the meat and wheat country of east-central Argentina, in Uruguay, in the eastern coffee and cotton regions of Brazil, and in the Chilean nitrate and copper areas. One railroad between Valparaiso and Buenos Aires climbs the lofty passes of the Andes. To the north another, now under construction, will link Arica, Chile, with Santos, Brazil, 1,850 miles away. Fewer than 700 miles through landlocked Bolivia remain to be built. Red lines on the new map show another and even bigger program. In many sections Latin America is bypassing railroad construction to build for the Motor Age. Hundreds of thousands of miles of roads stretch long fingers up into the mountains and probe deep into jungles to pull out hidden natural wealth. Most roads are of gravel or graded earth; many are mud-clogged in the rainy season, but their value is incalculable. A boulevard highway is better than a mule track, but a mule trail is vastly better than uncharted jungle or mountain wildness. Builders Rush Pan-American Highway Goal of Pan-American Highway builders is a system of motor roads linking all the Americas. Shown on the new map in a heavy red line, this system someday will reach every capital in South America, traversing over 13,000 miles. About 10,200 miles are now graded as all-weather road, about 2,000 miles are dry-weather road, much is under construc tion, only about 800 miles remain impassable. No longer is the prospect of a motor trip from the Panama border to Buenos Aires a wishful dream. More than 5,100 miles of this long route are all-weather road, passing through Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, and Argentina. Only missing stretches still under construction are about 200 miles in Colombia and 140 miles in Ecuador. The Pan-American Highway branch which passes through Bolivia and continues to Buenos Aires is now passable, although a 400-mile stretch is rough going. In the north, the Sim6n Bolivar branch from Caracas, Venezuela, to Guayaquil, Ecua *Members wishing additional copies of the new Map of South America may obtain them by writing the National Geographic Society, Washington, D. C. Prices, in United States and Possessions, 50¢ on paper (unfolded); $1 on linen; Index, 25¢. Outside of United States and Possessions, 75¢ on paper; $1.25 on linen; Index, 500. All remittances payable in U. S . funds. Postage prepaid.