National Geographic : 1888 Oct
National GeographicMagazine. tion upon a map, is undertaken by a staff of trained experts in the Central Bureau in Washington, and through this organization we obtain a weather-map of the world for every day of the year. We can now study at leisure the past movements of the atmos phere, and from these observations we shall surely discover the grand laws that control aerial phenomena. We shall then not only know, as we do at present, whence comes the wind and whither it goes, but be able to predict its movements for the benefit of humanity. Already we have attained a useful, though limited, power of prediction.. Our Central Bureau daily collects observations by telegraph from all parts of this continent, and our experts are thus enabled to forecast the probabilities by a few hours. Day by day the re sults are communicated to the public by telegraph in time to avert disaster to the mariners on our eastern coast, and facilitate agri cultural operations in the Eastern and Middle States. Although many of the predictions are still falsified by events, the percentage of fulfilments has become so large as to show that continued research will in the future give us fresh forms of pre diction and increase the usefulness of this branch of science to mankind. In all departments of geographical knowledge, Americans are at work. They have pushed themselves into the front rank and they demand the best efforts of their countrymen to encourage and support. When we embark on the great ocean of discovery, the horizon of the unknown advances with us and surrounds us wherever we go. The more we know, the greater we find is our ignorance. Because we know so little we have formed this society for the in crease and diffusion of Geographical knowledge. Because our subject is so large we have organized the society into four broad sections: relating to the geography of the land, H. G. Ogden, vice president ; the sea, J. R. Bartlett, vice-president; the air, A. W. Greely, vice-president; the geographic distribution of life, C. H. Merriam, vice-president; to which we have added a fifth, relating to the abstract science of geographic art, including the art of map making etc., A. H. Thompson, vice-president; our recording and corresponding secretaries are Henry Gannett and George Kennan. We have been fortunate indeed to secure as Vice-Presidents men learned in each department, and who have been personally identified with the work of research.