National Geographic : 1947 Jun
The Society's New Map of Canada, Alaska, and Greenland BY WELLMAN CHAMBERLIN National Geographic Society Staff Cartographer A NEW map area on a new projection is presented to the 1,600,000 members of the National Geographic Society in the 10-color supplement map, "Canada, Alaska, and Greenland," which accompanies this issue of the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE. With the advent of giant modern aircraft, it has become important to show the whole vast top of the Western World, where America is closest to Asia and Europe, for a new picture now occupies the minds of statesmen, military strategists, and planners of the commerce of the future-the concept of direct air travel by the relatively short routes which cross the roof of the world.* The new National Geographic map reflects this modern approach to geography. It por trays Canada in its entirety as the central core of the great Western Hemisphere northland, including its islands stretching toward the North Pole, and shows all of Alaska, Green land, and Iceland, where the New World joins the Old. Entirely New Projection Solves Problem The area covered by this new map pre sented a unique mapping problem. None of the conventional projections was well suited to show this broad northern expanse as an integrated whole. All involved undue distor tion or variation in scale. After extensive tests on all the currently used methods, we devised this entirely new projection, which The Society has named the Chamberlin Trimetric. It is based on a tri angle of three great circles from which all other points are determined. When tested, the new projection was found to produce excellent results. Maximum scale variation is about half that resulting from other methods. There is very little angular distortion, and over-all distances can be meas ured with great accuracy. The projection is particularly suited to this important area. In addition, it is easy to compute and draw. On the new map, which measures 342 x 262 inches, major airports as well as high ways, railroads, and 5,613 place names are shown. In Alaska appear many new roads, besides the famed Alaska Highway, wartime construction project. In Canada we have in cluded some important winter tractor trails which supply the Far North mining districts. A new transcontinental highway makes its appearance, for the Canadians have finished the last link between Hearst and Geraldton, in Ontario. One can now drive all the way from Sydney, Nova Scotia, to Vancouver or Prince Rupert, British Columbia, or to Fair banks, Alaska. During war years, great strides were made in surveying the Far North. Little-known lands took on vital importance. Your map in corporates that work, and members will note a wealth of new detail, from Greenland to the westernmost Aleutians. Most of this new in formation results from aerial surveys. An inset map shows the Aleutian Islands on the same scale as the main map-1 to 8,000,000, or 126.3 miles to the inch. An other depicts the top of the world on a polar projection.t North Pole Flights Now Are Routine Until the war-boomed development of long range, high-altitude planes, a trip beyond the Arctic Circle required months or years for completion. Except for a few whalers, sealers, and the Canadian Mounties, men rarely in vaded that forbidding region. An expedition into the Far North was front-page news that commanded world-wide attention. Today the great planes of the United States Army Air Forces make routine weather recon naissance flights over the North Pole. How the airplane has demolished distance in the North was dramatically illustrated in February of this year when 11 United States Army airmen in the B-29 Kee-Bird, from Ladd Field, Fairbanks, Alaska, were forced down in Daugaard-Jensens Land, in northwest Greenland, and were rescued by a C-54 from Westover Field, Massachusetts. As Lt. Bobbie Joe Cavenar gunned his big plane and the aerial giant shattered the Arctic * One of the pioneers in presenting the new "polar concept" of geography was the National Geographic Society's map of the Northern and Southern Hemi spheres, issued as a supplement to the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE for April, 1943. t Members may obtain additional copies of the new map of Canada, Alaska, and Greenland (and of all standard maps published by The Society) by writing to the National Geographic Society, Washington 6, D. C . Prices, in United States and Possessions, 500 each, on paper; $1 on linen; Index, 254. Outside United States and Possessions, 75 on paper; $1.25 on linen; Index 50. All remittances payablein U. S. funds. Postage prepaid.