National Geographic : 1952 Mar
New National Geographic Map Shows North America's Altered Face TEN busy and eventful years of heavy production for war and peace, of growth and aerial exploration, have etched their effects upon the familiar face of North America. Reflecting this decade of development, the National Geographic Society's new map of North America, sent to members as a supple ment to this issue, gives an up-to-date full color, full-length portrait of our ocean moated continent. Thousands of additions and changes have been made since The Society last mapped this area early in 1942, just a few months after the attack on Pearl Harbor plunged the United States into all-out war. How Current Events Change a Map Events which remake maps need not be so earth-shattering as a war, the sudden birth of a volcano, or even a new United States census, though all of these things have made their marks on the surface of North America in the last ten years. Changes may come from such varied causes as these: A little-known officer in the United States Army rises to world fame as commander of the Allied invasion of Europe-and a peak in Alberta becomes Mt. Eisenhower. In honor of a popular radio program, a town in New Mexico changes its name from Hot Springs to Truth or Consequences. A Canadian prospector, looking for new claims to stake, pores late over some new aerial photographs of northern Canada-and the world's largest meteoritic scar, Chubb Crater, goes on the map.* Thanks to oceans and to efforts of America's millions, no earth-scorching invasion armies marched across this favored continent. No war-born treaties, no land grabs, no revolu tions or intrigues twisted its international boundary lines. But atomic development spawned new cities as far apart as Tennessee and New Mexico, Nevada and the State of Washington. All Inhabited Continents Newly Mapped With this map The Society's world-wide membership now has a complete postwar atlas of the world's inhabited continents. Similar large ten-color maps of Australia, Europe, Africa, South America, and Asia have been painstakingly prepared by The Society's cartographers and issued as supplements to The Magazine in the last four years.f More than two million copies of the new North America map have slid from big litho graphic color presses to meet the needs of The Society's ever-growing family of members. On a scale of 173.6 miles to the inch, the 28-by-35-inch sheet shows not only the whole of North America but also the northern part of South America, including major portions of Colombia and Venezuela, rich in oil and iron. It contains a total of 5,204 place names. The use of a larger scale (1 to 11,000,000 in the new map compared to 1 to 12,000,000 in the old) gives a 19-percent increase in area and permits the inclusion of 1,286 more place names than its predecessor had. Like red arteries and dark veins, main rail roads and highways crisscross the map. Im portant airports spangle much of its surface with red stars. Changes in the appearance of the new map reflect, in part, improved techniques in map making. A new method of depicting a curved portion of the earth's surface on a flat sheet of paper, the Chamberlin Trimetric projec tion, invented by Wellman Chamberlin of The Society's Cartographic Staff, is here used for the first time on a North America map. It is particularly well suited for portraying a generally triangular continent like North America with a minimum of distortion. Inset Shows How Close Is U. S. S. R. How far is Russia from United States soil? A large inset of the Aleutian Islands and the Bering Sea emphasizes the answer: a mere three miles. Eskimos living on the two Dio mede Islands used to visit relatives and friends, sledging over the ice from one hemi sphere to another and from one date to an other without a thought of world time or world tensions. Now the Kremlin has clamped down on this international visiting. Dotting the frozen fringes of the Arctic Ocean in Alaska, Canada, and Greenland are a number of new communities which cannot be shown, because of military security. These are the new United States and Ca nadian military and airforce bases, set up to listen for and repel any sudden air at tack on this continent across the Arctic route. The number, size, names, and locations of these year-round "villages" are all secret. Out of this Canadian-U. S. teamwork has *See "Solving the Riddle of Chubb Crater," by V. Ben Meen, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, Jan uary, 1952. t Members may obtain additional copies of the new North America map (and of all standard maps pub lished 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 fabric; Index, 250. Elsewhere, 75 on paper; $1.25 on fabric; Index, 50. All remittances payable in U. S. funds. Postpaid.