National Geographic : 1950 Oct
New National Geographic South America Map Shows a Continent Coming of Age WHEN Francisco Pizarro was faced with mutiny on his southward expe dition to find the Incas in the 16th century, he drew a line in the sand from east to west. Pointing to the line, the conquistador said: "On this side are toil, hunger, nakedness, drenching rains and storm, desertion and death; on the other side, ease and pleasure. There lies Peru with its riches; here, Panama in its poverty. Let each man choose his own destiny. For my part, I go to the south." Today South America is finding itself heir to riches Pizarro never suspected, notably mountains of iron and subterranean lakes of oil. To provide a timely picture of the vast southern half of our hemisphere, the National Geographic Society has prepared the new 10 color map, "South America," issued as a supplement to this October number of its NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE. More than 1,950,000 copies have been printed to supply The Society's world-wide membership.* The map shows a continent coming of age. Red stars indicating airports spangle even the deep interior. New towns linked to the out side by air have sprouted in the heart of the continent in areas only a few years ago as little known as any on earth outside of Ant arctica. Venezuela bristles with oil-well symbols, and now the life fluid of the machine age pours also from fields in Argentina, Peru, and half a dozen other countries. "Newly Delivered Mother" Yields Iron Seeking new sources of iron to supplement dwindling deposits at home, United States Steel Corporation men struck it rich in Vene zuela. Some 50 miles south of Ciudad Boli var they found a mile-wide, 11-mile-long mountain named La Parida ("Newly De livered Mother"). More than half of it turned out to be solid iron ore. La Parida, renamed Cerro Bolivar, rivals immense re sources of iron already known in Brazil. From the huge Urucum manganese deposits near Corumba in southwestern Mato Grosso, Brazil, the same company expects to get an annual 100,000 tons of this vital steel-making mineral. Other large manganese sources have been found on the Amapari River in Brazil's newly created Territory of Amapa. As industries develop in South America, the old pattern of life is changing. At the big U. S.-built Volta Redonda steel plant in the Brazilian State of Rio de Janeiro, one initial problem was the employees' habit of blithely departing for a three-day fiesta, leaving fur naces to cool. Despite the growth of industry, much of the continent is still in the pioneering stage. South America contains only 14.7 persons to the square mile, compared with 145.3 for Europe, 77 for Asia, 21.3 for North America, 15.1 for Africa, and 2.6 for Australia. Pioneering in Reverse In the United States, when people began to find out about their country, they started on foot or with canoe or horse and gradually worked up to the airplane. South Americans reverse the process. When Brazilians recently mapped their nation, they started with an aerial survey, followed it up with automobiles, and finally, in isolated spots, with oxcarts and dugout canoes. The 1950 picture reflects the enormous in crease in geographic knowledge brought about by the extensive governmental, military, and private surveying that resulted from World War II and the search for new sources of petroleum by oil companies. Fourth in the National Geographic's post war continent series, the new South America map contains more changes in physical de tails than any of the others, including Africa.t Even the dense, silent jungles have been yield ing the secrets of their geography to men riding the mighty rivers or flying above with cameras clicking. On the new map the veinlike pattern of the Amazon, which drains an area nearly as large as the United States, is greatly changed. Courses of major rivers such as the Xingu, Tapajos, and Madre de Dios are so altered in the light of this new information that they are hardly recognizable. So barbarous are some of these jungle lands that when U. S. Air Force mapping planes dipped low, savage Indians launched futile spears and arrows at them. Poisoned spears greeted men exploring for * Members may obtain additional copies of the new map of South America (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, 50' each on paper; $1 on linen; Index, 254. Outside United States and Pos sessions, 75' on paper; $1.25 on linen; Index, 50('. All remittances payable in U. S . funds. Postage prepaid. t Previous maps of continents in this postwar series were: Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, March, 1950; Europe and the Near East. June, 1949; and Australia, March, 1948. All are still obtainable.