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Articles on Maps

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People navigate cities in much the same way animals navigate their environments. Max Böhme/Unsplash

Cellphone data shows that people navigate by keeping their destinations in front of them – even when that’s not the most efficient route

As you’re walking through city streets on your way to work, school or appointments, you probably feel like you’re taking the most efficient route. Thanks to evolution, you’re probably not.
A demonstrator writes a message in chalk at the corner of Florence and Normandy avenues in Los Angeles. Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Teachers in South Central LA who had personal ties to the neighborhood made better connections with students

A sociologist asked public high school teachers to draw maps of the neighborhood where they teach. Those with more detailed maps also made stronger cultural connections with their students.
Most countries closed their borders, at least partially, at some point last year. But the world is starting to reopen. COVID Border Accountability Project

Closed borders, travel bans and halted immigration: 5 ways COVID-19 changed how – and where – people move around the world

Last year, 189 countries – home to roughly 65% of the global population – cut themselves off from the world at some point. Borders are now reopening and travel resuming, but normal is a ways off.
An early 20th-century NAACP map showing lynchings between 1909 and 1918. The maps were sent to politicians and newspapers in an effort to spur legislation protecting Black Americans. Library of Congress

How Black cartographers put racism on the map of America

Mapping is one way African Americans fight for equality and help each other navigate a racially hostile landscape.
Tharp with an undersea map at her desk. Rolled sonar profiles of the ocean floor are on the shelf behind her. Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and the estate of Marie Tharp

Marie Tharp pioneered mapping the bottom of the ocean 6 decades ago – scientists are still learning about Earth’s last frontier

Born on July 30, 1920, geologist and cartographer Tharp changed scientific thinking about what lay at the bottom of the ocean – not a featureless flat, but rugged and varied terrain.
One nine-year-old chose his local supermarket as a place he valued because he could “spend time with mum and help decide what goes in our trolley”. Shutterstock

Public places through kids’ eyes – what do they value?

When primary school children in a disadvantaged part of Sydney were asked to map what they valued in the area, their choices were revealing and sometimes surprising.
Three very different maps, using the same deprivation data, for the same place: Hartlepool, UK. Samuel Langton/MMU, using OS Data © Crown copyright 2019.

Even the most beautiful maps can be misleading

When mapping deprivation, using traditional boundaries can distort the data and distract readers from important information.
Flag of Kurdistan on military uniform. Bumble Dee/Shutterstock.com

Why there is no Kurdish nation

Despite many attempts, the Kurds have never won and kept their own nation – though, after World War I, they came close.

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