Plotting Actual European Discoveries on a Map

9.PlottingActualEuropeanDiscoveries =
Ever since the Age of Exploration, European nations have laid claim to a number of events on planet Earth that were considered unknown to the world before the eyes of European explorers viewed them. These places and events, in many cases, existed long before Europeans ever saw them, but to the victors go the right to chart the course of history.   While Europeans were fond of making bold, and sometimes outrageous, claims about .

Maps Displaying the Personal Side of Mankind

8.MapsDisplayPersonalSideHumans =
All too often people flip through history texts and atlases in school or at the library, and when it comes to pages with maps, the focus is on political boundaries, geographic formations, or environmental differences. These are all, of course, great uses for maps. However, maps can also be used to represent mankind on planet Earth. People are as much a part of the planet as the oceans, mountains, and forests. As such, it .

Mapping the Americas Before and After Colonialism

6.MappingTheAmericasBeforeAndAfterColonialism =
It is no secret that societies flourished on both the North and South American continents well before Europeans began arriving in the 15th  and 16th  centuries. Prior to the arrival of Europeans and other outside colonizers, native tribes across both continents had developed complex languages, named local places, and established trade routes that allowed for moderate interaction between various groups.   When you view a modern map of the United States, Canada, Mexico, or .

Mapping Languages of the World: China and Africa

5b. MappingLanguagesWorldChinaAfrica =
China and Africa are two very important places in the world right now. Home to a combined total of roughly 2.2 billion of the world’s nearly 7 billion inhabitants, these two locations play a critical role societally and politically in the world. The combined nations of Africa continue to struggle to help the continent recover from the horrors of slavery that resulted in millions of its native inhabitants being forcibly removed from their homes .

Mapping a World without Polar Ice Caps

3.MappingAWorldWithoutPolarIceCaps =
What would the world look like tomorrow if the polar ice caps suddenly melted overnight? There is only one certainty in this situation: the world as you know it would look drastically different. For Americans, countless coastal cities would be lost, and the familiar coastline on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts would look much different than it does today.   Global warming and the melting of polar ice caps is not an American problem .

Mapping the Arctic Land Grab

A lone polar bear poses on a block of arctic sea ice in Russia's Franz Josef Land.
Whether you believe in global warming or not, the polar ice caps are shrinking at rates that modern human beings have never seen. As temperatures rise and ice caps recede, waterways are opening up that haven’t been used in thousands of years, if ever, and land masses are open up that haven been viewed by human eyes in modern history.   There are five nations with a vested interest in the melting of the .

Mapping Africa: Life without Colonialism
The Age of Discovery saw European explorers cast off lines and set sail for all corners of the globe. Some left in search of new discoveries that would enhance mankind’s understanding of the world; while others left in search of national or personal wealth. Whatever the cause, the opening of the globe to powerful empires that resulted from the Age of Discovery led to the inevitable colonization of less advanced societies across the planet. .

How War Shaped the Map of the Middle East

2.HowWarShapedTheMapOfTheMiddleEast = middle_east-political
Over the course of thousands of years, mankind has gone to war to protect or expand national borders. Every nation on the planet, save a select few, has borders that were at some point drawn and redrawn as a result of war. Often, the victors enjoy the spoils of war and carve up nations to add into their own empires. Likewise, when empires fall, those nations once under the thumb of rulers overseas struggle .

Conquering the Known World in Maps

1.ConqueringTheKnownWorld = World-Antique-AMC-36x48
Maps have long served as a tool for charting and visualizing the known world. Early human societies created maps of the world they believed to exist around them that would shock most people today. Modern society takes for granted the fact that GPS navigation and satellites in orbit allow humans to view the world in ways never before imaginable. Every corner of the globe is visible with the click of a mouse today.   .