A Century of Map-Making at Nat Geo

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March 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of National Geographic’s cartographic division—which has created maps, globes, and atlases of the ocean floor, the night sky, and everywhere in between.

Here are a few highlights from our map-making history:

Tool of War: Our 1944 map of Germany served as Winston Churchill’s personal briefing map, which history buffs can view at his Cabinet War Rooms in London.

Visual Aid: Maps made at the Society focus on more than just land mass: They’ve measured meat consumption, opium production, and radioactivity in Chernobyl.

(Official White House Photograph by Pete Souza)
President Obama inspects his custom-made National Geographic map in the Oval Office. (Official White House Photograph by Pete Souza)

Escape Route: With a 1971 National Geographic map as his guide, Nguyen Van Canh led 49 refugees out of communist Vietnam at the end of the Vietnam War.

VIP Swag: Incoming United States presidents receive a personalized map set from the Society—President Obama’s detailed Hawaii, Kenya, and Indonesia.

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