Not all maps are created equal.

Fig. 2.5. This map from the 1994 National Geographic is awesome! It’s the type of map that every Alaskan teenager would want to hang on the wall of their bedroom. It shows the “true” size of Alaska when imposed over some of the lower 48 states. It’s interesting how much the mercator projection distorts the map. Most people don’t realize that Alaska (663,300  mi ²) is smaller than Mexico (761,600 mi ²)!


Fig. 2.2. This map inadvertently shows the emptiness of Alaska. Many Americans couldn’t imagine their country having an area as big as Alaska, with so few hospitals. In fact, you can count the number of general acute care hospitals with both your hands… well, if you’ve got six extra fingers that is.


Fig. 2.10. The main reason I like this map is because it puts Alaska in the center of world! While I realize many people around the world don’t even do as much as think of Alaska, I think that if we adopted this map globally, a lot more folk would be familiar with our quaint state. In all seriousness, I think this map does a terrific job at showing how interconnected the world is. Most people don’t realize that Fairbanks is closer to Oslo, Norway (3744 miles), than it is to Orlando, Florida (3757 miles)


Fig. 2.4. This map is interesting upon analysis. When looking at where the Native settlements are established, nearly all of them are by the ocean, or among a river. There is one notable tribe that seems to be established far from any water, and nested within the Brooks Range. I wonder if this tribe is hardier than some of the southern seaboard tribes. Maybe for what they lose in water, they makeup for in isolation and protection. I am curious to see more information about each individual red dot on this map!

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