ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Reading: North America Area Map, Gousha / Macmillan: a Review

Updated on August 8, 2013
Peace Arch - Canada / US border
Peace Arch - Canada / US border | Source

Comprehensive and clear cartographic exposé of a shared Continent

North America Area Map, The H. M. Gousha Co., / Macmillan Publishing USA

...

Included in this map edition — actually containing two, main maps — is gazeteer-type information about various countries in the region. Contact details of the tourism offices in Washington, DC., of Continental Central America, plus basic country statistics, are given.

Looking at the respective land areas of Canada and, for example, Panama, one cannot help being struck by their disparity: 9,969,881 square km for Canada, against 77,078 square km for Panama, which, geographically and strategically, yet occupies a very significant area.

The two, principal maps are topographical and political/administrative respectively. As a Canadian looking closely at Canada's Great North, I was amazed to see just how far north Ellesmere Island National Park is situated: most of Greeland is above the Arctic Circle, yet Ellesmere Island is at a latitude virtually parallel with Greeland's northernmost extremity. (One can readily understand just how many faceted are issues of Arctic sovereignty that the Government of Canada under Mr Harper has been stressing in recent years.)

Another striking feature of North American geography which comes home to me, looking at this map, is the sheer length of Alaska's range of Aleutian Islands. Historically, in US-Canadian relations, the Aleutians occupy a significant, psychological place, since they provided the reason for the first major joint military campaign between the United States and Canada in World War Two. The Aleutians were repossessed from the Imperial Japanese invaders, and, it is noteworthy to recall that the Dominion Government, as it was then called, used personnel from the 'Zombie' army (that is, recruited for the defence of Canada, rather than for overseas deployment). Historically, this measure strongly implies the recognition of a shared Continent and a tacit acknowledgement of a shifting of a psychological locus from relations with Great Britain to participation in the affairs of the North American Continent.

Another feature which can be gleaned from such a map edition is the great disparity between population densities between many areas of North America. For example, if one already knows that the State of Rhode Island and the Province of Saskatchewan have appoximately the same population (just under one million inhabitants in each), the vastly different sizes of their respective territories is underlined. Which begs the question, in comparison with some US states, do not Canadian provinces require the government to become involved in functions which, in the United States, according to both ideology and propitious geography, can more easily be left for private enterprise to fulfill? I am not trying to make a political point here; rather, to suggest that some different mentalities in Canada and the United States may be driven to a certain extent by the exigencies of differing national geographies.

North America is a Continent of huge lakes; yet, significantly, even the size of its bigger lakes is driven by perception. For example, Lake Winnipeg is as big as Lake Ontario, yet does not count traditionally as one of the Great Lakes: this, despite the fact that Thunder Bay, ON and Duluth, Minn., are both situated on Lake Superior, and are both considerably nearer Lake Winnipeg than they are to Lake Ontario. This also surely implies that the locus of perception of the size of the Great Lakes lies away from the western and northern reaches of the expanses of water known as the Great Lakes.

Then, again, Lake Champlain, shared between the United States and Canada, but mainly in the United States, is hardly visible on the Gousha / Macmillan map of North America, yet it is interesting to note that some years ago one of the New England state governors formally declared that Lake Champlain, too, was one of the Great Lakes (with a view to obtaining the release of funds designated for Great Lakes projects).

So where does geography end and perception begin? or does not the concept of geography imply from the outset human interaction with the topographical and natural environment?

In my humble view, a map is successful when it balances clarity with the inclusion of optimum amounts of detail, and according to these criteria the Gousha / Macmillan edition achieves this. (Those of us with eyesight not as clear as in years past might, however, find some of the typeface a little small.)

August 8, 2013

MJFenn is an independent writer based in Ontario, Canada.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)