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Amazing Maps — And Those Who Love Them

We talk amazing maps and the people who love them —from “here be dragons” to Google Earth.

Abraham Ortelius (1527–1598) map. (Library of Congress)

Abraham Ortelius (1527–1598) map. (Library of Congress)

Ken Jennings was the winningest Jeopardy champ ever, with 74 game victories. He’s the biggest game show money winner in American history. A wiz. But Jennings’ real passion is not “What is sodium bicarbonate?”

It’s maps. Big maps. Old maps. Maps of fairy tale lands and maps of Ouagadougou. He’s not the only one. There’s a whole world of people in love with maps. Maps with sea monsters. Maps online. Now, in the age of GPS and Google Earth, he’s taking us into map mania.

This hour On Point: Ken Jennings and the great romance of the map.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Ken Jennings, author of Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks. You can find an excerpt here.

From Tom’s Reading List

Politico “Earlier this year, Griffin was considered to be on the chopping block, a freshman Republican in a state where Democrats control the redistricting levers but are struggling to maintain power in what was once a Southern Democratic stronghold.”

The New York Times “In recent months, plenty of perfectly healthy businesses across the country have expired — sometimes for hours, other times for weeks — though only in the online realm cataloged and curated by Google. The reason is that it is surprisingly easy to report a business as closed in Google Places, the search giant’s version of the local Yellow Pages.”

Wall Street Journal “They list the geographic coordinates of the troves on a website devoted to geocaching. Hunters use global-positioning-system devices, such as a handheld GPS navigator or a smartphone, to find them.”

Some Great Maps

Here’s a blog we found with some great, quirky maps.

17th-century world map by Johan Blaue

The Road to Success

L'Europe Animale

Jeweled globe from the Iranian crown jewels

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