Map Oddities – 3/1/19

“Maps are a fascinating intersection of culture, politics, geography, history and art.” This was the sentiment offered during an excellent lecture I recently attended, sponsored by The Map Society of Wisconsin at the American Geological Society on the UW-Milwaukee campus. Guest speaker Chuck Olsen is a retired Lieutenant Colonel with 21 years of service in the U.S. Army. He has visited 30 countries and has a lifelong passion for cartography and cultural geography. He also collects globes! Chuck presented “17 Fascinating World Map Oddities.”

The world of maps and cartography is riddled with weird and wacky stories and Chuck brought them to life by using anecdotes from his personal travels. His presentation at times reminded me of a game show, as he enjoyed quizzing the audience about each “oddity.” Such as, “Where in North America is there a territory of France?” (Answer: Saint Pierre et Miquelon, an island off the southern coast of Newfoundland) and “Where is the world’s only international quadripoint? (Answer: in the middle the Zambezi River in Southern Africa, where Namibia, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana all meet at a single point).

Thanks for an entertaining and informative lecture, Chuck!