- In Focus
100 Years of National Geographic Maps: The Art and Science of Where
Since 1915, National Geographic cartographers have charted earth, seas, and skies in maps capable of evoking dreams.
The coordinates of the office of The Geographer of the National Geographic Society are 38° 54' 18" N, 77° 2' 12" W. You might say that Juan José Valdés, who currently holds that title, knows exactly where he stands.
But the scope of National Geographic's cartographic department, which celebrates its hundredth anniversary this year, encompasses not just those bearings, but also those of every mountain, river, lake, road, reef, fjord, island, inlet, glacier, ocean, planet, galaxy, and solar system—in short, any physical feature on land, on sea, or in space.
At this writing (the count is obsolete as soon as it is tallied), National Geographic cartographers have produced 438 supplement maps, ten world atlases, dozens of globes, about 3,000 maps