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A cartographer at work at Society headquarters in Washington, D.C., circa 1987 (Photograph by Joseph H. Bailey, National Geographic Creative)

A Century of Map-Making at Nat Geo

March 2015 marks the 100th anniversary of National Geographic’s cartographic division—which has created maps, globes, and atlases of the ocean floor, the night sky, and everywhere in between.

Here are a few highlights from our map-making history:

Tool of War: Our 1944 map of Germany served as Winston Churchill’s personal briefing map, which history buffs can view at his Cabinet War Rooms in London.

Visual Aid: Maps made at the Society focus on more than just land mass: They’ve measured meat consumption, opium production, and radioactivity in Chernobyl.

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President Obama inspects his custom-made National Geographic map in the Oval Office. (Official White House Photograph by Pete Souza)

Escape Route: With a 1971 National Geographic map as his guide, Nguyen Van Canh led 49 refugees out of communist Vietnam at the end of the Vietnam War.

VIP Swag: Incoming United States presidents receive a personalized map set from the Society—President Obama’s detailed Hawaii, Kenya, and Indonesia.

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