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  • Writer's pictureArpit Shah

Douse your Mapping Curiosity

Updated: Jul 1, 2021, as the name suggests, is a website (+mobile application) where one can read fantastic educational content on interesting topics to satiate one's inquisitiveness. The app home-page features five-seven new articles on a daily basis which refreshes every midnight. It has become my routine to read the articles before I go to sleep.

Curiosity occasionally features articles on mapping too. Here are FIVE interesting ones (hyperlinked):

1. Sorry, but Every (World) Map is lying to you

Yes, you've read it right! To rephrase it for a better context, I'd say that 'a completely accurate earth map hasn't been created till date'. Each map is a trade-off between variables (like most decisions are) to suit the purpose for which it has been created for. Read the illuminating article to know why as well as read this to know in further detail why the rectangular shaped AuthaGraph World Map is, strangely, the most accurate world map created so far.

2. Paper Towns and Trap Streets are how Mapmakers catch copycats

This is the like the mapping version of trick questions in surveys; an ingenuous technique to know whether a submission is authentic or not. You'll also be surprised to know that the creator of Google Map Maker (It used to be a globally popular, collaborative map editing tool) was an Indian (who also launched Google Maps in India). Read more about his story here.

3. This Map-Coloring problem was a century-old Mathematics mystery

The finding of the theory mentioned in this article is very surprising. Very tough to believe, yet true.

In a coloured map, one necessary rule is that two adjacent regions should be colored differently (for demarcation, identification purposes). In your opinion, what is the minimum number of colours which would be required to make any kind of a world map? (Check the article to see how your guess tallies with the reality. I am still intrigued.)

4. The Tongue Map you learned in school is all wrong

Front of tongue is for sweetness, the back is for bitter, and so on. We have been taught this since school days (I actually used to suck various types of candies accordingly!). This article will change that long held belief.

The logic behind the finding is applicable to other scenarios as well; for example, why we must always take research findings published in newspapers with a pinch of salt (because, after all they are research reports): Research is based on assumptions, degrees of confidence and sample sizes. They indicate something within those test parameters and are not necessarily, an accurate indicator of real life outcomes.

Similarly, not until last year did I manage to know that the India map which we see, is not an accurate depiction of reality: The area India governs is actually lesser than what we visualise, especially the Kashmir region, which is nowhere close to 'crown shaped' as we perceive it to be. The difference is because we visualise disputed/contested regions (such as PoK & Aksai Chin) as our own even if Pakistan and China actually control those areas; we do not have even an iota of governance there. (this holds true vice versa as well).

5. Scientists have created an Audio Map of Emotions using only noises

While the article will give you an overview of what was mapped out, this webpage will help you understand what was being done, in an instant! No wonder, a picture speaks louder than a thousand words.

[And, GIS (Geographic Information System) speaks way louder than all the documented, spreadsheet based reports you have been reading so far].

I'm certain you would have developed an increased appreciation for mapping, visualization and analytics (the combination of which is GIS) by reading the articles above.

Intelloc Mapping Services | is engaged in selling products which capture geo-data (Drones), process geo-data (Geographic Information System) as well as services (PoI Datasets & Satellite Imagery). Together, these help organizations to benefit from Geo-Intelligence for purposes such as operations improvement, project management and digital enabled growth.

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