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euro- vs. america-centric maps in US-schools

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#1
flo.hruby

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Dear all,

 

which kind of world maps are usually used for school books/atlases in the US?

 

- euro-centric maps (Greenwich in the middle, America on the left)

- america-centric maps (Amercia in the middle, Europe on the right)

- both versions

 

Are there any norms regarding the usage of world maps in school books/atlases?

 

 

I´m doing a little study on this topic for Mexico, so it would be interesting to know about the situation in the USA.

 

 

thank you & best regards

 

Flo



#2
DaveB

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This is just anecdotal, but it seems to me they are typically split in the Pacific Ocean at 180 degrees (in other words, centered on Greenwich). Possibly with an extended bit for the Aleutians.


Dave Barnes
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#3
loximuthal

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This is just anecdotal, but it seems to me they are typically split in the Pacific Ocean at 180 degrees (in other words, centered on Greenwich). Possibly with an extended bit for the Aleutians.

I seem to recall this also from my school days, and from my kids' text books as well.  Just anecdotal, but now you've got two anecdotes.


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Andy McIntire
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#4
Strebe

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Maps centered on the Western Hemisphere were common through mid 20th century. They are rare now.

-- daan

#5
flo.hruby

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Thank you for your answers - of course I´m still interested in more anecdotes. Or maybe someone has information about regarding norms?

 

According to what I´ve read on spatial cognition research and border effects I have the hypothesis, that a world map´s center and margins make a difference regarding how it shapes the spatial mind. But, well, this is still just a hypothesis ...

 

P.S.: What I´ve seen from school books and atlases so far, also Mexico relies exclusively on world maps centered on Greenwich.



#6
hasecbinusr

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Based on my experiences, it depends on the subject presented in the textbook.  For example, a US History textbook might present maps of Europe and the Americas while discussing colonization, but then shift to a world map centered on the Americas to talk about the US' international trade routes in the 19th century.  Most World History textbooks I've seen present a map centered on Greenwich as described by DaveB.  As Strebe noted, the ethnocentric maps of the 20th century are a rare thing; most map extents are based on the story and context of the accompanying text.







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