Jan 162013
 

Geo-Mexico feels compelled to add a graphic from a recent article in Canada’s National Post to its “North American Hall of Shame”. The article itself is about the shortcomings of some Canadian university students when asked basic world geography questions. While we share the author’s concern about the standards of geography teaching in many parts of Canada (and elsewhere for that matter), the graphic chosen to illustrate the article leaves a lot to be desired. Ironically, it incorporates various geographical blunders.

Map used in National Post, 15 Jan 2013.

Map used in National Post, 15 Jan 2013.

For example (see graphic above), not only does Mexico appear to have swallowed up several not-insignificant Central American countries (Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama), but it is also shown as not belonging to North America. And, before we move on to look at another part of the graphic, perhaps we’d better ask the inhabitants of Greenland, Iceland and the Faroe Islands how they feel now that they have moved continent?

Map used in National Post, 15 Jan 2013.

Map used in National Post, 15 Jan 2013.

The main map in the graphic (shown above) does have a (slightly) more accurate depiction of North America. However, it shows Europe as extending across the Middle East and well into Asia!

The readers of the National Post deserve better. How can we expect standards of world geography to improve if graphic artists produce images like these, and if the editors and fact-checkers of national newspapers do not do a better job of selecting appropriate images to illustrate their articles?

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