16 January 2017

More maps!

Maps are a useful tool for helping us make sense of our world. For anthropologists, they are also useful tools for critically thinking about the kinds global-local social phenomena and relationships that we study. In addition to our previous posts on mapping and map resources for the classroom, here are "40 more maps that explain the world" (2014, Washington Post).

Many of these 40 maps would be useful tools for sparking student discussion. For instance, pairing this map (above) of English, Dutch, and Spanish Colonial Trade Routes... 
with this map of the Nutella global value chain highlights the historical political and economic connections required to put that jar of chocolate-hazelnut spread on your local grocer's shelf. It also speaks to the cultivation of culturally specific tastes (a la Mintz' Sweetness and Power) over time, and contemporary processes of globalization that now compress time and space.

Other interesting maps divide the globe up into alternative communities based on shared languages, or trace non-European political dynasties, or highlight the prevalence of certain technologies. 

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