the journal


A Treasure of Maps

Filed Under graphic design, international travel, retrotravels.net

National Geographic Maps

A treasure of maps was recently “dug up” in my parent’s storage space and returned to me.  Around 1994, when I moved away from home to attend college, I was forced to get rid of most of my National Geographic Magazines – a nearly-complete collection of every issue back to 1929.  However, I was able to keep all of the supplements/inserts since they didn’t take up much room.  I’ve been looking through the three boxes and have found more than just maps, folded posters, and old panoramic photos. I’ve also found one of the reasons why I love travel. I think most people would start to feel a desire to explore the world after looking at a few maps. The beautiful and distinct fonts, the colors, the clarity. A National Geographic map is good enough to hang up on the wall and call it “art.” In fact, President Roosevelt used National Geographic maps in the White House Map Room during World War II. Today, a case of world maps presented by the National Geographic Society still resides in the Map Room.

Below you will find a small selection of the hundreds of maps from my collection showing “snap shots” of the quality work National Geographic has produced in their world-famous cartographic department. If it takes a while to load or you’d like to view them in a flickr slideshow (800 x 800p res) by clicking here.

Have the urge to share a story about your National Geographic magazines or maps? Share it in the comments!

1965_Viet Nam Cambodia Laos & Eastern Thailand
Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos & Eastern Thailand (1965)

Scandinavia (1963)

Australia (1963)

1962_West Indies
West Indies (1962)

1961_South Central United States
South Central United States (1961)

1960_Japan & Korea
Japan & Korea (1960)

Hawaii (1960)

Africa (1960)

1958_Southern South America
Southern South America (1958)

1958_British Isles
British Isles (1958)

Alaska (1956)

1955_Eastern South America
Eastern South America (1955)

1954_West Indies
West Indies (1954)

1953_The Great Lakes Region
The Great Lakes Region (1953)

1953_China Coast & Korea02
China Coast & Korea (1953)

1953_China Coast & Korea
China Coast & Korea (1953)

1949_The Top of the World
The Top of the World (1949)

1949_Europe & The Near East
Europe & The Near East (1949)

1949_Classical Lands of The Mediterranean
Classical Lands of The Mediterranean (1949)

1947_Southeastern US
The Southeastern United States (1947)

The United States of America (1946)

1945_The Philippines
The Philippines (1945)

1945_Northeastern US
The Northeastern United States (1945)

1943_Pacific Ocean
The Pacific Ocean (1943)

1942_Theater of War in the Pacific Ocean
The Theater of War in the Pacific Ocean (1942)

1941_Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean (1941)

1941_Atlantic Ocean
The Atlantic Ocean (1941)

1937_The white mountains of New Hampshire
The White Mountains of New Hampshire (1937)

Africa (1935)

Africa (1935)

1932_Arctic Regions
Arctic Regions (1932)

Louisiana (1930)


  • http://sowritealready.blogspot.com Paperback Writer

    Would it disturb you too much to tell you that I cut up some National Geographic maps to help myself learn how to coptic bind books? I’m still getting the hang of it, but I liked how the end result turned out.

  • http://www.kolbykirk.com kahunna

    Nooooooo! Actually, as long as it wasn’t more than 40-50 years old, cutting up a National Geographic would be just as detrimental as cutting up a newspaper from the same time. In 1958, NatGeo was pumping out 2 million copies a month and the numbers kept climbing every year. Now, over 9 million are sold on stands in over 30 countries and 50 million subscribers find the yellow-bordered mag in their mailbox every month.

    If you decided to test your book-binding skills on a map of Massachusetts from the first issue in October, 1888, then yes, I would be very disturbed. ;-)

    You going to post your newly-founded bookbinding skillz on flickr?

  • http://sowritealready.blogspot.com paperback writer

    :) The maps were from 20 years ago. I don’t think I could bring myself to cut up a map that was 40 – 50 years old! :) I think I have to dig up my parents National Geographic Issues. They are probably gathering dust in the basement.

    I’m working on showing off my book binding skills via flickr. :)

  • Pingback: Dutsche Bank » Blog Archive » 1965_Viet Nam Cambodia Laos & Eastern Thailand

  • John Alex

    what a great collection of old maps. I was a map collector when I was younger and would have loved to own this collection. Well done and keep up the good work.

  • http://satelite-keys.blogspot.com free satellite

    Development of digital technologies occurs prompt rates. Does not lag behind progress and digital TV. Speaking about digital TV, we first of all mean satellite TV. The digital satellite TV becomes more and more accessible to simple users. The market paid satellite tv also is not necessary on a place. The new digital standard of TV of high clearness HDTV actively develops and takes root. The satellite TV becomes more and more directed on the spectator. Besides digital quality of the image, advantage of satellite systems also is also the extensive cover zone of the companion.

  • http://www.caviteniofilipino.blogspot.com Cavite Blogger

    This is a real antique treasure, do this kind of collections have high market value? Is this for sale?

  • http://www.selectfoam.com/page-mattresses.htm Memory Foam Mattress

    I can understand how it would be get rid of the National Geo Mags, I also collected these magazines from the days when there was NAT GEO channel too, I lost them sometime back and just got so depressed..

  • http://www.coloncleansecentral.com/ Colon Cleanse Central

    Thanks for your post, the images were useful to me for my college project..

  • http://www.animaroo.com/puppies-for-sale/german-shepherd.html German Shepherd Puppies

    I should say you have some very good old resources which may not be found so easily.. in your place I would keep them handy..

  • http://www.amoils.com/warts.html Warts Treatment

    You wont believe this my wife used the NatGeo mags for bonfire.. I could not believe this but could not help it too.. how can somebody to do this..

  • http://www.homeremedyhaven.com/ Natural Treatments

    It would be really nice to have such old maps..

  • http://www.meditopia.com/ Meditopia Terms

    Thats a very good collection..

  • http://www.travelinsurancecover.com.au/ Travel Insurance Australia

    What an amazing collection of maps – makes me want to travel just looking at them.

  • Mark

    What a site it is!! Excellent design..the clarity of maps are too good..Nice post..

  • http://www.naplestravel.net/ Travel Naples

    hey this is an awesoe colleciton dude.. wowww… very eager to see this!!!

  • http://modestadventurer.com Traveller_Adventure

    Great post, really help me alot. Thanks.

    backyard gardening

  • http://sain-web.com Traveller

    Great post, really help me alot. Thanks.

    backyard gardening

  • Pingback: 100Hikes On A Map « 100hikes.com

  • Pingback: A Brief History of Yosemite Topography | The Hike Guy

  • http://www.travelinsurance.wikidtravel.net Suitable Travel Insurance

    Hello, its such a wonderful map list i have ever seen.But i think if you like to travel in these pictures then you must have good travel insurance with you.

  • http://www.prada-outlet-store.com prada

    Here elaborates the matter not only extensively but also detailly .I support the
    write's unique point.It is useful and benefit to your daily life.You can go those
    sits to know more relate things.They are strongly recommended by friends.Personally
    I feel quite well.. http://www.prada-outlet-store.com

  • http://www.dustcollectorremote.net Dust Collector Remote

    This is cool! And so interested! Are u have more posts like this? Plese tell me, thanks

  • http://www.thaiteepak.com/kanchanaburi.html ที่พักกาญจนบุรี

    Excellently written article, if only all bloggers offered the same content as you, the internet would be a much better place. Please keep it up! Cheers.

  • http://www.hotelssydney.com.au/ Hotels Sydney

    You’re the 2nd person I’ve known that collects National Geographic magazines and is fascinated with travel maps as well. Cheers to you and good luck on your next travel destination.

  • http://www.catdiarrhea.org Cat Diarrhea

    This is cool! And so interested! Are u have more posts like this? Plese tell me, thanks

  • Judy_05

    I just came across your Flickr picture and this site. I can’t really travel well and have wunderlust – I will be enjoying your travels and pictures with great joy. Thank you for sharing.