Geography Awareness Week

Author JL Huffman
3 min readNov 13, 2023

Where are you on this floating orb we call Earth? Can you find your location on a globe, paper map, or GPS?

Definition of Geography

To accomplish this task, you must use Geography. A more detailed definition of the word and science is available on World Atlas.

Imago Mundi

The first map was etched into a clay tablet in 600 B.C.: Imago Mundi, the Babylonian Map of the World.

Father of Geography: Eratosthenes

The initial mention of “geography” appeared in a book titled Geographic by Eratosthenes of Cyrene in the 3rd Century B.C. This wise man is credited with calculating the circumference of the Earth and inventing the latitude/longitude system.

Thales of Miletus

One of the Seven Sages of Ancient Greece, Thales of Miletus, created the foundation for the scientific study of geography by developing many mathematical and astronomical rules.

Peutintger Table

The Romans used geography in the expansion of their great empire. They built 50,000 miles of roads, canals, aqueducts, tunnels, and mines and went on numerous military expeditions. The whole Roman Empire (Middle East, Britain, and Africa), as well as China, India, and Sri Lanka are depicted on an early map, the Peutintger Table. Drawing a map is called cartography.

World Explorers

Early world explorers of the 13th century, Marco Polo, and 15–16th century Portuguese and Spanish sailors further advanced geography with their travels across continents and oceans.

Universalis Cosmographia

In 1507, “America” (the long, slender green area on the left) appears on the map Universalis Cosmographia, drawn by Martin Waldseemuller, a German cartographer.

Space Exploration

Current-day explorers concentrate on the planets, suns, and other celestial bodies outside the planet Earth.


Modern generations are dependent on electronic systems to find directions. In fact, many young people have never seen an “old-fashioned” paper map.

Road Atlas

What do you use as a direction finder: your vehicle GPS (Global Positioning System), Google/Apple Maps, or WAZE? Do you have a backup atlas (a book that contains a collection of maps) or other paper maps in your car?

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Author JL Huffman

I’m a retired Trauma surgeon/ICU doctor, a world traveler and gardener. I’ve published in the surgical literature; now I’m writing poetry, memoir & fiction.