Sunday, September 16, 2012

Maps can Predict the Future

When you search in the book section of Amazon (  for books related to  Maps you find almost a quarter of million results - 240,105 to be exact.   This week one of them stands out.  A new release by Robert Kaplan titled The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us about Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate.

Kaplan’s point -  presented in a recent article in the Wall Street Journal titled "Geography Strikes Back" – is that to understand today's global conflicts, forget economics and technology and take a hard look at a map.


He argues that although we’d like to believe that the world is flat and connected - a place without barriers that it isn't entirely true.   Although we can all leap age old boundaries through Facebook, Linked In and a myriad of other social networks,  that groups of countries like the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and GUTS (Germany, United States, Turkey and South Korea) can join together and overcome issue of distance, history and geography - there still are barriers and they matter.  Rivers, mountains,  and ocean divide us.   They shaped our history and will influence our future.  

How your country survives may depend on where it is in relation to the equator: hot or cold?  Is it landlocked or lucky enough to navigable waterways.  Oceans as barriers to attack?  

If you decide to take another look at our world through Mr. Kaplan's eyes and it might be a good idea to have the World Atlas of Geography, filled with colorful maps,  by your side.  What will you see that you never noticed before?  

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