Wednesday, August 18, 2010


There is definitely a change in the way people perceive where they are in the world. I mean exactly where they are in terms of their geographical location. And the younger they are the poorer it is.

Perhaps it has something to do with all the electronic devices out there that tell them how to get to a particular restaurant or cinema. But I fear they may be counter productive. No one seems to use maps any more - how are Rand McNally and Thomas Guides doing these days, I wonder? Maps do create a picture in your mind of where you sit on the globe.

I first noticed the problem when I stopped at a gas station to check directions. Mostly the attendants didn't have a clue. To get to their jobs, they knew they got on the freeway then got off at exit 46 for instance. Anywhere else they were clueless.

We are often shown interviews of people in the street telling the camera that they think Canada is south of us and Mexico to the West. As for France - forget it! It's not just a stunt, people really don't know.

We are always being told education needs more money. Maybe we could try and teach geography the way it was rather than mixing it up with social engineering. How about getting some maps, they're cheap and it would be a good start.

1 comment:

  1. Do they still teach geography at school? It's one of the most underated and interesting subjects.
    Perhaps American TV channels have a role to play with the content being so US focused. Can the man on the street point to Iraq, Afghanistan or Iran on a world map?
    A good starting point would be being able to identify North, South, East and West.
    Ignorance is a Sat Nav.