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Magazine Rushes to Provide Updated Map of Afghanistan

November 21, 2001|Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Millions of Americans eager to follow developments in Afghanistan will soon have available an up-to-date map of that country, rushed into print by the National Geographic Society.

"We produced it faster than we've ever produced a National Geographic supplement map," said Allen Carroll, chief cartographer for the society.

The new map was produced in five weeks, far shorter than the several months it normally takes to create the detailed maps for the magazine.

The new Afghanistan maps are included in the December issue of National Geographic magazine, currently in the mail to subscribers and on sale at newsstands Dec. 1.

A map of Antarctica had been planned for the December issue, Carroll said. That will be released in February.

Carroll said a staff of about 20 people--twice the usual number--worked double time assembling the new Afghanistan map using data from government sources, double-checked and updated.

The two-sided map is titled "Land in Crisis."

One side is a political map, showing Afghan cities and towns, rivers, mountains, passes and airports, as well as other details. The other side shows a satellite image of Afghanistan and includes a timeline of the country's history from the first Anglo-Afghan war, fought from 1838 to 1842, to the present conflict, as well as mini-maps of Afghanistan's ethnic groups, droughts and earthquakes, Taliban and Northern Alliance strongholds, and refugee camps in the country.

In addition to those distributed with the magazine, more than 50,000 copies of the map will be provided free to teachers around the United States.

There is also an online version of the map, which the magazine will update to reflect developments in the region. It can be found at

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