Geography bell ringer: What’s wrong with this map?

Penguin Transit Map of the World

Fun map. Readers at Strange Maps noted lots of geographical challenges in these train routes. Wouldn’t this make a great warm-up/bell-ringer, to have students find the geographical difficulties, errors and impossibilities?

And then there’s the book itself. The perfect gift for Dr. Jack Rhodes*, perhaps, or for Jim Lehrer, or someone else to whom transportation has been a great and grand pastime, as it has been for author Mark Ovenden.

Cover, Transit Maps of the World

Cool. Funny. Maybe instructive.

This would be a heckuva two-week study in geography, no? There are those great films on the construction of the New York subway system; there must be wonderful photos of the art in the Moscow system.

Or am I being too pedantic?

(Click thumbnail below for a larger view of the map.)


Tip of the old scrub brush, and go visit, Strange Maps.

* Jack Rhodes was director of forensics at the University of Utah when I was an undergraduate there — my old debate coach. He was so familiar with bus and train schedules, as a hobbyist, that we frequently tried to stump him with questions about a passing train or bus we’d see driving around the nation. To my knowledge, he always got the name of the train right, and the bus’s scheduled next stop right. You sorta had to be there, but it was an amazing series of feats of memory.


3 Responses to Geography bell ringer: What’s wrong with this map?

  1. It would definitely be difficult to travel northwest from Minneapolis to reach Chicago. And our Minneapolis train rarely underground.


  2. Ed Darrell says:

    It’s a great map for a lot of reasons, not least that it tickles our imaginations — Newark to Rotterdam. Imagine that!


  3. The cities are strangely chosen among other things. Jacksonville-Dallas- Atlanta-St. Louis… bing-bing-bing-bing!!! like a pinball on rails.

    You could place a pretty cool murder-mystery story onboard the Newark-Rotterdam undersea train, though.


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