Where is the world's largest delta, the world's largest mangrove forest, and one of the world's longest beaches?
All of these areas can be found in the geographical region of Bengal which is partly in India and partly in Bangladesh.
The delta is, of course, the Ganges-Bramaputra Delta (thank you, Sam!). The largest mangrove forest, the Sundarbans, is also the home of the Bengal tiger, and Cox's Bazar, at 75 miles long, is one of the world's longest beaches.
* Journal Archive answers to the Cartographer's Corner can be found at the bottom of this page.
We have been publishing maps for over twenty years. In that time, many people have asked for more information about how we actually go about making, or building a map.
Maps must be accurate, but they should also be beautiful. Raven's state wall maps were prepared using base materials originally produced by the U.S. Geological Survey for their definitive 1:250,000-scale series. These extremely detailed bases identify thousands of features, such as even minor lakes and streams ignored by most maps. Raven Maps brings the U.S.G.S. materials up to date with current roads and reservoirs. We then go far beyond the originals by adding color tints to depict elevation. The colors progress from greens at lower elevations, through yellows and browns, to grey and finally white at the highest altitudes in the mountainous states. This sequence of color steps replaces the abstraction of contour lines with a graphic picture of elevation-- and, in combination with the relief shading, of the entire landform. We have maps for all 50 states. On the Hawaii map, the technique is extended to the ocean floor, with a startlingly three-dimensional result.
The Raven United States (48 states) map was produced in the same way as the state maps. It contains an amazing wealth of details--all county seats, for example, more than three thousand of them, many so small they are almost never shown in maps of the United States. But the map remains completely uncluttered by type when viewed from more than a few feet away. This is our most popular map. It gives an unequaled sense of the physical 48 states.
A second version of the 48 states leaves off the roads and the city names, and presents only the relief shading, without any elevation tints. Catalogue reproductions of this piece are often seen as "black and white", but the map is printed in four different inks (greys and warm black). The effect is to render the country's landforms with rich detail normally seen only in duotone or tri-tone art photographs. An enormous amount of detailed type identifies landforms and lakes and rivers, but is noticeable only on very close inspection.
The One World map is a striking example of cartographic art dealing with two of the fundamental difficulties that any world map must resolve. The first is that there is no way to show a single three-dimensional world on a two-dimensional piece of paper without greatly distorting the earth's actual shape. (To understand the problem, one has only to peel an orange, and then try to flatten the peel without covering any part of it). The second problem is that while the earth's surface appears rugged and uneven to us, the elevation range between the highest mountains and deepest ocean trenches represents such a tiny percentage of the earth's circumference--about one part in five thousand-- that the planet is a lot smoother than a bowling ball. How, then, can we show the earth's mountains and valleys? The One World map solves the first problem by presenting three globes progressively rotated to show the whole earth as if by time-lapse photography. It solves the second problem with a classic example of cartographic generalization and rendering. Landforms are simplified and exaggerated with such art that they look appropriate, and make it possible to understand features which would completely disappear in a literal rendering. This is a technique that only works when it is handled with great skill and restraint. The One World is one of our most popular maps.
Raven's North America map is the most precise single-sheet map of its kind. Extremely detailed data was recently made available to help us create this striking and accurate map of North America.
Countries of the World is our most popular map. This political map is a useful reference tool as well as being elegant. This is our first political world wall map. We used 185 delicate colors in place of the conventional five or six pastels. The important cities (1,827) are shown by size class. This wall map also displays a listing of the continents, countries, populations, and capital cites in the four corners.
* Journal Answers to Cartographers' Corner
John McPhee - Where on Earth is the largest verified impact crater (hint: not in Russia or the Yucatan Peninsula)?
Although it has eroded over the millennia, the Vredvort Crater in South Africa, at about 186.5 miles across, is the largest impact crater.
F. Scott Fitzgerald - What is termination dust?
Termination dust is Alaskan slang for the first light dusting of snow on the mountain tops before the winter storms begin.
Henry David Thoreau - What is the deepest measured ocean depth we've found so far, and where is it?
The deepest measured ocean depth is Challenger Deep (35,840' below sea level) in the Mariana Trench.
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings - What is the world's biggest single structure made by living organism?
The Great Barrier Reef off the northeast coast of Australia.
Tony Hillerman - What is the largest U.S. territory, and what are the others?
The U.S. territories, in order of size, are Puerto Rico (5,325 sq.mi.), Northern Mariana Islands (1,975 sq.mi.), U.S. Virgiin Islands (737 sq.mi.), American Samoa (584 sq.mi.), Guam (571 sq.mi), and the Minor Outlying Islands are only 16 sq.mi.
Wallace Stegner - How much rain must an area receive annually to be considered a rainforest?
There are temperate and tropical rainforests, but they all must have at least 68''-78" of rain annually to be considered a rainforest.
Thomas Wolfe - At 66°, 33', 44", the Arctic Circle runs through eight countries. Can you name them?
They are Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, United States, Canada, Greenland, and Iceland.
Carl Hiassen - Name the longest waterfall in the world, and the longest waterfall in the United States.
The longest in the world is Angel Falls (3,212') in Venezuela, and Olo'upena Falls (2,953') in Hawaii is the longest in the U.S.
Gabriel Garcia Marquez - The Equator runs through which South American countries?
It runs through Ecuador, Colombia, and Brazil.
Amy Tan - What is the most recent addition to our National Park System?
Pinnacles National Park in California is the 59th and newest national park.
John Steinbeck - Which two seas does the Suez Canal join?
It connects the Mediterranean and Red Seas.
Benjamin Franklin - Which states do not observe Daylight Savings Time?
Neither Hawaii nor Arizona observes Daylight Savings Time.
Beryl Markham - Yellowstone National Park is in which state(s)?
The park is mostly in Wyoming, though parts of it are in Idaho and Montana.
Grand Tetons - Which country can boast that they have the oldest existing printed star maps?
Probably China's star maps are thought to be the oldest, though many countries have long enjoyed re-creating the night skies through various means.
Crater Lake - Which map projection was used to create our One World map?
We used an orthographic projection.
Sequoia and Kings Canyon - Which countries are in both the Eastern and Western hemispheres along the Prime Meridian?
UK, France, Spain, Algeria, Mali, Burkina Faso, Togo, and Ghana.
Yellowstone - Do hurricanes usually cross over the Equator?
Hurricanes spin counter-clockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the southern hemisphere. At the equator, the Coriolis Effect is near zero, effectively halting the spinning force of a hurricane. When it's not spinning, it is no longer a hurricane and does not cross the equator as such.
Glacier - What are the two largest islands in the Mediterranean Sea?
Sicily and Sardinia.
Illinois - How many states did Route 66 run through before hitting the Pacific Ocean?
In 1926, it ran through 8 states: Illinois, Missouri, Kansas (barely), Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California.
Missouri - What is the tallest man-made monument in the United States? Who is the only US president from Missouri?
The Gateway Arch, at 630', is the tallest man-made monument, and the only president from Missouri is Harry S. Truman.
Kansas - Which state reports the highest number of tornadoes? Which states are in Tornado Alley?
Texas has the highest average number of tornadoes per year, and the states usually considered to be in the alley are: Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, and South Dakota.
Oklahoma - Why are Oklahomans nicknamed The Sooners? Route 66 has three nicknames. What are they?
When Oklahoma was opened up to settlement, those who got there early to stake a claim were nicknamed Sooners. Route 66 is also called Mother Road, Will Rogers Highway, and Main Street of America.
Texas - Six different flags have flown over Texas. Can you name them? The Gulf of Mexico defines the southeast border of Texas. Can you name the rivers that form three of the other boundaries?
The six flags are Spain, France, Mexico, The Republic of Texas, The Confederate States of America, and the United States of America, and the river boundaries are the Rio Grande, the Sabine, and the Red Rivers.
New Mexico - Which three actors starred in the tv series Route 66? What kind of car did they drive, and what was the theme song?
The first two actors were Martin Milner and George Maharis. After Maharis left, Glenn Corbett joined the cast. The car they drove was a corvette convertible, and the song was Route 66, written and performed by Nelson Riddle.
Arizona - Which two states received territory from Mexico via the Gadsden Purchase?
Arizona and New Mexico.
California - What year did California surpass New York to become the most populous state in the U.S.? How far below sea level is Death Valley, the lowest point in the United States?
California surpassed New York in 1962, and Death Valley is 282' below sea level, making it the lowest place in North America.
Extra credit - Who is the only US president from Missouri?