18COMPARE THE MAPS

Lessons in Cartography and Linguistics

IT HAS BEEN ARGUED that the oldest maps may have been those that humans used to chart out celestial bodies, rather than features of the earth, but maps of earthly terrain have been with us for thousands of years. Their benefits are many, but perhaps the most basic of these is that they help us navigate terrain with which we are not intimately familiar. As such, maps serve as conduits of knowledge, allowing those without expertise to benefit from the efforts of those who came before them. Today, these representations of reality are everywhere: in our cars, on our phones, and in our heads. And they can get us into trouble.

I was born in the United States, but when I was five, my family moved ...

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