Charting the unknown
The thought of unmapped regions of the globe can send tremors of excitement through the hearts of adventurers. But figuring out the topography of remote or even forgotten regions has important consequences. Namely, it can give us a clearer understanding of the world’s populations, what their needs are, and support organisations in assisting those in need – for example, those providing disaster assistance. Wondering where some of these places are? The crowdsourced Missing Maps Project has mapped over one million kilometres of roads and almost 44 million buildings. But there’s so much that’s still uncharted.
Vale do Javari, Brazil
One of the most isolated parts of the world, according to Mental Floss, is Vale do Javari in Brazil, possibly because as many as 14 uncontacted Amazon tribes make their home in this region. It comprises an area about the size of Austria – or 86,000 square kilometres. An expedition was mounted by Brazil’s agency for indigenous peoples in March 2019, with the goal of easing tensions between two rival indigenous groups, reports The Guardian.
Look at a map of a city and you’ll find streets and parks and highways and buildings all clearly indicated. But in some cities, that clarity is just an illusion, at least in part. As BBC Future points out, in cities like Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and Lagos in Nigeria, slums are not delineated on maps – because ‘they aren’t a top priority for those living there’. In fact, many of the world’s largest cities have large impoverished communities.