News & Events

Giant National Geographic Map of Asia coming to UMPI

The University of Maine at Presque Isle is inviting all campus and community members to explore Asia in a BIG way on Oct. 23—with the world’s largest map of the continent. The giant National Geographic map will be on display on Wednesday, Oct. 23 from Noon to 5 p.m. in Gentile Hall. This event is sponsored by the Maine Geographic Alliance and is free. Everyone is welcome to attend and enjoy the interactive map.

According to Dr. Kimberly Sebold, UMPI Associate Professor of History, who was instrumental in bringing the map to Aroostook County, the interactive map measures 26 feet by 35 feet and is designed as a giant game board to introduce students to the diverse geography of Asia.

The map’s visit to UMPI is part of National Geographic’s Giant Traveling Maps program, organized by National Geographic Live, the public programming division of the National Geographic Society.

The map’s brightly colored, smooth vinyl surface accurately illustrates Asia’s oceans, seas, rivers, mountains, countries and capitals. The map comes with a trunk full of accessories, including interactive activities and props and photo cards that teach participants about the physical characteristics of the continent as well as its rich history, wildlife, and varied cultures.

The map is being brought to schools in central Aroostook County in addition to UMPI by the Maine Geographic Alliance. The Maine Geographic Alliance’s goal is to promote geographic education at all levels. Sue Lahti, Coordinator for the Maine Geographic Alliance, will facilitate the activities that go with the map.

In an interview, Lahti stated that she “would love to see a lot of people check out the map as it has something for everyone. For adults and students it is interesting to walk on the map and to see Asian borders and have them identify the countries that are in the news today. It is also great for family members of military personnel to find where their relative is stationed. All who participate will learn how issues like water resources affect the area and current events. This is a great opportunity for people of all ages to have fun while learning.”

National Geographic’s Giant Traveling Maps program was introduced in 2006 with a map of Africa, and has since expanded to include maps of Asia, North America, South America, Europe, and the Pacific Ocean. Each map measures approximately 26 feet by 35 feet and is loaned to schools and other hosts with an assortment of activities. In the 2013-2014 school year, hundreds of thousands of students will interact with these maps. To learn more about the Giant Traveling Map project, visit www.nationalgeographic.com/giantmaps.

The National Geographic Society is one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations. Its mission is to inspire people to care about the planet. Founded in 1888, the Society is member-supported and offers a community for members to get closer to explorers, connect with other members and help make a difference.

The Society reaches more than 450 million people worldwide each month through National Geographic and other magazines; National Geographic Channel; television documentaries; music; radio; films; books; DVDs; maps; exhibitions; live events; school publishing programs; interactive media; and merchandise. National Geographic has funded more than 10,000 scientific research, conservation and exploration projects and supports an education program promoting geographic literacy. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.com.

For more information about this event, please contact Dr. Sebold at 768-9721 or kimberly.sebold@maine.edu.