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Exploring Cartography: Interactive Session for Middle School by Jeff Blossom

On the 12th and 13th November, Classes 5, 6 and 7 had the wonderful opportunity to meet Mr. Jeff Blossom, the Chief Cartographer at Harvard University’s Center for Geographic Analysis. After a brief introduction, he told us about his project: ‘The Out of Eden Walk’. For this project, his colleague Paul Salopek, a renowned journalist, walked in the footsteps of our ancestors some thousands of years ago, wanting to explore the world. “I can’t believe that Mr. Salopek has walked 10,062,044 footsteps!” says Rhea Kothari, fascinated by his travels. We were astonished that Mr. Salopek has journeyed all the way from Addis Ababa to India, and his journey is only half complete! Jeff Blossom was the cartographer, who recorded signals from his GPS and mapped them. Through his stories we explored cultures that we never even knew existed. “My favorite was the Anatolia Valley in Turkey, where many kids had assisted him in his travels. I loved the fact that the kids showed him their favorite places, helping him learn more about their lifestyle,” said Arhaan Desai of Class 7B.



Mr. Blossom introduced us to various cartographic methods used to create maps. He also taught us how to make our own maps using Google Maps. We learnt how to mark places, trace roads, and customize icons for different places. Pranaaya Jhaveri of 7A said, “I didn’t know you could personalize Google Maps. I had so much fun doing that, I didn’t want to leave!” Mr. Blossom opened our eyes to the fact that now, due to digitalization, we can navigate corners of the world from the comfort of our own homes. Cool!!!!


Hrishita Shah and Falak Shah