Kids wanna know: How are maps made and how long have they been around?

Students interview Jim Schein, a respected map expert, map collector and historian

Editor’s note: This story was published through a partnership between KSAT and noun, an educational platform designed to provide engaging content online for students and teachers.

Hello parents, teachers and students!

Online maps and navigation tools are a relatively new creation. Not too long ago, your parents had to use a physical map or printed directions to figure out how to get from point A to point B.

That was the reality for several centuries. But where did those maps come from?

Well, in fact, someone had to put in the work — a lot of work — to make them. The people who make maps are called cartographers.

In this week’s edition of “Kids Wanna Know,” Jim Schein, aka “Mr. Schein,” a respected map expert, map collector and historian shares his knowledge of maps and cultural history.

Schein answers students’ questions and takes them on a journey through time and location, sharing specific details around how long maps have been created and explains why he started drawing maps. He shares some of his adventures as well.

Interested in bringing noun to your school or classroom and take part in an interview? You can do so by clicking here. The animated class interviews will be shown online and in our free KSAT Kids newsletter and may also be seen in future newscasts!

Fun Facts

  • Greek academic Anaximander is believed to have created the first world map in 6th century BC. Anaximander reportedly believed that Earth was shaped like a cylinder, and that humans lived on the flat, top portion.
  • The oldest known world map is the Babylonian Map of the World known as the Imago Mundi. This map dates back to the 5th century BCE. The map, found in southern Iraq in a city called Sippar, shows a small bit of the known world as the Babylonians knew it.

Check out the full interview below!

Noun enables students to explore their school subjects and interests using 20-minute live online interviews with subject-matter guests. Find more information here.

About the Author

Ben Spicer is a digital journalist who works the early morning shift for KSAT.

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