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Map Deception

by Nick Coons
Feb 4, 2004

I have a poster-sized Arizona

The State of Arizona comprises the extreme south-western portion of the United States. It is bounded on the north by Utah, on the east by New Mexico, on the south by Mexico, and on the west by California and Nevada.

map on the wall in front of my desk that I often use for reference. Just recently, I noticed a very large mistake. It may not be important to most people, and it may not even be noticable to some. In fact, I would be shocked if more than a few people took note of this error even after having it pointed out.

And the reason for this is because of how I found it. My recent fascination with Four Peaks (I just can't see my way past viewing snow-caps while driving through the valley) was the trigger. This particular map indicates that Four Peaks is located directly south of Canyon Lake. This caught me off guard, since I can get to the peaks from SR87 without having to cross any lakes. I arrived at two conclusions -- A) The map does not obey the laws of physics, or B) The map is wrong.

Since this is not Star Trek, and tend to sway towards column B. Before writing this, just to make sure I didn't sound stupid in case I was wrong, I double-checked my theory with another map. To my delight, I discovered that I was not, in fact, crazy; though this could be considered a different issue altogether.

The problem now, is that I have this wonderfully labeled and detailed map at my disposal, and I can't trust anything it tells me. So the moral of the story -- Don't trust maps? No, of course not. The story has multiple morals. From a marketing standpoint, "Visit Arizona Paths
Arizona Paths(air-i'-ZON-u' paths)

The Most Complete All-About-Arizona website.

often for all of the most accurate information!"

But seriously, if you're traveling, make sure you use maps from a reputable source (which you'll soon be able to access free right here!), and put pretty poster souvenir maps in the appropriate places, like on the wall under a sign that states, "WARNING: Not a valid map!"

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