Essential Geography User Guide

Google Maps, left. The Essential Geography of the USA, right.
Most of the maps in our lives serve as aids to navigation. The Essential Geography serves as an aid to appreciation. Use it to visualize the artistic amalgamation of landforms, water and human culture that drape the planetary surface. 
National Geographic, United States, left. Essential Geography of the USA, right.
Traditional wall maps, like United States by National Geographic, depict our country mechanically, as if it were merely a make-believe moonscape. The Essential Geography uses an artist's eye to depict America as the real and beautiful place that it is.

The Essential Geography illustrates the principle features of the planetary surface, and captures the essence of the features it includes.

As an example, to grasp the essence of California’s Yosemite National Park; notice how it lies on the upper-west slope of the Sierra Nevada, at the headwaters of the Merced River. Note the park is forested at lower elevations, and that the Pacific Crest Trail traverses the Yosemite high country. Finally, checkout the park's east entrance, where Tioga Pass sits at nearly 10,000 feet; 3,500 feet above Mono Lake, just to the east. When you start to wonder about Yosemite Valley, The Essential Geography shows you where it is. 

So, use The Essential Geography to locate places, but also use it to gain a basic understanding of the unique geographic character each place brings to the world.

The essence of Montgomery: At the southern tip of the Appalachian Mountains, where forest predominates, this mid-sized city lies in the lowlands of the Alabama River, 250 feet above sea level. The Rosa Parks Library recalls the history she made here. To the west, Selma and the Edmund Pettus Bridge let you visualize the geographic context to one of history’s most well-known marches.

Wherever your eyes go on The Essential Geography, I hope they will take in the underlying message of this cartographic style; our planet is beautiful and important.

Enjoy years of exploration!