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● The num­ber of coun­tries in the world in 1947, the year India be­came in­de­pen­dent, was 67. The num­ber has gone up to 176 to­day, with Kosovo be­ing the lat­est to join the list of in­de­pen­dent coun­tries!

● Nearly seven me­tres long, an 800year-old map, the sole sur­viv­ing copy of a chart used by the Ro­man em­pire’s courier ser­vice, was re­cently put on show briefly be­fore be­ing re­turned to stor­age at Austria’s Na­tional Li­brary, where it has been since 1738!

● In 1932 when Charles O. Paulin pub­lished his mon­u­men­tal Atlas of the His­tor­i­cal Ge­og­ra­phy of the

United States, re­view­ers were over­whelmed by its nearly 700 maps cov­er­ing seem­ingly ev­ery facet of the coun­try’s so­cial, eco­nomic and po­lit­i­cal life!

● An Amer­i­can physi­cist Dr Mark New­man at the Univer­sity of Michi­gan, has re­leased a world map made so that the size of each coun­try and ter­ri­tory is pro­por­tional to the growth in wealth there be­tween 1975 and 2002!

● In 2003, the Li­brary of Congress paid $10 mil­lion to ac­quire the only known orig­i­nal copy of a 1507 world map that has been called ‘the birth cer­tifi­cate of Amer­ica’!

● From the deep re­cesses of the Asi­atic So­ci­ety of Mum­bai, where even cock­roaches can’t en­ter, price­less, ir­re­place­able, hand-drawn and colou­ful orig­i­nal maps circa 18th cen­tury, have been mys­te­ri­ously dis­ap­pear­ing from its vaults!

● Lon­don­ers would now be able to view the lo­ca­tions of the tens of thou­sands of skele­tons that once lay hid­den be­neath the city streets, thanks to an e-map de­vel­oped by Mu­seum of London!

● First there was Google Earth, then Google Moon, now Google has ex­panded its ga­lac­tic reach by launch­ing Google Mars, a Web browser-based map­ping tool that gives users an up-close, in­ter­ac­tive view of the Red Planet with the click of a mouse!

● If you’re look­ing to buy your­self a GPS de­vice, Map My India on Gramin GPS is a bril­liant com­bi­na­tion. It comes pre­loaded with Map My India for 401 cities and there is the pro­vi­sion for an SD Card to load maps for other coun­tries or up­date when new maps come out!

● Un­mesh Mayekar (42), a Puneite has launched ‘sadakmap.com’, a Web­site meant es­pe­cially for new­bies to Pune. The Web­site dig­i­tally maps the city’s nooks and cor­ners!

● Be­hind ev­ery road, galli, dead­end and high­way in Mum­bai is Ab­dulla Jam (65) who has made the city’s land­scape his busi­ness. The Mum­bai Po­lice has trusted his maps for over 25 years now!

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