Conceptualizing the National Atlas of Korea

Authors: Gregory Chu*, UWisconsin-La Crosse, Jongnam Choi, Western Illinois University, Chul Sue Hwang, Kyung Hee University, South Korea
Topics: Cartography, Asia
Keywords: Korea, national atlas, national pride, design concepts
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Bacchus, Sheraton, 8th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


A nation’s effort in publishing a national atlas is a large cartographic endeavor involving collaboration from all relevant government agencies at all levels. Besides cartographic components and design concepts, there are many other considerations relating to the world’s perception of that nation, its politics, government, economic stability, social issues, environmental settings, diplomacy, and a host of many other aspects. It presents and represents a national pride. Thus in designing a national atlas, the selection of materials requires vigorous scrutiny. The uniqueness of South Korea presents a challenging thought. While Koreans consider the Korean Peninsula their home, their land is politically divided with very different socioeconomic statuses. The National Atlas of Korea series (Volumes I through IV, in both Korean and English) was conceptualized to express both the pride of Republic of Korea and of Koreans. Political division occurred only in recent decades but the millennial historical and cultural traits are important to Korean lives today regardless of politics as the people desire unification. Geographically, the atlas series includes large amounts of information analyzed at various scales. This presentation examines concepts behind selection of materials of Volume I-IV. Vol. IV, re-titled as The National Atlas of Korea: Comprehensive Edition, aims at high school level geographic education in broad coverage of materials with terms explained, assistance in map analyses, and spatial thinking questions. Free dissemination of all four volumes to the world (http://nationalatlas.ngii.go.kr/pages/page_1.php) reaffirms the Korean pride.

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