Geographic Awareness – 1 in 5 Cannot find the US on a Map?

By August 28, 2007 2 Comments

Spatial and geographic awareness are kind of central to both our blog and the research in our Lab at CASA. As such it came as a slight shock to hear the statistic that 1 in 5 American citizens are unable to point out the United States on a map.

To be honest this cannot be true can it? The YouTube movie below shows Miss Teen South Carolina answering the question why she thinks 1/5th of Americans can’t find the US on a map:

Before anyone asks – we were not trawling YouTube for Miss America Videos, the link comes courtesy of the Virtual Earth/Live Maps blog.

Amazingly the YouTube movie has been viewed 3.5 million times to date – if the movie was geographically tagged and embedded into Google Maps maybe that would help the statistics…


Andy is Professor of Digital Urban Systems at the Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis at University College London.