Geographical

The monthly magazine of the Royal Geographical Society with the Institute of British Geographers. Covers a broad range of subjects related to geography in articles on people, places, cultures, adventure, responsible travel, history, science, and the envir

Articles from Vol. 76, No. 10, October

Adventures in the Spice Trade: Kipling Famously Said That East and West Would Never Meet, but in Fact They'd Already Been Doing Just So for Centuries Via the Spice Trade. Jack Turner Overturns Some of the Widely Held Misconceptions about the Story of Spice
The history of trade with the Far East begins with a house fire in Syria in around 1720 BC. The house, belonging to a fellow named Puzurum, was razed and forgotten. And so matters would have remained but for the visit of a team of archaeologists some...
A Selection of Society Events Taking Place in October
For details, please contact the Events Office on 020 7591 3100 or see www.rgs.org/events 4 October, 6.30pm Ceylon revisited One hundred years on, Sir Christopher Ondaatje traces Leonard Woolf's journey across Sri Lanka. * Admission to RGS-IBG...
Brave New Berlin: Ten Years after the Last Foreign Troops Pulled out of Berlin, Nigel Hicks Reports on How the City Is Transforming Itself from a Symbolic Flashpoint of the Cold War into a Great Modern City at the Heart of Central Europe
People swirl around the huge concourse of the Sony Centre in Berlin, some hurrying about their business, others ambling in open-mouthed fascination at this study in modern steel-grey minimalism. Sunlight pours in through the tent-like roof, bathing...
Counting on the Public: Although the 2001 Census Used New Techniques to Produce the Most Complete Survey of the UK Population, Its Statisticians Still Encountered Problems
The census isn't cheap. According to the most recent figures provided by Len Cook of the Office of National Statistics (ONS), the 2001 census will cost about 260million [pounds sterling]. This represents an increase of more than 140million [pounds...
Dr Matthias Hammer Is Founder and Field Operations Director of Biosphere Expeditions, a Non-Profit Organisation That Offers Hands-On Wildlife-Conservation Expeditions. Sian Wherrett Talks to Him about the Company's Origins, Philosophy and Future
How did Biosphere Expeditions begin? Why did you decide to found it? It started in 1999. While I was working on my PhD at Cambridge, I realised that there are lots of scientists out there with interesting projects, but without funds or people to...
Egypt's Ancient Wonders: From Alexandria to Abu Simbel, Cairo to the Colossi of Memnon, the Great Pyramid to the Temples of Philae-Ever since the Camera Was Invented, People Have Taken Photographs of the Splendours of Egypt: Charlie Furniss Presents Some of the Earliest Examples from the Archives of the Royal Geographical Society
As Anthony Sattin explains in the previous article, visiting Egypt today isn't a simple business. Tourism is a multi-million-dollar industry and everyone wants a piece of the action. It's hard to soak up the majesty of the monuments and appreciate...
Egypt through the Looking Glass: Visiting the Sites of Ancient Egypt Can Leave the Unprepared Traveller in a State of Tomb Fatigue. Anthony Sattin Braves the Hustle and Hassle of the Modern Tourism Conveyor-Belt and Finds That It's Still Possible to Travel Up the Nile and Have a Meaningful Experience
All that remained was for them to visit the tax-free shop, and they eyed its rows of alcohols with the dazed look of escapees from the desert. Jeff and Sally had just spent a week in Egypt. It was a trip they had dreamt of making all their lives, and...
Ernest Giles (1835-97) Explorer Ernest Giles 'Discovered' More Land in Australia Than Anyone Else, Covering a Distance of More Than 8,000 Kilometres
What was his background? Born in Bristol in 1835, Ernest Giles was educated at Christ's Hospital in London. His parents migrated to Australia in 1850 and the following year Giles joined them in Adelaide. Spending his first few years working on cattle...
In Trouble Again and Again and Again: Whether He's in the Heart of Borneo, on a Trawler in the North Atlantic or Teaching at Oxford, Redmond O'Hanlon Has a Knack for Getting Himself into Strife. Geordie Torr Meets One of Britain's Funniest and Most Perceptive Travel Authors and Discovers a Frustrated Biologist
Having travelled through the jungle with Redmond O'Hanlon on several occasions, I'd come to see hint as a rather eccentric, bumbling innocent, frequently out of his depth and often, inadvertently, in grave danger. Accompanying him first up a river...
James Wordie: Polar Exploration's Unsung Hero: Although He Took Part in Nine Polar Expeditions and Was Involved in Both the 1953 Ascent of Mount Everest and the First Crossing of Antarctica, James Wordie Has Been Overlooked by Historians. Michael Smith, Author of the First-Ever Biography of This Neglected Giant of Exploration, Tells His Remarkable Story
By any measure, James Wordie was an outstanding character. A prodigious traveller, he helped to revolutionise exploration during the 1920s and was instrumental in keeping alive the UK's long-standing presence in the polar territories. He was among...
Making Sense of the Census
In September 2002, the Office of National Statistics (ONS) published the most accurate estimate ever made of the population of the UK*. The figure was calculated from data collected during the national census of 2001, the most in-depth survey carried...
Maps That Changed the Shape of Great Britain: Geography and Maps Are as Inseparable as History and Dates. over the Past Year, Nicholas Crane Has Been Working on Mapman, an Eight-Part BBC2 Television Series That Explores 'Masterpiece Maps' of Britain. Part One of His Exclusive Feature for Geographical Takes Us from the Middle Ages to a 17th-Century Coastal Chart
The first great flowering of British cartography occurred during the Middle Ages, when maps recorded remembered, rather than measured, geographies. As Britain was surveyed over the following centuries, a paper trail of maps was left behind. A select...
October: As the Storm Season Approaches, Helen Willets Explains How the Great Storm of 1987 Has Changed Forecasting
"And to the lady from Wales who rang to say she'd heard a hurricane was on the way, don't worry, there isn't, but it will be extremely windy, particularly across the south ..." So said Michael Fish in a BBC broadcast on 15 October 1987 and thus was...
Off the Beaten Track: Three Centuries of Women Travellers
National Portrait Gallery St Martin's Place, London Open dally: 10am-6pm (Thursdays and Fridays: 10am-9pm) Admission: free In Off the Beaten Track, the National Portrait Gallery has pulled together a fascinating and varied homage to women travellers...
On Borrowed Time? Even Though the Latest Census Was the UK's Most Extensive, Ongoing Debate Surrounding Its Accuracy and Cost Could See It Abandoned in the Future
When the first figures from the 2001 One Number Census were released, they were heralded as the most accurate assessment of the UK population yet. But there was a big surprise. There seemed to be about 900,000 fewer people than had been predicted by...
Prize Crossword
First five correct entries win this Victorinox Jelly-Light Classic and Cross Pen Set, worth 29.95 [pounds sterling] ACROSS 1 "Yam" and "rag" translated into Finno-Ugric language of Hungary (6) 4 After one cup, cola explodes here in Mexico...
Putting It into Practice: Digitisation Has Made Census Information Easily Available to a Range of Sources. but It Has Brought with It a New Set of Problems Relating to Data Protection
Since the first UK census was conducted in 1801, the decennial process has yielded one result that successive governments have considered to be of fundamental importance. "The most simple thing the census reveals is, give or take a million, how many...
RGS-IBG Grants-Will You Accept the Challenge?
RGS-IBG grants officer Greg Dow takes a look at past winners of the Society's grants and awards and explains how you can follow in their footsteps and further geography and our understanding of the world by applying for one of the Grants Programme's...
Sir Wally Herbert Had Mapped 73,000 Square Kilometres of Previously Unexplored Land before He Was 30. in 1969, He Led the Team That Made the First Undisputed Attainment of the North Pole on Foot and Continued to Svalbard, Becoming the First to Cross the Entire Arctic Ocean. Christian Amodeo Joins Him on His 70th Birthday to Learn More about His Many Achievements
Sir Ranulph Fiennes has called you "the greatest polar explorer of our time". What do you consider to be your greatest achievement? I can't honestly answer that with the predictable "North Pole trip, of course", because I simply don't look at my...
The Geographical Photographer of the Year 2004
Each year, the Geographical Photographer of the Year competition attracts some fantastic images, and this year was no exception. Here we present the winners and first two runners-up for each of the six categories--chosen from the 2,000 photographs...
The Responsible Tourism Awards: Tell Us about the World's Best Responsible Tourism Organisations, from Environmentally Sound Treks to Locally Run Lodges, and Win a Holiday to Peru
We all love to visit stunning holiday destinations. But many of them are in fragile environments or have a rich cultural heritage and local communities that are coming under increasing pressure from tourism. The type of holiday that we choose to take...
What and Where Is the Elemi Triangle?
J Fuller, Newmarket ANSWER: The Elemi or Ilemi Triangle has a dubious distinction--most disputed territories have just two countries fighting over them, but this piece of land in eastern sub-Saharan Africa has gone one better, with three neighbours...