Regional Geography 105
Why Geography Matters

The Importance of Knowing World Geography

Geography is in the news every day. Wars, famines, political unrest, economic concerns, and many other issues are reported in the news. These events take place somewhere on the globe. Knowing where these events are occurring is important. Also important is knowing when the news services get their geography wrong. Location is important. Below are examples of news items that have appeared in the local news that have errors in their geographic information.

Congo Army Takes M23 Rebel Stronghold

The following screen shot was taken from the Associated Press website (full article available at The October 30th, 2013 article states that the news came from Bunagana, Congo. The problem is that there is no town named Bunagana in the country of Congo - that is to say, the Republic of the Congo, which is commonly referred to as just Congo. Bunagana is in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which is commonly called the DRC or DR Congo. Throughout this article it refers to DRC as just Congo, thus creating confusion as to which "Congo" it is. Additionally, in the second paragraph the article states that rebels fled the country and crossed the border into Uganda. This makes no sense if the country is Congo, as these two countries do not share a border (see the map below). It makes perfect sense if it is DRC, as the town of Bunagana is less than 1 kilometer from the Uganda-DRC border.

Global Slavery

The map below appeared in the Oct. 20th, 2013 issue of the local newspaper, The Dispatch, and accompanied an article providing information on current slavery issues in Africa. The map below was produced by the McClatchy-Tribune Information Service ( The problem with this map is that the names of the countries Gabon and Ivory Coast are switched (The name Ivory Coast is the former name of the country. Officially it is now called Cote D'Ivoire). Country number 8 on the map is Cote D'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), while country number 10 is Gabon.