Team Map Presentation – “The World Distribution of Spirochetal Disease”


The World Distribution of Spirochetal Diseases map was produced during the 1960s by the American Geographic Society. This map was part of a series of maps that were created in order to sort and map out the Third World. During the publishing of this map, the United States was involved in the Cold War, hence the complete blockage of Americas biggest rival, the USSR. While there is clearly an influence of the Cold War on this map, America’s political agenda is also expressed. Around this time President Harry S. Truman launched the Point Four program, whose main goal was to implement scientific and industrial advancements into third world countries.

Although this is a scientific map, it does show how American’s influenced the identities of these third world countries. This map displays third world countries such as Africa and Thailand as disease filled which legitimizes a fear within the American people who view this map. It makes America look like a place of health and no disease while these third world countries are the complete opposite. There are sub-maps and sub-legends along the borders of the map that allow for more information to be displayed on the geography and environment, making the cartographic projections more detailed.

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