The Weekend Assignment: Cities

This Weekend Assignment revolves around the theme of Cities.

Take a stroll through your city/town and learn something new.


Before you go on your weekend hike let’s take out the map and explore the previous Weekend Assignment.

Maps have long been created and used to navigate the world around us, but the earliest known map is a matter of some debate. One potential early ancient map is a wall painting created in the late 7th millennium BCE that might depict the ancient Anatolian city of Çatalhöyük.

The Ancient Greeks and Romans were creating maps since the 6th century BCE, and Ancient China had a history of cartography that dated back to the 5th century BCE. Together the Ancient Greeks and Chinese influenced surrounding and future societies.

An Arab geographer named Muhammad al-Idrisi created a medieval atlas called Tabula Rogeriana in 1154. He acquired information from merchants and explorers on Africa, the Indian Ocean and the Far East to create the atlas. It was subsequently the most accurate atlas for the next three centuries.

Many cartographers would place mistakes in their maps (Trap Streets), made on purpose in order to trap copyright violators. They are still used today in the creation of physical maps.


Take out your city map, learn something about your city and cities in general, and see if you can find a Trap Street.

Share what you learn with us on Twitter by tagging us and using #SaylorAssignment or start the conversation on Discourse.

Top Comments

  1. I have taken my map out for a walk this weekend, twice actually. There is a Trapp Rd. nearby. Hmm but a Trap Street, there may be. While I was walking I saw two streets on the map that were not in physical existence. I am wondering if the map is listing the streets because in the near future they will be constructed. I will have to take another walk by and investigate. If I don't see any sign of a new road then I guess I will have found my Trap Street. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

  2. Very Interesting. I wonder if Google Maps includes 'trap streets'?

  3. sean says:

    Some years ago, read a good, short book called How to Lie with Maps -- recommended!

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