Getting to know where you live on a map

Published 7:00 pm Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Technology is a great thing, and boy has it made life easier on everyone. Need to make a grocery list? Grab your phone. Need to find a new book to read? Grab your phone. Need directions to head to a friend’s house? Yeah, you guessed it — grab your phone.

However, there are plenty of drawbacks to this technology-heavy world we now find ourselves in. We hear about some of them regularly, such as more screen time and less actual time interacting with others.  Things that we were once very dependent on, like maps, are no longer used regularly, either.

For instance, reports now show most Americans can’t locate themselves on a map.

There have been reports for years that most of us are terrible at Geography, a subject that some argue doesn’t matter as much thanks to Google Maps.

However, we’re not as concerned about whether someone can locate Saudi Arabia on a map, although we think it’s worth knowing. We’re more concerned about whether the average, everyday Georgian can locate themselves on a map.

The Birmingham National Weather Service — which covers all the way to the Alabama state line — posted on its Facebook page in April that they asked more than 100 high school students to circle their home county on a map of Alabama.

More than half of those students did not circle the correct county. 

Knowing where you live on a map is generally important, but it’s vitally important when bad weather starts moving through. Knowing your home county — or wherever you are at the time — allows you to know the importance of weather watches and warnings.

Although we can’t find any new statistics on Georgia, we’re guessing the numbers wouldn’t be that different around our state, either.

It only takes a couple of minutes to learn and remember the county you live in, and it could be the difference between life or death in the event of bad weather.

We encourage parents to not only review the map themselves, but also to teach children where they live as well. It may also be a good idea to learn the counties around us, even the ones in Alabama.

Although it might feel like Alabama is a solar system away sometimes, those storms typically move right into our area.

The Birmingham National Weather Service is also a good follow on social media, since it tracks storms until they hit the Georgia state line.

Knowing what’s coming can be important. But more importantly, take a few minutes to learn where you live on the map. It’s worth the time.