Unraveling a Mapmaker’s Dangerous Decision
Play • 30 min

For much of recorded history, maps have helped us define where we live and who we are. National Geographic writer Freddie Wilkinson shows us how one small line on a map led to a bitter conflict in another country, thousands of miles away.

For more information on this episode, visit nationalgeographic.com/overheard.

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Everyone knows Mt. Everest is the tallest mountain in the world, but exactly how tall is it? The science and politics behind finding that number is surprisingly complicated. A team from Nepal and China recently came up with a new official height.

The world's second tallest mountain, K2, is only a few miles away from Hodgson's line and the Siachen glacier. Just a few months ago a team of 10 Nepalis completed the first winter climb of the mountain.

The history of the Kashmir conflict is complicated. Here's a straightforward explainer of how it all started.

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Magazine subscribers can read Freddie Wilkinson’s full article, including more details about Robert Hodgson’s life and our geography team's detailed maps of the Siachen glacier.

If you like what you hear and want to support more content like this, please consider a National Geographic subscription. Go to natgeo.com/explore to subscribe today.   

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