Mapping out a successful future?

Year 13 student Koji Takahashi’s reasoned argument on the benefits of continuing to map the Earth’s surface won him a place on the shortlist of a Cambridge University geography competition.

Entrants to the Trinity College Geography Essay Competition were invited to consider whether, given the extent to which continental land masses have been explored, anything significant remains to be mapped.

“Koji presented a piece of well-researched and reasoned argument, and is to be congratulated on his achievement,” said Head of Geography at QE, Guy Boyes. “He made use of elements studied in class, including population, resources, physical landscapes and frozen wilderness as well as drawing on his own interests in conservation and preservation.” 

Koji’s essay was one of only 15 to make it through for final consideration for the top prize. Dr Nick Cutler, Director of Studies in Geography at Trinity College, wrote to Koji thanking him for his entry. He stated that the overall quality of the essays submitted was “extremely high”.

“Most essays presented a rather traditional view of cartography and concentrated on physical features such as ocean ridges or tropical rainforests,” wrote Dr Cutler, the competition adjudicator. “The best essays were distinguished by a broader view that encompassed thematic as well as topographic mapping.”""

In addition to questioning whether certain regions such as Central and South America and the polar regions are already sufficiently mapped, Koji addressed the issue of the dynamic physical properties of the earth – such as islands which emerge following volcanic eruptions.

He also discussed climate change and the demands of a growing world population on the planet, arguing that increased mapping is required to monitor and manage resources.

After completing his A-levels, Koji is planning to undertake a gap year involving some travelling, but linked to conservation. He is considering applying to Cambridge, with the intention of taking up a place in 2016.