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Volume 1370


Can it be done? Rick Johnson
Ever since Burroughs wrote the first Mars story, people have been attempting to map the Red planet, each achieving various degrees of success but none accurate enough for the rest of us to say, "well, I may as well burn my attempt, this one works!"


Why is this? We make suppositions that are completely fictitious and counterproductive so here are the reasons why everyone fails and how we can use these to our advantage. FIRST, Barsoom is NOT Mars! SECOND, Maps Lie! THIRD, People are NOT Cartographers! Once we compensate for these problems, most of the obstacles facing a re-

mapping of Barsoom fade away.


Let us begin here. Barsoom is a world about 4,222 miles (6,787 km) in diameter and 13,257 miles (21, 311 km) in circumference with an atmosphere breathable by any earth person without difficulty or trouble. We know the size because Burroughs received these measurements from John Carter. We know the air pressure and composition because both John Carter and Ulyssus Paxton were transported from Earth (14.5 pounds per square inch air pressure with a 75% Nitrogen and 25% Oxygen content) to Barsoom and could not only breathe easily upon arrival but could do so after considerable and immediate exercise. Therefore, the atmospheric pressure and composition was similar to that of Earth near 2000 feet altitude in the case of John Carter (the Superstition Mountains where John Carter is presumed to be gold hunting starts at about 2400'). Mars, however, has an atmospheric pressure of .15 psi (about 1/100th of Earth) with a composition of mainly Carbon Dioxide (CO2). Appearing there suddenly would suck your lungs from your chest almost instantly. If somehow you could concentrate the air into something equal to near Earth pressure, you would still die within minutes from Carbon Dioxide poisoning which causes the blood to become alkaline. There simply isn't enough free oxygen on Mars to keep a person alive. To understand this, Go from Miami, Florida (at sea level @ 14.5 psi) to Denver Colorado (a mile high @ 12.5 psi) and see how easily you can breathe. (note: Mt Everest at 29,028 feet or almost 5 miles has an air pressure of 4.4 psi which is almost 400 times the thickness of the air at the surface of Mars) Try to do your morning three mile run the day after you arrive and see how far you get. When the Olympics are situated in Mexico City or Denver, athletes arrive at least a month ahead to get used to the thin air, to build their red count and to adapt to the lesser air pressure before they even attempt serious exercise. Yet, Earthmen can breathe and exercise easily on Barsoom from their first moment of arrival with no difficulty. Neither do the local inhabitants show no sign of overly developed rib cages to house expanded lungs. This implies that despite claims to the rarity of the Barsoomian atmosphere, so long as you remain under a mile of the surface, there is little difference between Earth and Barsoom as to air composition or pressure.

The temperature of Barsoom ranges from hot during the day to cold at night. This is comfortable enough so that both John Carter in Helium and Ulyssus Paxton in Toonol, both at about 30 degrees north and south respectively, can be comfortable during the day in what amounts to little more than a g-string and a few belts to hold weapons (note that Arizona where John Carter found his gold is at about 33 degrees north which is similar to Helium at 30 Degrees south and both are desert). At night, they are cold but not fatally so even when covered with but a few layers of silk and fur blankets. Even in the South Polar region, an area expected to be frozen, John Carter makes little to no change in his accustomed costume which implies a relatively constant daytime temperature across the planet changing only when the sun sets. Mars, however, has a surface temperature well below freezing. At 30 degrees north (the same latitude of both the Toonolian Marsh and city of Helium) the Viking Lander measured at mid-June a nighttime temperature of -89 degrees C (-128 F) and a daytime temperature of -25 degrees C (-12 F). This is so cold that the polar icecaps at -143 degrees C (-225 F) are not water but frozen CO2 or dry ice. Any person would freeze solid within minutes to become solid ice within an hour. At the Poles, this would happen within seconds.

Barsoom is covered with reddish moss with an occasional forest, swamp and grove of various plants. The Toonolian Marsh, the Great Helium Forest, the Koalian Forest, the Forest of Lost Souls and the list goes on. Vegetation abounds in sufficient amounts to feed thoats and zitidars and with enough free water to support these forests and swamps and enough subsurface water to support the moss which covers the sea beds. Mars is rock! Red rock! Lots of rocks and not one plant in sight and a humidity of Zero! No photos of packs of calots stalking thoat herds across the countryside. No mantilla groves or man-flowers. Nothing!

It's obvious, painfully so, that what we are seeing is not what Burroughs is describing. Arguments here range from Barsoom exists in a parallel universe to Barsoom is ancient history millions of years gone. Yet, when Dejah Thoris describes Jasoom to John Carter, he immediately recognizes the planet of his origin. She is even familiar with the history of the planet, a history that matches the memories of John Carter. When Ulyssus Paxton observes Jasoom through a Barsoomian telescope, he not only sees his own Earth, but does so in his own time, observing the war that caused his Earthly death. What we see when we stare with telescopes may be similar to Barsoom but what we see when we visit is not. And neither of these resemble

what both Carter and Paxton experience in person. And somehow, what they see when they observe Earth is accurate. What goes? Simple. Our observations are wrong!

Remember when Science insisted that the Earth was flat? Everything we knew about science and physics proved that the Earth was flat! Today you can even find scientists who still insist that it remains flat and who have successfully forced certain American schools to teach this belief! When people experienced the curvature of the Earth by simply sailing a few miles to sea, they KNEW that science was wrong! Yet, scientists insisted that what these sailors had experienced was a mass hallucination simply because science KNEW that the Earth was flat and so the experiences of the sailors must be wrong! Then science finally changed, accepted the experiences of those who knew and said the Earth was round but the universe was flat! Did they learn their lesson? No! Some scientists have proven that the Earth was formed 3.5 billion years ago yet other scientists can just as easily prove that the earth was created in 3007 b.c.e. Historical and geologic records prove the validity of the former yet the latter scientists insist that these historical records are a lie and have succeeded in getting their beliefs taught in American schools. Once again, science disagreed with the experiences or those who were there and science is right? Explorers had told Naturalists for years about 'hairy men' in the wilds of Africa to be told that this was impossible.. until the Mountain Gorilla was discovered. Paleontologists knew for certainty that certain fish had been extinct for millions of years.. until the Coelocanth was discovered, still alive. And despite this list which is greater than I wish to cover, science still refuses to consider even the possibility that Bigfoot or the Sirrush or the Don or Chupacabra, Megalodon, Mangani or another endless list of cryptics may exist (I myself have discovered two cryptics in the jungles of Okinawa, a 5" diplovertebron salamander and a 3' red centipede, both of which biologists have insisted were fakes).

The arrogance of the scientists is as endless as is the mistakes that they have and are and will continue to make. I have a rule about this. Whenever someone tells me one thing and I experience another, I ask, "Were you there?" The scientists who insisted that the Mountain Gorilla was a fraud never spent one moment to think, "Hey! This guy saw something, let's reserve judgment, follow him back and see what it was." The same goes for astrophysicists and astronomers who KNOW that Mars is lifeless despite the visits of at least a dozen people who went there and saw the contradiction. But I digress, rather than list the endless foibles of science from the geocentric universe to the impossibility of apes to communicate with people (which many still insist despite their experiences with Koko) to the impossibility of man traveling at 60 miles per hour to. you get the idea. Science is always making statements, proving the validity of their statements with reams of paper and destroying the reputations of those who experienced something else simply because the scientists KNEW that they were right and don't confuse them with the truth. But again I digress. This paper is about Barsoom. Specifically, how to map the Red Planet by combining both the personal experiences of the explorers with the observations of the astronomers. So, when science tells me that Mars is uninhabitable yet both John Carter and Ulyssus Paxton have been there and survived, then I must say that NASA needs to get their heads out of their moniter and look at the experiences of the explorers and not their own arithmetic numbers. Numbers can prove anything even if you are using them to prove a lie! The more exact a scientist tells me he is, the more I know he is wrong. Like an accountant seeking to prove a balanced budget or a creationist seeking to prove that their god created everything in 3007 b.c.e., something has to give and I'll side with those with personal experience over someone who never left a keyboard every time. Therefore, the Mars described by NASA is not the Barsoom of ERB! They are the same planet so the observations of science must be incorrect because they counter the experiences of the explorers who were there. Perhaps the math is wrong. After all, Einstein could not balance his own checkbook nor was he able to learn how to tie his shoelaces so I tend to suspect any math described by this man. Perhaps the observations are wrong. Maybe there is dust in the telescopes or the lenses have warped, maybe the instruments are measuring the wrong thing or landed in the one place that is similar to Antartica in the Winter or Death Valley in the Summer, maybe the scientists are misinterpreting the

data. I am not a scientists but I have seen so many scientists insist that they were right and the observations of those who were there were wrong, then most of them had to eat crow. So let us work from the belief that IF John Carter and Ulyssus Paxton managed to visit and survive on Barsoom, then the planet is habitable and the observations we have, including the temperature, air pressure and composition and even the photos the astronomers took are inaccurate. Why this is I will let a future scientist determine as modern scientists laugh at the suppositions of their centuries old brethren, only to be laughed at themselves as time passes.

Since 1912 when Burroughs published the journal of Carter's experiences upon Barsoom, people have tried with little success to compare his descriptions to the Red planet and create a workable map of Barsoom. In most cases, these have failed. Zodanga is described to be in two different places. NASA photos and astronomical observations place hills in areas that are described by Carter as flatlands. If you map the directions given by Carter, you end up someplace different from where he was. Even looking at the two maps drawn by Burroughs which he based on the descriptions of John Carter don't match. Why? Because, MAPS LIE! Before we go into this, we must first understand what a map is. A map is an attempt to describe a three-dimensional object on a twodimensional space. We are trying to put a round apple onto a flat piece of paper and it simply cannot be done. For thousands of years people have tried to do this and not one of them has succeeded. Some maps are more accurate than others in some areas but none are correct. Only when you create a three-dimensional sphere can you accurately map the planet. Take a soccer ball which is essentially a duo-decahedron. That means you take twelve pentagons (a five-sided shape) and sew them together to form a sort of sphere. Then you inflate the object to deform the pentagons into a curve and you have a ball. Look at this ball and as you turn it, you see every pentagon as perfect. Now set it on the table and take a photograph of the

ball. Lay some tracing paper over the photo and trace the lines of each pentagon not as you know them to be but as the camera shows. Look at the tracing and suddenly, those pentagons that you know are perfect are perfect ONLY in the one facing the camera. The further you get to the edge, the more distorted they become. It is as of they were pushed into a narrow shape that no longer resembles the original, yet you know they are perfect. What you have tried to do is map a three-dimensional object in two-dimensions and you failed. Doing the same thing with a globe results in a similar problem. Canada and Siberia and Greenland are shown as being unbelievable huge on paper but when you look at a globe, they are much smaller. But, there is hope! Cartographers have spent a thousand years to develop a number of means to do this and although none are completely accurate, each has its uses. To understand this next part, instead of showing pictures and maps, I will ask you to collect a book atlas and a cheap globe and follow along as we explore the Earth. It doesn't matter if the atlas and globe are out-of-date. Because political boundaries change so fast you can easily buy both globe and atlas at any thrift store for a dollar or two each. The globe you can paint over later and use to create your own map of Barsoom once you understand the principles. But possession of both of these as we talk will be invaluable. When creating a paper map of a sphere, the only accurate map is a Globe! Globes are three-dimensions and so accurately portray a three-dimensional planet. But, a globe large enough to be useful would be too large to use. I once saw in Maine the world's largest globe which towered three stories and still, when I found Arizona on it, the scale was to small to use. Somehow we need to make the information on a globe workable on a desk-sized paper format and there are a number of ways to do this. First is the Globe which is accurate but impractical. Second is the Cylinder Projection. This takes the sphere and stretches it to a rectangle. This is the method preferred by almost everyone but it has a big problem. Blow up a balloon then draw the earth on that balloon as shown on a globe. Then release the air, cut the balloon from top to bottom

and stretch it to cover a piece of paper. See how the top of the globe distorts and stretches? Look at the shapes of Greenland, Europe and Canada at the top of this map and compare it to the Azimuthal map below. Any Cylindrical Projection is accurate ONLY at the exact center of the map and along a line exactly east-west and north-south from that center point, here marked in red. The farther you get from these two lines, the more distortion you get. The four corners of that Cylindrical map are so distorted as to be totally useless. Consider that when you do this to a globe, the central eastwest line in the Equator which is some 26,000 miles from edge to edge of your map. The top and bottom edge of the map are the same distance on paper but in reality, they are the poles and so are a point. This is why Canada, Siberia and Greenland look so huge. They aren't! But the Cylindrical Projection distorts them to look that way. Compare the top of any world map from your atlas to the same thing on your globe. Almost all of us have tried to use this method for our Maps of Barsoom when we seek to compare his notes from John Carter to a map of Mars. We all fail because we forgot about the distortion at the poles and the four corners of these maps. Choose a point such as Ecuador on the flat map and Ecuador on the globe. See how they match. Look north of Ecuador on both and the farther you get from that country, the less accurate the map becomes. Now when you are making a map of your city, then a Cylindrical Projection works well because for such a small area, we can assume the world to be flat. But for anything larger, the map becomes more and more inaccurate. But almost every map of any place, Earth or Barsoom, is based on this inaccurate mapping system. We take a location on a flat Cylindrical map and measure a distance and direction and cannot help but be wrong. Therefore, believe any flat map of Barsoom to be inaccurate! To date the most accurate method developed is the Sinusoidal map which resembles a peeled orange laid flat. Take your globe and cut it into sections, each cut following a line of longitude from the north pole to the south pole. If you cut every ten degrees, you will have thirty-six of these pieces, each pointed at the ends and bulging in the middle as a cat's eye. If you cut every 110 degrees, you will have the illustrated 3-section Sinusoidal map. Now lay these on your paper in proper order and you will have an accurate map of the Earth but they will only touch at the equator. The closer you get to the poles, the more empty space you have. Although the sections are still curved, they are flatter

than a sphere. It is thus impossible to accurately show the entire planet on one flat map. What we can do is to make fairly accurate flat maps of smaller parts of the planet. To us a basketball is a sphere but to an ant it is flat. To us the earth is flat but to an astronaut it is a sphere. The idea is to use a scale small enough to effectively ignore the curvature of the Earth. One way to do this is the Conic Projection. Since all longitudes merge to a point at the poles and all latitudes are parallel, the Conic Projection warps both to give a false, but still more accurate picture of the area. The final method is the Azimuthal Projection. Here we take a photo of the Earth from various viewpoints and mark the points on this map. This is the most accurate way of converting a globe to a map but is accurate ONLY for the point exactly in the center of the map. The closer you get to the edges, the more inaccurate the map becomes. Burroughs used this method for his own map of Barsoom.

So the rules here are:

• •

It is impossible to make a flat map of any planet that is completely accurate. Any map you make will be accurate only at the center and the further you get from that center, the less accurate the map becomes.

So you have one choice: Make a globe that gives the general information then make a series of flat maps to give details of much smaller areas. A flat map of the Toonolian Marsh would be mostly accurate as would a flat map of Omean or Helium but not of the entire hemisphere.

No matter how you read the journals of John Carter or the reworkings of Burroughs, you cannot escape the one fact of life. MAPS LIE! There are a lot of reasons for this that range form copyright to security to lack of space but no map can be believed completely.
1) The former Soviet Union deliberately made maps that were wrong, placing bridges, roads and even cities in places miles from their actual locations, inventing military targets that did not exist. Their thought was that if you lived in Moscow, you knew where that bridge was and could find it but an ICBM crossing 10,000 miles would land where the US thought that bridge was according to a map. If we looked at a map and thought a major military base was in Siberia, we'd sacrifice ordinance, manpower and time leveling that empty tundra when the real base would be hundreds of miles away and safe. Even today you must have a permit to carry a cell-phone and GPS in Russia and anyone carrying a camera, cell-phone and GPS in America is looking to be arrested by Homeland Security as a possible terrorist. It's happened to Geocachers because the police and the government of many nations are afraid that a possible enemy will get hold of an accurate map and use it in a military manner!

2) If you want to start a company that makes and sells maps, why spend all that money sending people out to draw the maps and renting satellite time or aircraft when you can simply visit the library, check out Rand-McNally and copy their map for a few cents? You can redraw the thing and sell it cheaper because you saved all that research. So, most map-makers put flaws into their maps. They create streets and cities and places that don't exist. Thus, they can drag the competition into court and say, "See, Joeblow Street doesn't really exist. We drew it on our maps as a copyright proof because anyone who went there would know there is no Joeblow St so since Gerber Maps shows Joeblow St, they obviously photocopied our maps and are selling our hard work!" 3) There is only a limited space on a map. You simply cannot put

everything you want on a map that someone is trying to read while driving down a residential street. So you aim your map to the audience you are trying to attract and leave out items that won't fit. For the guy who is traveling from LA to Chicago, he doesn't care about every important historical marker, he only wants to know the freeways, toll-roads and where to get a hamburger. So you make a map for him and the fact that the map ignores almost every small town off the freeway is acceptable to him.
But if you are a tourist, you don't care much about freeways, you want to know how to get to Montezuma Well or if Walnut Creek has cliff dwellings? If you are a delivery man, your map will show every street in town and which are one-way but ignore historical sites.

And a map of Arizona won't have room for even the major streets in the cities you pass. So you put the most important information on the map according to the needs and desires of the consumer and the room you have. My map of Tucson won't list Tohono Chul Park but it will list the major intersections and streets. The Tucson Tourist Bureau will give me a map that shows that intersection and the park and where to park your car but it won't show the park itself. The Park gift shop will give me a map that ignores the city but gives you the walking paths through the park and notes on which areas have the best flowers to see. Information on any map is dependant on the amount of room you have and the interest of the consumer.

PEOPLE ARE NOT CARTOGRAPHERS! Maps were made by people who did the best they could. They started at point A, paced off the distance to point B, turned x degrees and passed off to point C and so on, all the while taking notes. No matter how careful they were, even professional surveyors were often wrong. How do we know this? Because when aircraft and cameras were invented and satellite photography was perfected, we took a picture from the air or space then laid that photo over the map and 'lo!' the map was wrong. A mistake of an inch over a mile or a single degree adds up and it took a photo from a distance to correct this. We did the best we could and still got it wrong and if there was even the smallest warp in the camera lens, the photo was wrong too! When you are exploring a region, you don't have time to roll out a 500' steel tape with compass. Even if you use a GPS and laptop, you won't have time to do a good map. This is especially true when you are running for your life. "Well, we ran about south for maybe a half hour, but it seemed like a day, and then we turned to our right and saw in the distance a big tree! That's where

we buried poor Phil!" Try to find that tree now! This is why the legendary Pirate Maps leading to buried treasure don't work. For most people 'south' means anything from 320 degrees to 40 degrees. Spread your fingers and point your index finger north according to the compass. Unless you are a professional cartographer, those two fingers, your first and your ring will mean 'north' even though one points NNE and the other NNW. Here is a simple way to understand this. I live in Tucson. My oldest daughter lives in Phoenix. I tell people she lives 125 miles north of me. And that's all that you care to know. BUT! Is Phoenix really 125 miles from Tucson? Depends! Do we measure from city limits to city limits or from center of population to center of population? Both these will change as people move around and the city incorporates more land. Or from Downtown to downtown or from main post office to main post office? Each of these will give a measurement that varies by as much as 50 miles either way so Phoenix can be anywhere from 100 miles to 200 miles from Tucson depending on the places from which you or I will measure. And is it really north? According to my map, Phoenix is about 40 degrees west of North which actually makes it WNW. More north than west but we here in Tucson still say that Phoenix is 'north' of Tucson. And does my daughter really live in Phoenix? Phoenix is either a specific city as in the City of Phoenix or it is a group of separate cities that all are so close together that you have to look at the name on the police car following you to know where you really are. There is Goodyear on the west and 25 miles east (depending on how you measure) is Apache Junction. Between the two are: Mesa, Chandler, Peoria, Glendale, Sun City, Scottsdale and a half dozen other cities that share the Valley of the Sun which really isn't a valley at all but a bunch of mountain ranges that are all over the place with a mostly flat area between them all. And to get there, I tell people, "go west to I-10 then north," when I really mean, "take any road that goes in a westerly direction until you find I-10 then follow it in a general NW direction but winding around mountains and desert until you come across a large city that goes on for another hour of freeway driving." Even trained people make mistakes and suffer accidents. I recall one time we are in the field and I noticed that we appeared to be going in circles. So I asked the Lt. "What's going on?" He got angry and said "We're lost!" Now this was a man who had gone to a bunch of military schools that trained him to NOT get lost in the desert. So I asked, "Why not ask those people for directions. Which elicited the reply, "They are armed with better weapons than we have and they don't like American soldiers. Pretend you don't see them and hope they do the same." "Well, why not look at your compass and map?" I asked and he replied, "Because I lost the map a while ago and I left my compass at camp." Finally I offered, "Here, borrow my compass and binoculars then." I always

carry back-ups for this reason. Eventually we got back to camp safe, tired and hungry but I had and still have no idea of where we were. But I learned some good lessons; Don't trust another person who thinks that they know where they are, don't rely of electronics such as a GPS, learn non-technical methods of finding your way around and carry your own maps, compass and survival gear.

So how does this help us to understand Barsoom? Well, the first thing is to remember that John Carter never gave Burroughs a map. He gave descriptions. And Carter or Paxton or Hadron were neither geographers nor cartographers. They were soldiers trying to do a job which did not include making accurate maps of the planet. So when Ulyssus Paxton said that Amhor lies "about 700 miles north of Gooli," he could have meant a broad area anywhere from 600 to 800 miles deep with a compass heading between NNW to NNE. That covers between 60,000 to 180,000 square miles of area or about the size of Wisconsin or larger than England and Wales combined (on the conservative side) and possibly as large as Sweden and larger than Morocco or Spain. This gives us a very large area in which to search. Thus, rule #1 is that unless an exact latitude and longitude is given, be very broad in your location of the city. Incidently, we in Tucson refer to Phoenix as being 'north' but Globe as being 'northeast' even though I have family in both cities. Check this map for their real locations. Second, we must accept that with any flat map, distances are accurate ONLY within a few miles of the origin. The further you go, the more deviation we have. I took a flat Cylinder Projection Map of Europe made by a famous map-making company. I then measured the distance and direction from Rome (which happened to be in the center of my map) to Moscow (which happened to be near the upper right-hand corner of my map. I converted that map distance (6 inches) to miles (1500 miles) according to their scale and took that same measurement to my world globe. I measured 1500 miles on the globe scale and used a rule to go 1500 miles exactly NE from Rome. I ended up

someplace past Kirov. Kirov is, according to my flat map, about 500 miles WNW of Moscow. Between these two maps I was 500 miles and maybe ten degrees off. Had I programmed my Destination Compass according to my flat map, I could easily arrive in Aaanthor facing a hoard of Torquas Green men when I was aiming for Lothar. Rule #2 is that the farther your directions are, the less accurate they become. And when we convert from one distance to another, we run into math errors. One kilometer equals .62 miles and one mile equals 1.6 miles. So if we take 1000 km and convert to Miles, we get 620 miles. But if we convert 620 miles to kilometers, we get 992 kilometers. This is a difference of eight miles for no other reason than the number of decimal places we were willing to use when we mentally made the conversion. Actually one mile equals 1.609 kilometers but how many of us are going to use more than one decimal point when in casual conversation? I tell people I made $26,000 last year but according to my W-2 I actually made $26,357.31. I tell people that Phoenix is 125 miles north of Tucson but I am only on the Freeway for 104 miles plus six miles of in-town driving in Tucson and . you get the idea. Rule #3 is that in normal conversation, unless you MUST be exact, we round up or we round down. Only a computer is exact. And when John Carter describes Thark as being a certain direction and distance from Helium, he is guestimating both and so is probably wrong. So, how does this help us to map Barsoom? First of all we MUST use a globe. Not a flat map, but a real globe. Take that cheap globe I made you buy and paint it pale red. Cover the Terrestrial images until we have a blank reddish canvas upon which we will do our deeds. Light color is best because you need to be able to see your markings. Next draw your lines of latitude and longitude on the globe. Do this in 10 degree increments. Now we are making a broad assumption here when we list 360 degrees of longitude and 90 degrees latitude north and 90degrees of latitude south. But, I will justify this suchly. John Carter gave so many details about measurements such as a Haad was 1949.05 feet or a tal was .88 second, that if Barsoom used 100 or 500 degrees on their globe, I think that this would have been worthy of mention. Therefore, since he was silent on this even when giving the location of a city in degrees and minutes of latitude and longitude, "Aaanthor lies at Latitude 50o South, Longitude 40o East of Horz but the Red Man uses 500 degrees to their circle feeling that it is easier to calculate." No, he said 50 S by 40 E and stopped as if to imply that Barsoom used 360 degree circles too. Plus he states that a Karad is one degree or 1/360 of a circle, so, we can safely assume that the cartography of

Barsoom is the same as on Earth and use a 360o circle. Next, from the texts we know the exact locations of a few cities:

• • • • • •

Exum is on the equator at 0 degrees E-W. Horz is on this same 0o E-W but of an unknown Latitude and all east-west are measured from these two cities. So mark Exum on the equator and that is now Zero degrees or our 'Greenwich'. Aaanthor is 50S x 40E Dusar is 15N x 20E Gathol has an area from 0N-10N x 10W-20W with a mountain near the center Jahar is 30S x 35E Thark covers 40S-80S x ? Twin Cities of Helium are 30S by 1900 miles W of Zodanga

Obviously I haven't given you every location on the planet but this is a start. Feel free to re-read the journals of Barsoom and keep a notebook by hand.

But for those cities that Burroughs described with latitude and longitude, mark those on the globe. These are your starting points which are considered to be authorative. Obviously according to Rule #2, Zodanga may be at 30S or it could be as much as 10o north or south by as much as 100 miles closer or farther away than stated. Because of this, give Zodanga a large circle covering 20 degrees N-S by 50 degrees E-W but without a longitude for Helium, we are lost here. Also Carter was probably working from a flat map and accepting the distortions as fact which throws off his descriptions of distance and direction. But wait! We have a Azimuthal map drawn by Burroughs himself. I don't have a date for this but it shows two locations for Zodanga and so was re-drawn as more information was given. So we can look at this map and see that we have the lat-lon for some three dozen cities. If we assume that this is authorative, then we now know the exact locations of these cities. Some of these include:
• • • •

Exum at 0 x 0 'Greenwich' Horz at 0 x 48N Gathol at 15W x 5N Greater Helium at 106E x 28S and more. I will refer you to An Atlas of Fantasy by J. B. Post -- pages 166 and 167 for a copy -- or check http://www.geocities .com/RikJohnson_erb/erbbmap.html for the original maps by the Master as an example.

Once we have marked these cities and locations, we can use these as the base for given directions. When he then says that the city of **** lies 'x' miles from the city of *****, we can make a rough guess as to the locations of that city. It won't be exact but it will get us within ten degrees or so. And when we hear a measurement in Haads, we must be careful when we convert it to miles.

But, North or SouthWest directions and distances have more meaning on a globe than on a map. Remember my Rome to Moscow blunder so ten degrees latitude (from the equator of Barsoom to your ten degree north line)

is equal to 368.2 miles. Get a soft, flexible rule and mark this 10o on your rule. This mark is equal to 368.2 miles or 997.4 haads. You can use this to measure your distances on the globe. You will notice that my rule had Haads on one side and miles on the other. It is flexible because I will need to curve it around the globe and avoid mistakes.

Since we know from the Burroughs chart that Amhor is at 115W x 45N and we know that Toonol is at 99W x 20N, we can mark these locations as accurate. Then when we read that Duhor is 5000 Haads from Amhor and 7800 Haads from Toonol, we can take our rule upon which we have marked our distances, place the '0' point on Amhor and draw a circle then repeat at Toonol. Where these two circles intersect is the approximate location for Duhor (simple trigonometry). And as we know that the Artolian hills are east of Duhor, we can map those too. Add as many details as you can such as the boundaries for the Artolian Hills and the Toonol Marsh. Estimate the Koal and Invak forests. Draw the known valleys of Kamtol and Torquas. Here is where you must be careful but imaginative. Note that Carter describes the Valley Dor as 'near the south pole', not "at" the south pole. This is important because a) John Carter could easily see both moons from the Valley, b) the Valley was not covered in ice but had temperate climate and c) John Carter wasn't freezing in Dor as he was in Okar. Therefore Dor must be in the southern hemisphere but not at the south pole, obviously in a remote location with few cities. We shall return to this later.

Now that we have marked as many locations as we can on our globe, we take graph paper, mark our lat-lon numbers with a heavier line for the equator and Exum and transfer our cities from the globe to the Cylindrical Projection map that we have just drawn. Why do we do it this way and not start with the flat map? Because the flat map must be inaccurate by virtue of converting a curved object on a flat paper. Once we transfer the cities from the globe to the map, we have an inaccurate flat map of the planet but we need this for the next step. This flat map is equal to any made by a dozen other researchers but probably a bit more accurate. Make a number of photocopies of this map to be used in Part II. But for now we have an extremely accurate globe and map of Barsoom. Feel free to decorate it as you wish. Guess at the size and shape of the Helium Forest, add whatever details you find in the literature. And, if you wish, add additional locations from the many fan-fictional stories written over the years. From this you can easily create smaller sectional maps of important areas. A map showing only Helium and the surrounding area, a map of the Toonolian Marshes. A map of the Forest of Lost Souls. Now you have a very accurate globe of Barsoom, a very inaccurate flat map of Barsoom and a series of very accurate sectional maps of the various areas of Barsoom.

My collection will be posted at my ERB site and forwarded to Abner Perry's excellent Burroughs Map Site. Please feel free to send me your versions with your own additions. In Part II we will cover how to combine this Barsoom Map to the NASA maps to find a decent compromise.

Rick Johnson, PO Box 40451, Tucson, Az. 85717

The Worlds of Edgar Rice Burroughs
BILL HILLMAN Visit our thousands of other sites at:
ERB Text, ERB Images and Tarzan® are ©Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.- All Rights Reserved. All Original Work ©1996-2005 by Bill Hillman and/or Contributing Authors/Owners No part of this web site may be reproduced without permission from the respective owners.


Official Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute Site Since 1996 ~ Over 5,000 Webpages in Archive Presents Volume 1562


By Rick Johnson

Unfortunately there is no perfect solution to this problem of matching Barsoom with Mars.

Here is an experiment. Take a blank piece of paper and draw a map of your country freehand. Add in states, provinces, territories. Cities, rivers, everything you can remember. Be as accurate as is possible. If you are lucky, you may remember the latitude and longitude of your own city (Tucson is 32N x 111W) which you can use as a starting point (note, I just checked Topo-Zone

and Tucson where I write this is really 32° 15' 45"N, 110° 57' 41"W but who cares to be that exact).

Note that all of these were drawn by adults, half by college graduates. Assignment: Draw a map of the US from memory. Add as many details as you can remember such as rivers, mountains, cities, states, etc. The west coast should be

near the left side of this sheet and the east coast should be near the right side so we can overlay your drawing with a real map I have photocopied.

Create an accurate scale of distance and use this to help. (Canyon Lake is 108 miles due north of Tucson. Phoenix is about 125 miles a little west of North. Nevada, Missouri is 1200 miles NE. Albuquerque is 8 hours from Tucson east of Flagstaff. Flagstaff is three hours north of Phoenix.) Be specific, accurate, careful.
NOW, open an atlas and place your hand-drawn map over a real map. How accurate were you? Probably not very. Yet, we persist in giving verbal directions to strangers and expect them to find the place they seek?

If we cannot be accurate when we describe a place we know well, how can we expect Edgar Rice Burroughs, a writer, to be accurate when describing Barsoom as described by John Carter, a soldier, when neither of them are cartographers? Even the maps drawn by John Carter were made while living on the Hudson years after leaving the Red Planet. So, any attempt to create a workable map of Barsoom is doomed to failure. All we can do is find a happy compromise that most of us can use. Here is my method. I intend to create a number of maps here based on what we know form various sources, then I shall combine these into a very few possible maps of the Red Planet.


This first map was created by looking at the original sketches of Barsoom as noted by Edgar Rice Burroughs. As mentioned before, you can find these two Azimuthal maps on page 166 & 167 of An Atlas of Fantasy by J. B. Post and scanned in at

Once we have these maps, we transfer the cities and locations onto a flat map and add details from the literature as described in part one of this series. The result is the following map:
Barsoom According to Edgar Rice Burroughs

As discussed in Part One, the more you diverge from the equator and 0 degrees Longitude, the more inaccurate the map becomes. Therefore we will use this map for reference only.

The next map was taken from the NASA-MOLA map. It is here that we run into problems. Where do we put the equator? Where is Helium? Without any real reference points, we are simply lost for where do we start. I admit that this was my main problem until I read Den Valdron’s article on Mapping Barsoom and he made a number of points to locate Gathol, Artolian Hills, Toonolian Marshes and one excellent point that we cannot ignore which is useful for all other maps. The Valley Dor!

We all used to believe that the Valley Dor and the Lost Sea of Korus were at the South Pole. All previous maps showed it there until Mr. Valdron pointed out a few problems: 1) The climate was NOT arctic but similar to that of most of Barsoom, hot during the day and cold at night. Hardly an antarctic environment. 2) Both moons could be seen in the sky and this would require a polar orbit which is countered by many references in the literature that describe the moons as rising and setting in an east-west orbit. Therefore, Dor cannot be AT the south pole but can be NEAR the south pole. Now consider that if you are the head of a secret religion that has almost absolute power, you don’t want anyone wandering into heaven and disrupting your game-plan. Stealing an attractive slave-girl from the Plant-Men for your nefarious deeds wouldn't be as much fun when the Helium Tourist Board shows up with the Tour Guide calling out from his flyer "and to our left is a Holy Thern about to do something disgusting to a newly captured pilgrim. Let's slow down and watch for a moment." No, you'd place Dor in as remote a place as you could find then use your power to ensure that NO ONE visited or built there. Now when we look at the Burroughs maps of Barsoom, you see a blank area that stretched from about 80 to 150 degrees west and from 10 degrees south to the south pole. Why is almost every other area on Barsoom inhabited by Green Men or Red Men but not this area? I suspect that it is because HERE is where the Valley Dor exists and the Therns go to great lengths to keep that part of the map clear and people out. Therefore we can pencil in Dor and Korus here. And it is here that we can start our mapping project. Look for an area that is essentially empty of the normal references The Tharsis Montes can be the Artolian Hills. The Valley Marinaris can be the Toonolian Marshes. Elysium Mons can be Gathol so if we stretch things a bit (and there will be a lot of stretching done here, the only two places in the south that could house Korus and Dor is either Hellas Planitis or Argyre Planitis. Since the only unexplored area on Barsoom (per the Burroughs Map) is south of the Toonoliam Marsh and Southeast of the Artolian Hills, then Argyre is the only possibility for Korus simply because it is the only area in a deserted section of Mars that is even close to the possible location for Korus. And if we look at the MOLA map. We see a chain of craters and fissures that go from Argyre to Valles. Is this the River Iss?

At this time I will refer you to Den Valdron’s paper on GEOGRAPHERS OF MARS I: MATCHING MARS AND BARSOOM A NEW APPROACH - ERBzine 1419 which goes into far more detail as to why we should accept this idea. As for the Toonolian Marsh, Burroughs was specific as to the size of the Marsh being 1800 miles east to west. Yet the Valles is far larger, perhaps a dozen times as large which would seem to place it as something else. But, The Valles is so large that were you to stand in the center, the cliff walls would be over the horizon and some of the side channels would be larger than the Grand Canyon. And There is the key. For a people who were restricted to ground travel until 900 years ago, the Valles would not be seen to exist as a separate feature simply because it is far too large to encompass. But a smaller side channel could easily trap enough water to form a marsh so the Valles isn't the Marsh, a smaller side channel of the Valles is! And the literature describes the western edge of the Marshes as hilly which describes the mountainous regions that stretch to Tharsis. Of course, this means that the Artolian Hills are far too close to the Toonolian marshes but frankly, did Helium perform extensive aerial surveys and photographic mapping missions when fliers were invented? If not, then I submit that there is a big difference between land and air distances. Remember the old adage where a man asks a farmer how far to the nearest Service Station. The farmer says ‘three miles as the crow flies’ to which the man asks, “how far if the crow is walking and carrying a flat tire?” According to my GPS, I was only 300 feet from my goal last Sunday. But by the time I had docked my kayak to a tree, climbed a cliff, hiked up a mountain and around cacti and brush and gullies, I had covered more than a mile on foot to reach that 300 feet so to a man on thoat-back, the hilly distance between the Artolian Hills and the Toonolian marsh would seem much longer than to a man in a flier. Gathol is an island in the middle of the Ocean and Elysium Mons fits that description. So if we mark on the MOLA map all the major sites, we can have a warped map of Barsoom, remembering the distortion caused by any flat map. The result is this:

And once we redraw the MOLA map onto paper, this is the result:

As you can see, due to the limits of space I have avoided filling in every city and site on a map this small but have marked the boundary of Throxeus which may be divided into Eastern Throxus and Western Throxus which along with Korus, Omean and Torquas, give us the five oceans of Barsoom. The exact locations of the cities will be shown as we look at the MOLA map in more detail

seeking craters and hills that would be moisture traps and fit the general descriptions of the explorers of Barsoom.

Percival Lowell was a big influence upon Burroughs and his telescopic sightings of Mars show something that the MOLA maps do not, canali. These canali are not ‘canals’ but ‘lines’ and resemble the waterways described by John Carter. Unfortunately, Carter describes only a very few waterways, and these leading from Helium to the east and southeast as they cross Tharkan territory. The rest are left undescribed. Yet, when we look at Lowell, we see something interesting. Almost every waterway stretches from the north pole and few from the south. Why? The obvious answer is that the North Polar ice cap is stable in size but the southern ice cap ranges in size from so large it almost seems to cover the southern hemisphere to so small you can almost jump across it. Now, logically, if you were building a waterway system to melt polar ice and send it to the cities, taking the southern ice cap under these conditions would be technically unfeasible. You'd need collection points every few kilometers across almost half the planet. As the ice cap grew, many of these would be damaged as the water froze and glaciers grew, forcing the locals to constantly rebuild them. But the stable northern ice cap would need only a few collection stations so it would be easier to build and maintain a system from the north and dig a waterway to the south rather than have to constantly repair expensive melting and collection stations. So the Lowell map gives us waterways, collection stations and even more cities in the form of spots along the canali. But again, were to start? Korus! There is an area in the southern region that is almost devoid of canali and other man-made features and if we place Korus there, we can move ‘north’ to locate the Toonoolian March, then ‘northwest’ to find the Artolian Hills and the rest falls into place. Note that I am using ‘north’ as a general direction and not as a compass point for the same reason we in Tucson refer to Phoenix as ‘north’.

With Lowell, we have an advantage in that the spots at the intersections of many of the canali can easily be seen as cities surrounded by farm and grazing lands so we now know where to place the cities. The problem is to decide which spot is which city. I have concluded that Ptarth, a major city, would be a larger spot with more waterways than would be a smaller subject city. The result of this is as drawn becomes this:

Barsoom According to Percival Lowell


What we can now do is to compromise were we must, assume that many of the directions given by John Carter were guestimates, assume that Lowell drew what he thought he saw through a small telescope and assume that the computer program used by NASA to convert the MOLA data was equal to anything created by Microsoft and we see many glitches and wonder how we can accept anything as true? Well, we do the best we can. And for me, this means start with a large flat map marked in a grid pattern. Mine is 20 x 10 inches to give room for detail. Then I pencil in the cities as shown on the Burroughs maps. Then the features shown by the MOLA map and the waterways shown in the Lowell Map. Then I move things around until they seem to fit. The result is this:

Now I must keep in mind many things:

1) Most waterways come from the North and major cities and empires would be along these waterways. EXAMPLE: The Nile River has hundreds of cities and thousands of farms along the river banks but ten miles from the river, nothing! 2) Isolated cities would be in locations away from waterways. These would be oasis cities in a deep crater or isolated by mountains which could trap and contain moisture. 3) Mountains and hills follow chains. This is because of plate tectonics where the Rocky-Andes chain is caused by the North and South American Plates

smashing into the Pacific Plates and ‘wrinkling’. Mars has no modern plate tectonics but did they have any in the past? 4) Forests and marshes would be in areas that trapped prevailing winds and so collected moisture. EXAMPLE: Hawaii is lush tropical garden on the NE shore where the winds deposit water along the mountains but the SW shore is desert because by the time the winds reach that area, they have lost all their moisture. Arizona is a desert for the same reason, the western winds loose all their moisture to the Rockies and the Eastern winds drop their moisture along Texas and New Mexico. 5) Most of the older Orovar Dead cities will be along the coastline of Throxus in the north and the smaller seas of Korus and Torquas in the south. Isolated Dead cities elsewhere would be along dead rivers and lakes (craters) or the occasional oasis. 6) There are four major Green Hoards that are known. Thark, Warhoon, Torquas and Thurid. All of these are in the southern deserts. If any others exist, they would be very small, possibly cast-offs from the larger hoards and struggling to barely survive against their more numerous Red and Green foes who would gladly exterminate them. And we see a few things that cause us to ask questions: 1) Why are the Green Hoards all in the south? Because the waterways in the north are too heavily guarded and the Red Race forced the Green Race into undesired areas. EXAMPLE: Look at how America treated the Indians for an understanding of this. 2) There is a band of green that runs from the Artolian Hills SE to the Toonolian Marsh then south to the Koal Forest, east to the Manator and Invak forests. Is this because of the wind patterns and mountains/craters acting as moisture collectors pulling snow melt from the Artolians and moving that moisture along a set flow pattern? 3) Cities like Helium that possess a forest but are isolated from this green band are generally in valleys (craters) where the caldera rims act as moisture collectors. Note that when a Barsoomian says ‘valley’ he probably means ‘asteroid impact crater’ and when he says ‘hills’ he probably means ‘impact crater ridge’. 4) The waterways come from the stable Northern Icecap and tend to ignore the southern variable ice cap. 5) The River Iss runs from the Toonolian marsh where it takes the overflow and follows a meandering line of craters and fissures through the Koal Forest

generally south to empty into Korus. The Therns would repress construction along this sacred river but build way-houses and station boats for pilgrims so you'd have a small shelter every days journey (about 20 miles or 30 kilometers). Also, as the Iss flows, it would fill an occasional crater to form small lakes and marshes which may be inhabited. Incidentally, it is the ISS that prevents the Toonol Marsh from becoming a lake by draining the excess water. This is in the same way as the Congo River on Earth drains Africa and prevents Zaire from becoming an inland sea. Dam the Congo and in a couple centuries, central Africa would be a fresh-water lake. When you look at this pattern, suddenly the novels make much more sense. Now the movements of John Carter and others have a reason. You can also look at the map and ask yourself, “are there isolated cities in these areas?” “Major nations would exist along this band” and Green Hoards would live in the southern deserts with occasional raids into the fertile north. Perhaps a smaller hoard, driven from the south by the Warhoons or Tharks would take refuge in the north and being so small, would be ignored as irrelevant or hunted down as a potential threat.

Remember the one thing I have been saying from the beginning, flat maps lie due to distortion so should be accepted as advisories only. Look at Greenland on a flat world map then on a round globe to see this in action. Therefore, place your cities and features on the flat map but my final suggestion would be to make a globe of Barsoom and an atlas of smaller flat maps that are specific to certain areas such as one for the Toonol Marsh, another for the Torquas Hills, another for Helium and the surrounding areas.

. Zodanga Helium and Surrounding Area
From descriptions given by John Carter and Dejah Thoris In A Princess of Mars

Waterways go from Helium to the SE. One passes 50 miles south of Thark, another passes 200 miles north of Thark. There is another unnamed waterway north of Thark moving roughly east-west but probably to the unnamed city east of Helium.

Some cities between Thark and Helium are friendly to Helium, some unfriendly. This changes as Helium conquered and made alliances with its neighbours. Roughly NW of Helium is a large unnamed city with smaller cities between. We have little to no information on the north and south-west areas.
This is what I created from descriptions from the text and data from the MOLA maps. The Valley of Helium is actually a large impact crater whose walls act as moisture collectors to water the Helium Forest. Thus the prevailing winds come from the SE. The Waterways are those described by Dejah Thoris in Princess of Mars and so go SE to pass Thark and east to Zor. There are other waterways but this particular map is accurate to the Novels and not the Lowell Maps which show more waterways to the Twin Cities.

And this is the Toonolian Marsh with possible nearby cities. It shows the western mountains that help contain the Marshes and protect Phundahl from attack by air and ground. When you are done with your own sectional maps, I would appreciate a copy for my website and I am certain that many other sites would like to see these sectional maps for as time goes, and we learn more of the Red Planet, our knowledge becomes encyclopedic.

Next: Fan-Fic/Pastiche additions to the Barsoom Map.

See Mapping Barsoom I: Can It Be Done? at: ERBzine 1370 The ERBzine Guide to Edgar Rice Burroughs' Mars is located at: ERBzine 1351
BILL HILLMAN Visit our thousands of other sites at:

ERB Text, ERB Images and Tarzan® are ©Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.- All Rights Reserved. All Original Work ©1996-2006 by Bill Hillman and/or Contributing Authors/Owners No part of this web site may be reproduced without permission from the respective owners.


Official Edgar Rice Burroughs Tribute Site Since 1996 ~ Over 5,000 Webpages in Archive Presents Volume 1565



The Past
By Rick Johnson
Since modern geography is based on the geology of the past, mapping Barsoom as it was a halfmillion years ago when the seas covered the world is easier than one would think. We actually have a number of maps that help, the one by Burroughs as described by John Carter, the one drawn by Percivel Lowell and the MOLA map by NASA. It is how we compare these that makes the difference.

Consider a city like Tucson, Arizona. It's in the middle of the desert with dry washes, mountains, cacti and no water to be found within a hundred miles. So why would anyone build here? How could you survive for water, a source of constant water, is THE most important requirement for a city. Well, the Santa Cruz River wasn't always a dry wash. Just like the Salt River, home of the Salt River Apaches, The Santa Cruz ran year-around. And it was this water source, the nearby Sentinel Peak as an early warning tower and the fertility of the desert soil that attracted the early settlers. Then the farmers took over. Pecan Groves 20 miles south sucked water from the river and a hundred miles south of them, farmers in Mexico took what they needed until today, jumping off the Grant Road Bridge into the Santa Cruz as a suicide attempt will work only if you wish to break your leg and die of thirst on the river bed months before you drown. Yet, today's city is a testament to the past geography. Ghost towns dot the courses of once flowing rivers and following one will lead you to the other. Barsoom is no different. Ancient cities were built along sources of water that kept them alive and it is these dead cities that delineate the shorelines of the ancient seas and the water courses of the ancient rivers. So how? First of all, we must delete from each map all modern political features. No modern cities that were built after the seas were gone. But we must leave the ancient Orovar cities of Aaanthor and Thark, the oldest known cities of Gathol. Why? Because these define the limits of the seas in ancient times. We know that Gathol was built upon an island in Throxeus. Therefore, we now have an island and know that this island existed within the ancient sea and

where that sea once was. We know that many of the ancient Orovar and nowdead cities were built upon the shores of the ancient seas, so by leaving these, we have an idea of where these shores once lay. And we know that the Toonol Marsh was once a part of Throxeus which gives us further shorelines. We also know that the western edge of the Toonol Marsh is bordered by hills, as are the western areas of the lands of Manator and the totality of Bantoom, both of which indicate shoreline features. Hills in the sea such as Gathol imply islands, hills on the shore imply sea-cliffs. Now we have an idea. Not much but something to use as a base. So we turn to what maps we have.

We start with the Lowell map and we remove all the canali for if these were the waterways, then they were built after the seas dried and would cross dead sea bottom and lands with equal abandon other than the earlier lines would indicate ancient cities but how do we tell an old land canali from a new sea-bottom canali? The dark areas do give a clue. Are these desert or grassland/forest? We do know that the waterways mainly come from the North Pole so the majority of the canali imply the north pole (obviously, Lowell flipped the map he drew).

Next, there is the MOLA map which is distorted as are every flat map. But the MOLA will show highlands and lowlands and with this we can begin the process of mapping the five oceans of Barsoom. Notice that here, blue represents lowlands, red mountains, brown highlands and green moderate lowlands. Were we to assume

the yellow to be seacoast, then the green becomes shallow water and the blue deep water. Thus we have our main coastline to show that much of the northern hemisphere was under water and as Throxeus was the greatest of the five seas, this must be Throxeus. We see that Elysus Mons is an island within Throxeus so this can easily be Gathol and this island proves that yellow is shore for were green to be land, then Gathol would be a peninsula, not an island. Gathol, as an island, forces us to accept green as shallow coastal seas. Hellas Planitis is the Sea of Torquas, the green Arryo Planeta is the shallow sea of Korus with that line of green craters north and then curving east becomes the River Iss which will meander around to enter Korus from the south. Why does Iss enter Korus from the South? Because the Valley of Lost Souls is near the mouth of the Iss and Korus and John Carter crossed that valley to reach Omean. Ice-bound cliffs were described which implies a near antarctic area. So the River Iss must enter Korus from the south. That bluish strip above Argyo is the Toonol Marsh and the three white-capped mountains become the Artolian Hills. Thus if Omean is the next ocean, then Korus, Torquas and Throxeus become four of the five. But what of the fifth? On Earth we refer to the Seven Seas which are North Atlantic, South Atlantic, North Pacific, South Pacific, Arctic, Indian and Mediterranean even though the North and South Atlantic are one ocean. So if we look at Throxeus, we see two land masses jutting north into Throxeus, effectively dividing it into East and West Throxeus. There are our five seas: West Throxeus, East Throxeus, Torquas, Korus and Omean. The result is shown thus: Admittedly, this is a very coarse outline but for a first draft it gives an idea of where to go. Note the coastlines shown in red. These clearly define the four main oceans of Barsoom. We also know that certain cities were Orovar sea-ports. Torquas, Aaanthor, Xanator, and by implication of this map, Exum and Horz. Thark and Warhoon, however, are inland. But Lothar was also a seaport that sailed Throxeus? How can that be when Lothar is near Aaanthor in Torquas?

I believe the answer is in York. York was a major city in England and when people moved to the New World, they brought their memories of York and called their new home, 'New' York. The Lotharians were a sea-coastal people until they were forced to migrate across the muddy marshes to found their current city. So Old Lothar would be a seacoast city and as the people migrated, they named their new home Lothar in memory of their old. Was Torquas an isolated sea? Perhaps, but as the lands dried, the people would naturally migrate along whatever water they could find and that means that the muddy marshes they followed may well be a bay or straight that connected Throxeus to Torquas. Mola shows two possibilities, one lowland that moves north between two mountains to Throxeus and another than wanders northeast to Throxeus. Either could be the one. For simplicity I chose the northern route because as the bay dried into marsh then dried up, that would form a moisture trap to form the forest of Manator. As the Toonol bay dried into the Toonol Marsh, the River Iss would meander south, passing through another seaport that became isolated. Being a lower area, this seaport would become the Koal Forest and Koal, once a seaport, would isolate itself for protection from the hoards desperately seeking water. Amhor, once an island, is now a hilly region housing the new city of Amhor, resulting in this freehand drawing: Note that the Artolian Hills are that brown ridge to the right that extends to the brown ridge on the left. Amhor is an island above a larger island that delineates the Toonol Bay (now Marsh) and the brown smudge to the left of Toonol are the Phundahl hills. With the exception of Thark and Warhoon, all cities I marked are coastal. Obviously Thark and Warhoon are either on a river or an oasis. I have no data and so no opinion on which. We now have a general idea of the place but we need more details. If we look at the Lowell map, we see strips of dark land stretching across the planet, these would be the fertile ones of forest and lush grassland with the lighter

areas desert or veldt.

Now, if Korus were the center of the Issus religion and therefore, 'heaven', then I'd want it isolated to prevent the great unwashed masses interfering with my works by playing tourist. And as Korus probably lies within the Great Desert south of Toonol, this is where it should be. The rest of the planet now falls into place. If we ignore the canali/waterways and modern cities, we can add the lush areas such to make this:

Then we see that Thark and Warhoon were farming cities and not seaports. We also see a few other dark spots from the Lowell map, some of which could be cities and others water pumping stations. Which is which?

Why live at 80 degrees north in the snow if you don't have to? Look at a map of Earth. What cities do we have that far north? Honestly, none. But at 70N

we see: Hammerfest & Vordo, Norway, Murmansk, Russia, and Barrow Alaska. None of which would be considered worth visiting unless you were stuck there. Even the Inuit would move south if they could. So the most northern spots would be melting and pumping stations to feed a dying planet. In fact, any spot in the ocean would be a new station so look at those along the coast or inland to reveal a number of ancient cities, including: Korad, Exum, Gathol, Amhor and a number of unnamed cities that may or may not be dead. Our freehand map now looks like this:

and when cleaned up, we see the final result:

The Yellow race would be in the north above the Artolian Hills, the Black in the southern deserts fighting the Green Hoards and perfecting their military skills, the red along the equator and north to Horz until the seas dried to force them together to form the Red Race.

Here then is what Barsoom looked like a half million years ago. Imagine the fleets of sail following the winds across the oceans, the shallow barges following the mighty Iss and Torquas Bay, the stone piers filled with bowcarrying Panthans and the unnamable fish pulled from the seas to feed the masses. See the Green hoards, small in number existing in the southern deserts vainly seeking to sack the walls of mighty Thark and Warhoon, to finally succeed as these cities were abandoned. The Orovars driven to a few isolated lands, some to intermarry for survival to form the Red Race, others to hide from Green and Red man. What wonders could we see of Barsoom at it's might, a people who turned technology not to war but to comfort.
Rick Johnson

See the other Rick Johnson features at: Mapping Barsoom I: Can It Be Done? ERBzine 1370 Mapping Barsoom II: Compromises ERBzine 1562 Barsoom Questions ERBzine 1578 The ERBzine Guide to Edgar Rice Burroughs' Mars is located at: ERBzine 1351
BILL HILLMAN Visit our thousands of other sites at:
ERB Text, ERB Images and Tarzan® are ©Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc.- All Rights Reserved. All Original Work ©1996-2006 by Bill Hillman and/or Contributing Authors/Owners No part of this web site may be reproduced without permission from the respective owners.