Readiness and Relief Maps

I encountered a couple of cases of map-related double entendres recently (not at all salacious) that puzzled me for a while.

Earlier this month, Mitch wrote in with a question:

I have a United States map like the ones that used to be in every elementary school classroom. It’s the kind that rolls up like a window shade. It shows the 50 states, each in a different color, along with the major cities and highways. It says on it “readiness map of the United States”. My question is, what do they mean by readiness? I’ve searched for an answer but come up empty. The map companies are still selling readiness maps but I can’t understand why they’re called that.

Knowing nothing about these maps, my first thought was emergency preparedness, but a cursory search reveals that it’s a line of educational maps targeted at a particular grade level — “readiness” in this case refers to learning.

Similarly, a link from Great Map with the title “the generic advantages of relief maps” led me to assume that it would be about terrain mapping. It isn’t: it’s Global MapAid’s page on why maps help humanitarian relief workers.

Previously: Global MapAid.