Rio de Janeiro’s favelas find a place on city maps

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In this Dec. 28, 2012 photo, a worker prepares cement that will be used to hang a street sign at the Mare shantytown in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The city’s densest neighborhoods, its favelas, or shantytowns blanket entire hillsides, providing most of the city’s affordable housing. Now, those communities are being charted after decades of informality, each route and alley outlined and their names researched. Being left off the map had meant whole communities were unable to receive mail at home. It had also blocked people from giving required information on job applications, getting a bank account or telling the police or fire department where to go in an emergency call. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Look at most maps of Rio de Janeiro. The beaches are easy to spot, as are the iconic ocean-front neighborhoods of Copacabana and Ipanema. In the middle is a vast forest. What's less identifiable are the blank swaths with no streets, landmarks or other signs of human habitation.