Thursday, September 04, 2003

Geoff Cohen has been ranting entertainingly in his blog about something he calls "real maps." It's been long known that maps are distortive -- canonically, they're not the territory -- and out of proportion --the way that the mapmaker accounts for the Earth's curvature can be intensely political, as can the decision as to where the lateral boundaries of the map occur.

But Geoff's after a simpler form of "real map" -- he wants a map "with the actual names of countries on it. If you look at a typical American-produced map, it's full of countries with names like "Germany" and "India" and "Greece" and "China" and "Japan" and "Hungary" and "Egypt," etc. etc. etc. You might not think that's strange, but the fact is that there are no such countries. This is ridiculous. It's time to get rid of at least one vestige of colonialism and produce an accurate map using the names of the countries as they are meant to be said."

He's gone ahead and produced a real map of Europe. It's nice, however he´s made slight mistakes in the naming...for instance Iceland is supposed to be plain Ísland or Lýðveldið Ísland and he´s written something entirely different

I personally really like the maps from Australia that are upside down.. ;-) And the first time I saw a world map that didn´t have Iceland as the centre of the world I was shocked ;-) Everyone knows that Iceland is the navel of all civilization ;-)


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