Posts Tagged ‘border’

Cambodia rebukes Google over disputed Thai border map (AFP)

Monday, February 8th, 2010

screen-shot-2010-02-08-at-55002-pm
View Larger Map

[Editor’s note: The dispute with Thailand over the Preah Vihear temple (and access) gets taken to another level. Lucky for me, doesn’t register as a pixel in Natural Earth due to the scale. Thanks Craig!]

Republished from AFP.

PHNOM PENH — Cambodia has accused Internet giant Google of being “professionally irresponsible” over its map of an ancient temple at the centre of a border dispute with Thailand, a letter seen by AFP Saturday showed.

The Google map “places almost half of the Khmer (Preah Vihear) temple in Thailand and is not an internationally recognised map,” said the letter written by the secretary of state of the Cambodian Council of Ministers, Svay Sitha.

He described the map as “radically misleading”.

“We, therefore, request that you withdraw the already disseminated, very wrong and not internationally recognised map and replace it,” Svay Sitha wrote.

The complaint was made as Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen was Saturday making his first visit to the 11th century Preah Vihear temple.

Cambodia and Thailand have been at loggerheads over their border for decades. Nationalist tensions spilled over into violence in July 2008, when the Preah Vihear temple was granted UNESCO World Heritage status.

Continue reading at AFP . . .

PREVIEW Natural Earth Vector: First Order Admin Units

Monday, July 13th, 2009

We shipped off the 1:15,000,000 scale first-order administrative units for Natural Earth Vector to University of Wisconsin @ Madison to be attributed with country and province names and alpha-numeric codes last week. There are only 3,000+ of these around the world so this is no small task! Kudos go to Tom for doing the heavy lifting on this data theme. Props to Kevin and Ben @ UW-Madison for undertaking the attributing.

Some units are super tiny (see Slovenia in the Europe detail at bottom, almost equivalent in scale to municipalities in the USA). We ignore some small, mostly island nations (see the Caribbean image below) but will include a general admin_0 polygon for the entire country instead. First order administrative units are composed what most people call “provinces” and “states” (not to be confused with countries aka “states”). For some countries, we will also include 1st order admin “regions” that group smaller 1st order units into larger statistical areas (eg: the United Kingdom’s England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland).

If you have 10 to 20 hours to spare, we need your help to complete Natural Earth Vector. Please email me at nathaniel@kelsocartography.com to find out more.

admin_1_world

admin_1_africa

admin_1_asia_se1

admin_1_australasia1admin_1_central_america_caribbean1

admin_1_south_america1

admin_1_europe1

admin_1_europe_detail1

Canada: Stop, border ahead + Obama must pass the telephone test (Economist)

Tuesday, June 16th, 2009

[Editor's note: The Economist continues their strong use of geographic-oriented photo editing (Canada) and illustration (Obama's night table light as a glowing globe).]

Republished from The Economist.

Canada’s relations with the United States: Stop, border ahead

May 28th 2009 | OTTAWA. From The Economist print edition

New border controls and protectionist bills have dashed Canadians’ hopes that the change of occupant in the White House would mean warmer relations

Photo by Christinne Muschi

WHENEVER Canadians grow anxious about heightened security at the United States border—as they are now because of America’s new requirement, from June 1st, for passports or other approved identification to be shown at entry points—their news media invariably invoke the twin towns of Stanstead, Quebec, and Derby Line, Vermont. In these towns, the line that looks so neat on maps is a messy business, running through a factory, a combined library and opera house, and a number of homes. In some cases it lies between the bedroom and a morning cup of tea.

Continue reading at The Economist . . .

Lexington: Tough enough?

May 28th 2009. From The Economist print edition

Barack Obama must pass the telephone test

Illustration by KAL

FIFTEEN months ago, at the height of the battle for the Democratic nomination, Hillary Clinton unleashed her most powerful weapon, a telephone call. “It’s 3am and your children are safe and asleep,” a voice intoned. “But there’s a phone in the White House and it’s ringing. Something is happening in the world.” Barack Obama might be able to give a pretty speech. But was he “tested and ready to lead in a dangerous world”?

The telephone has been ringing off the hook of late, as hostile governments tweak the new administration, to see what it is made of, and Republican politicians raise doubts about Mr Obama’s national-defence credentials. On Memorial Day North Korea tested a nuclear bomb, following up with a few ballistic missiles for good measure. (The North Koreans were kind enough to give the administration a heads-up, in case the Mr Magoos of the intelligence establishment missed the fireworks.) On May 21st Dick Cheney delivered a televised speech accusing the administration of unravelling “some of the very policies that have kept our people safe since 9/11”. The day before that, the Iranians tested long-range missiles.

Continue reading at The Economist . . .

Melting Snow Prompts Border Change (The Independent)

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

[Editor’s note: No, this is not an April Fools joke ;) I often get asked, “Hasn’t everything been mapped yet?”. Well, some things always need remapping (and this begs the question as to why don’t movie goers boycott theaters for showing the same the same Hollywood plots year after year, but whatever). The zones affected between Switzerland and Italy include the Matterhorn. Thanks Laris and Todd!]

Republished from The Independent.

Melting snow prompts border change between Switzerland and Italy
By Peter Popham in Rome
Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Global warming is dissolving the Alpine glaciers so rapidly that Italy and Switzerland have decided they must re-draw their national borders to take account of the new realities.

The border has been fixed since 1861, when Italy became a unified state. But for the past century the surface area of the “cryosphere”, the zone of glaciers, permanent snow cover and permafrost, has been shrinking steadily, with dramatic acceleration in the past five years. This is the area over which the national frontier passes and the two countries have now agreed to have their experts sit down together and hash out where it ought to run now.

Daniel Gutknecht, responsible for the co-ordination of national borders at Switzerland’s Office of Topography, said “the border is moving because of the warmer climate”, among other reasons.

Continue reading at The Independent . . .

It’s Still a Big City, Just Not Quite So Big (NY Times)

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

[Editor's note: When asked to report the length of a border frontier I often pause a moment to reflect on map scale and precision. Both are developed in this article by Sam Roberts on how New York City has just shrunk by 5% in area due to a few cartographic slights of hand.]

over estimating new york city

By SAM ROBERTS. Published: May 22, 2008. Thanks Denny.

Graphic one (above) and 2nd graphic accompany the article.

Somehow, Michael S. Miller resisted the temptation when he got home not long ago.“Honey,” he would have been completely justified in proclaiming to his wife, “I shrank the city.”

Mr. Miller, a geographer for the Department of City Planning, has calculated that New York City is 17 square miles smaller than it was long thought to be.

For two decades, the city’s official directory, the Green Book, has stated definitively that the five boroughs encompass nearly 322 square miles of land.

Not so, Mr. Miller and his staff recently discovered: New York’s land area actually totals 304.8 square miles.

The shrinkage generally is not the result of rising sea levels from global warming or beach erosion or any other act of nature. It is largely the work of man, mainly Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, whose yen to precisely measure everything from poverty to traffic congestion led the planning department to recalculate the city’s land mass.

Acting on the mayor’s mandate, Mr. Miller and his team spent months analyzing thousands of digitized, high-resolution aerial photographs of the squiggling shoreline and other geographic features to calculate the city’s size anew.“

This is not a reflection of a change in the physical area, but a refinement of the measurement,” Mr. Miller said.Seventeen square miles may not seem like much. But consider:

¶17 square miles could accommodate 13 more Central Parks, nearly a third of Washington, D.C., about three dozen versions of Vatican City and nearly two dozen replicas of Monaco.

¶If 17 square miles were populated at Manhattan’s density, New York might be home to as many as 1.1 million more people.

¶At the price of an acre in Midtown, as recently computed by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, 17 square miles could be worth $1 trillion.

Mr. Miller said the recalculation probably would have little practical effect, other than revising the land area chart in the 2008 Green Book and amending other official records, textbooks and statistical abstracts. Its psychological impact might be significant, however, coming as it does at a time of political and economic uncertainty. With Wall Street firms shrinking, how will people respond to the news that Brooklyn is, too?

“All everybody else can talk about is how much bigger China and India are getting,” said Sylvie Smoke, 59, a retiree from the Upper West Side. “And we are losing it.”

On the other hand, given the effect of the credit crisis on real estate prices, some property owners might be pleased. If there is less land, maybe it will be worth more.

“I guess,” said Mike Slattery, senior vice president for research of the Real Estate Board of New York, “it’s good news for those who still have it.”

Planning department officials stress that their new measurement is only an estimate, an approximation subject to the vagaries of time. Over the course of four centuries, they note, the city’s land area has actually grown because adjacent waterways were reclaimed for development in Lower Manhattan and in Queens to extend the runways at Kennedy International and La Guardia Airports.

The new estimate, which will appear in the 2008 Green Book, to be released next month, reduces New York’s official size by about 5 percent.

But even in its supposedly diminished form, New York still ranks 14th in land area among cities with more than 100,000 people, according to the United States Census Bureau. (Anchorage covers nearly 1,700 square miles; Jacksonville, Fla., 758.) The new calculation also conforms more closely to census estimates.

Mr. Miller, 52, the planning department’s deputy director of information technology, said the apparent loss in land mass was distributed throughout the city.

“There’s no neighborhood that’s vanished,” he said.

That said, about seven square miles of the difference could be accounted for by better measurements of the islands and peninsulas in Jamaica Bay. And it appears that Brooklyn shrank the most, by about 12 percent, to 72 square miles from 82.

Continue reading . . .