Posts Tagged ‘strangemaps’

“You take it – No, you take it”: the Bir Tawil Trapezoid (StrangeMaps)

Friday, July 10th, 2009

[Editor’s note: I’ve been researching sovereign state boundary disputes for Natural Earth Vector at the 1:15,000,000 and 1:50,000,000 scales so I read this entry at the StrangeMaps blog last week with some curiosity. Egypt effectively administers their portion of the “disputed” area along the Red Sea and seems to have dropped their claim to the Sudan portion south of the 22nd parallel. This boundary will be shown de facto along the 22nd parallel the Natural Earth Vector dataset. Thanks Laris!]

Republished from Strange Maps. June 28, 209.

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The Bir Tawil Triangle is a desert of sand and rocks on the border between Egypt and the Sudan. It is also officially the most undesired territory in the world. Bir Tawil is the only piece of land on Earth (*) that is not claimed by any country – least of all by its neighbours. For either of them to claim the Bir Tawil Triangle would be to relinquish their claim to the Hala’ib Triangle. And while Hala’ib is also mainly rock and sand, it is not only ten times larger than Bir Tawil, but also adjacent to the Red Sea - so rather more interesting.

This bizarre situation started out with what is supposed to be the simplest of borders: a straight line. By the Condominium Treaty of 1899, the British drew the line between Egypt and what was then still known as the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan at the 22nd parallel north, resulting in a straight-line border of about 1,240 km (770 miles) from Libya to the Red Sea.

Continue reading at StrangeMaps . . .

In Mottos We Trust? United Statements of America (StrangeMaps)

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

[Editor's note: Continuing series of word tag clouds as maps.]

Republished from StrangeMaps.
Orig published there Jan. 17, 2009.

The US goes by the motto In God We Trust (but only since 1956, when it replaced the ‘unofficial’ motto, E pluribus unum). A motto (from the Italian word for pledge, plural mottos or mottoes) describes a quality or intention that a group of people aim to live up to – a mission statement of sorts. As such, America’s newer motto has invited more controversy than the older one, since it seems to run counter to the principle of separation of church and state. Its introduction did seem to make sense at the time, what with the Cold War against those godless communists.

As demonstrated on this map, the 50 states making up the US each have their own motto too. The two-and-a-half score state mottos display a wide variety, of quotations, languages and underlying messages. English is the favourite language, but not even by half: only 24 state mottos are originally in English; Latin, once the language for all solemn occacions (and not just exorcisms), accounts for 20. Two mottos are in native languages, and French, Spanish, Italian and Greek account for one each. The system of checks and balances seems to work for mottos too: if the national motto is overtly religious, then only six of the state ones refer to God, either directly or obliquely. Most deal with secular rights, and the readiness to defend them. The Bible is tied with Cicero as the source for the most mottos (three), while classical literature has proven a particularly fertile breeding ground for inspirational quotes (mottos originate with Lucretius, Aesop, Virgil, Brutus and Archimedes).

Continue reading at StrangeMaps . . .

The World, Justified (Strange Maps)

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

[Editor’s note: Fun take on what the world would look like if all the land masses were jammed together and justified like text in a paragraph: left, center, and right. Thanks Noel!]

Republished from Strange Maps.

Angela Detanico and Rafael Lain are a pair of young Brazilian artists, working in their home country and in France. Some of their work explores fonts and maps. Typography meets cartography in this little work, entitled ‘The World, Justified’.

It shows the world we live in as only one of four possibilities, the others being a left-aligned, centred and right-aligned world. Our world is a justified one, i.e. aligned with both left and right margins.

One could make all sorts of geophilosophical comments about these alternate possibilities. Or about the fact that the world we live in is neither left, right nor centre, but ‘justified’. Could it really be that, as Voltaire’s Candide asserted, tout va pour le mieux dans le meilleur des mondes possibles (’Everything is for the best in the best of possible worlds’)?

Many thanks to Eric Angelini for sending in this map, found in its original context at the aforementioned artists’ website, detanicolain.com (click on the red line).