Maps As Propaganda, Ctd

Jul 23 2013 @ 3:39pm

A reader writes:

I had to laugh when I read your post on maps as propaganda.  I just spent the morning working with a professor to develop a map linking an ancient Islamic map to modern-day features.  You’d think this would be one of the least politically complicated things out there until you have to deal with the area marked for the Basque people. At least the Franks and Saxons aren’t still around …


I wish I could find a photo, but on the overland border between Guatemala and Belize (the one main highway connecting the two countries in the jungle highlands), on the Guatemala side there was a billboard with a map of their country … which includes the territory of Belize as part of their own (they have a long history of claiming the former British Honduras as their land).

Another writes, “I’ll add this to your list – a map fight between two provinces in a peaceful country!” Another sends the above video and adds, “As someone who works in the field of Geographic Information Systems, I’m really enjoying your series of posts on maps, and it reminds of this scene from The West Wing.” Money quote:

When the top of the map is given to the Northern hemisphere and the bottom is given to the Southern, then people will tend to adopt top and bottom attitudes.

Update from a reader regarding the video:

The unholy result of the evil Mercator Projection is fully realized in the classic game of Risk. Not only does the game board use the outdated projection to award a greater number of territories to the Northern continents, but it also awards armies (when a whole continent is captured) completely irrespective of the actual populations of the continents. This is why I am currently working a version of Risk that uses the vastly superior Dymaxion Map, invented by the great philosopher-inventor Buckminster Fuller. It will rock!