Submitted by Taps Coogan on the 5th of November 2017 to The Sounding Line.
Today’s interactive map of the day comes via Metrocosm, one of the most interesting sites on the web, and shows 102 official border disputes around the world. In order to reach the interactive map (which cannot be embedded) click HERE, or click on the map below. You can select any country colored in red to see that country’s border disputes (in yellow) and associated information. Enjoy:
As Metrocosm notes in the article that accompanies the map, the border disputes include some very interesting throwbacks from history:
“Belize: Is there a Belize?
The foundations of this territorial dispute date back to 1821, when Guatemala declared its independence from Spain. At the time, Spain (and Guatemala) considered Belize to be part of Guatemala. However, it was occupied and controlled by English settlers, so its status was unclear.
- The U.K.’s claim: In 1859, Guatemala signed a treaty with the U.K., in which it agreed to recognize Belize as a sovereign nation in exchange for economic assistance.
- Guatemala’s claim: The U.K. never complied with the promised economic assistance, so the treaty is void.
- Belize’s claim: It doesn’t matter whether the U.K. complied or not. Belize didn’t sign the agreement. And it cannot be forced to give up its land based on an agreement that it never signed.”
The Metrocosm article also includes this tidbit about the length to which some countries (China and India) have gone to insist on their border claims:
“Arunachal Pradesh: Google Maps’ borders differ depending on who’s looking at them
Arunachal Pradesh is internationally recognized as a state of India, and it has been since its borders were agreed to in the 1914 Simla Accord. China was among the countries in attendance, however it ultimately rejected the Accord. And to this day, China recognizes the region as South Tibet, part of its own territory.
I include this dispute not because the conflict itself is particularly novel, but because, as pointed out in this post from last year’s Knight-Mozilla-MIT hackday, it is an example of how the borders shown by Google Maps can differ depending on who’s looking at them.
China also requires that Google Maps apply a form of geographic encryption to its territory, causing everything in China to appear slightly offset from its true location. This strange Chinese coordinate system, known as GCJ-02 (sometimes called”Mars coordinates”), even causes some geographic features to disappear entirely from the map. Case in point, note the disappearing river in the image below.
The image below shows borders of Arunachal Pradesh according to Google Maps in China, India, and the U.S.A.”
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