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Strange Maps Posts

Cartographic curiosities

Strange Maps

43 - Dreaming of Deseret

Missing
almost 8 years ago

In 1849, the Mormons who had recently settled the Wild West near the Great Salt Lake, ‘proposed’ the state of Deseret. It’s not clear to me whether this ‘proposal’ equalled a ‘proclamation’ in their minds. It is clear however that the United States never recognised the State of Deseret during the 2 ...

Strange Maps

42 - The Free City of Danzig (1919-1939)

Missing
almost 8 years ago

Maps on old postcards look really cool, I think (see previous post). So I looked for another one, and found this postcard, dating from 1929. Coincidentally, it illustrates another area peripheral to Germany: the Free City of Danzig. This city on the Baltic coast (presently the Polish city of ...

Strange Maps

40 - Totem Foods of North America

Missing
almost 8 years ago

This map illustrates the ‘Totem Foods’ of North America, celebrating “the many distinctive regional food traditions on the North American continent by featuring a totem food key to the identity of each region. These totem foods are more than just important commodities – community feasts, household ...

Strange Maps

38 - The World According to Ronald Reagan

Missing
almost 8 years ago

This parody map shows the world as Ronald Reagan (US president 1980-1988) might have imagined it. Even as parody, it indicates an interesting duality: on the one hand, it presents a view of the world as it no longer is, the Cold War having ended; on the other hand, it illustrates a disparaging ...

Strange Maps

37 - Newyorkistan

Missing
almost 8 years ago

The application of the suffix -stan (Persian for ‘home’) generally refers to countries in central Asia – in fact, the formerly Soviet states that occupy Central Asia are sometimes referred to collectively as ‘The Stans’. When used in other contexts, the suffix can have a negative connotation ...

Strange Maps

35 - The Size of Africa

Missing
almost 8 years ago

Africa remains the least developed continent, and the most plagued by disease, poverty and malnutrition. The ‘dark continent’ also largely remains off the news radar in the developed world, although it’s not clear to me whether that is a consequence or a cause of the troubles it suffers. In any ...

Strange Maps

34 - The 6 Regions of Movie Viewing

Missing
almost 8 years ago

This isn’t a political, but a commercial world map: it specifies the six distinct global ‘DVD regions’ of the world. DVD is short for ‘digital video disc’, the successor to the analog VHS system. Contrary to VHS tapes, which were universally playable on each video recorder, a typical DVD disk can’t ...

Strange Maps

33 - Enclaves and Exclaves in Eastern Cyprus

Missing
almost 8 years ago

Since the Turkish invasion of 1974, the island of Cyprus is divided into two main entities: an internationally recognised Greek republic in the south, and a Turkish republic of northern Cyprus, only recognised by Turkey. The situation on the ground is however a bit more complex: a UN buffer zone ...

Strange Maps

32 - Britain, USA

Missing
almost 8 years ago

The The once sang about Great Britain being the ’51st State of the USA’ – a comment on the culture and foreign policy of the United Kingdom, which were then as now dominated by those of the United States. This fact in and of itself is not unexpected or inexplicable, as both countries do share ...

Strange Maps

31 - Newfoundland On A Stamp

Missing
almost 8 years ago

Not so much strange as just darn purty, this map of Newfoundland on a postage stamp, probably dating from before 1949, when it became a province of Canada (this happened after a referendum in which the other option was independence, with the joining of Canada making it with the slimmest of ...

Strange Maps

30 – the Afrikaner Volkstaat

Missing
almost 8 years ago

‘Volkstaat’ is Afrikaans for People’s state – the people in this case being the white South Africans who identify themselves as ‘Afrikaners’ (mainly descendents of Dutch settlers, speaking a language derived from Dutch and considering themselves an indigenous nation in Africa). The idea of a ...

Strange Maps

29 - The Berlin Republic

Missing
almost 8 years ago

I don’t remember where I got this map from, but the context seems quite straightforward. The two figures in the foreground are saying “ein Geschwür!” (literally: “an ulcer”) and “Da sei Gott vor!” (“may God prevent this”). It must be a comment on the role of Berlin, once more the capital of Germany ...