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Strange Maps Posts

Cartographic curiosities

Strange Maps

19 - A Europe of 'little states'

Missing
almost 8 years ago

One  last map by Leopold Kohr, also an addendum to his book ‘The Breakdown of Nations’ (1957). Kohr probably realised that dividing Europe into rectangular, US-style states would clash with the ‘tribal’ makeup of the Old Continent’s culturally diverse peoples. So he modified that idea to propose a ...

Strange Maps

18 - The world à la Leopold Kohr

Missing
almost 8 years ago

“Small is beautiful” is an aptly brief summary of the thinking of Leopold Kohr (1909-1994), an Austrian philosopher influenced by Anarchism and influential on the Green movement. In his best-known work, ‘The Breakdown of Nations’, he applied his theory of size to nations. Why? “There seems only one ...

Strange Maps

17 - the United States of Greater Austria

Missing
almost 8 years ago

Franz Ferdinand‘s assassination at Sarajevo in 1914 triggered the First World War. The Austro-Hungarian Archduke and crown prince is known mainly for this (and for the Scottish band named after him), but here’s another interesting piece of info about him: A group of scholars surrounding him came ...

Strange Maps

16 - Europe fits in Brazil

Missing
almost 8 years ago

At 8.511.965 km², Brazil is the 5th largest country on earth, the larger ones being Russia, Canada, the US and China (in that order). The country conjures up mostly images of leasurely beach life, or crime-ridden slums. However, Brazil is slowly emerging as an industrial giant and might soon have ...

Strange Maps

14 - What will happen after Belgium?

Missing
almost 8 years ago

Belgium sits astride one of the main cultural fault lines of Europe, consisting roughly of a northern half that speaks Dutch and is oriented towards the ‘anglosphere’ and a southern half that speaks French and is oriented towards the ‘francophonie’. Ever since the federalisation of the country from ...

Strange Maps

13 - The retreat of Cornish

Missing
almost 8 years ago

Cornwall is the southwesternmost county of England. As with other ‘extremities’ of the British Isles, it was one of the refuges of the original (partially romanized) Celtic inhabitants, fleeing before the invading Anglo-Saxons. Actually, when it was independent (during a period in the early Middle ...

Strange Maps

12 - Europe's divides

Missing
almost 8 years ago

An interesting look at the religions and language groups that are elements of division (and union) in Europe. The mapmaker wanted to make a point by indicating three ‘core areas’ where a certain language group and religion overlap – resulting in an area that is Germanic+Protestant, another one that ...

Strange Maps

11 - "Edwardistan"

Missing
almost 8 years ago

The British tried their hand at subduing Afghanistan in the 19th Century, when the Empire was at the top of its game. Their troops were massacred (with one man left alive to warn off other invasion attempts), which the British found in rather bad taste. This never gave them the opportunity to ...

Strange Maps

10 - Manhattan neighbourhoods

Missing
almost 8 years ago

Any and every American city is built up out of Avenues and Streets, most of them numbered. A much nicer way to describe a city is by mapping its neighbourhoods. As in this map of Manhattan. http://www.cominganarchy.com/archives/2006/06/29/the-neighborhoods/

Strange Maps

8 - Re-drawing the map of the Middle East

Missing
almost 8 years ago

The Americans are sinking into a quagmire of their own making in Iraq, but still fantasise about re-drawing the map of the whole Middle East more to their liking. One startling example is this map, produced by the Armed Forces Journal, who in their June issue portray a region that is further ...

Strange Maps

7 - Greater Albania

Missing
almost 8 years ago

The Albanians are descendants of the Illyrians, an ancient Balkan people who preceded the Slavic populations surrounding their native territories. They presently have an independent nation – Albania, in their own language ‘Shqipëtar’, meaning ‘Land of the Eagles’ – but are also the majority in ...

Strange Maps

6 - Market Reef

Missing
almost 8 years ago

So you’re a map nerd and you think you know about every cartographic anomaly in the world, from the bizarre Belgian enclave of Baarle-Hertog in the south of the Netherlands to the three little islands in the Beagle Channel that almost caused a war between Chile and Argentina. Then you learn about ...

Strange Maps

5 - The 38 state Union

Missing
almost 8 years ago

In the 1970s, geography professor C. Etzel Pearcy proposed redrawing the borders of the US states, reducing them from 50 to 38. Each new state’s name was chosen to represent a physical of cultural aspect of each new territory. This realignment was supposed to be more ‘organic’ and more logical, as ...