130 - A Ten-State Australia
From a young age, Frank was fascinated by maps and atlases, and the stories they contained. Finding his birthplace on the map in the endpapers of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings only increased his interest in the mystery and message of maps.
While pursuing a career in journalism, Frank started a blog called Strange Maps, as a repository for the weird and wonderful cartography he found hidden in books, posing as everyday objects and (of course) floating around the Internet.
"Each map tells a story, but the stories told by your standard atlas for school or reference are limited and literal: they show only the most practical side of the world, its geography and its political divisions. Strange Maps aims to collect and comment on maps that do everything but that - maps that show the world from a different angle".
A remit that wide allows for a steady, varied diet of maps: Frank has been writing about strange maps since 2006, published a book on the subject in 2009 and joined Big Think in 2010. Readers send in new material daily, and he keeps bumping in to cartography that is delightfully obscure, amazingly beautiful, shockingly partisan, and more.
The Commonwealth of Australia was formed in 1901. Its constitution provides for the creation of new states, also by subdividing extisting ones. Several proposals have been made to alter Australia’s composition, yet no change has been made since the act of Federation in 1901: Australia still consists of 6 states and two mainland territories (Northern and Capital).
This map, dated 1838, shows an earlier proposal for the subdivision of Australia into 10 states. It was published by the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society in London, and accompanied an article entitled Considerations on the Political Geography and Geographical Nomenclature of Australia. In it, the following divisions were proposed:\n
• Dampieria: North-western Australia
\n• Victoria: South-western Australia (far from the present-day state in the South-east)
\n• Tasmania: part of present-day Western Australia and Northern Territory (not the present-day island/state)
\n• Nuytsland: near the Nullarbor Plain
\n• Carpentaria: south of the Gulf of Carpentaria
\n• Torresia: Northern Queensland
\n• Cooksland: near Brisbane, in New South Wales and Queensland
\n• Guelphia: present-day Victoria, most of New South Wales, part of Southern Australia
\n• Van Diemen’s Land: what is now Tasmania
That strange blob of land south of the Victoria/Nuytsland coast? That’s Portugal and Spain, lifted from their spot between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, twisted around and dropped here, for size comparison purposes.\n
Map found here on wikipedia.\n