Both Google Maps and Bing Maps are still awaiting confirmed geo data for the new border, which has not yet been officially agreed. As confirmed by US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, the exact location of the border will be determined along with military re-deployments and agreements on natural resources. A 12 mile buffer zone to reduce outbreaks of violence is expected to be part of the final agreement, with Ethiopian troops playing a key peace-keeping role. The conflict in the region is estimated to have cost over 1.5 million lives in decades of violence.
A number of ‘unofficial maps’ have been developed, including this one from London’s Guardian Newspaper, and South Sudan’s own Foreign Ministry has been issuing maps for use by its embassies and foreign diplomatic missions, however they are yet to finally agree the borders or receive official recognition from the United Nations. This should occur in a meeting Thursday, and will follow the EU, United States and Russia’s recognition of the state whose independence was finally declared last Saturday, July 10th.
Juba will be the new capital where many challenges such as extreme poverty will be faced. This is also where the nations wealth of oil reserves will be strategically managed from.
Google reported that they were awaiting the most accurate data before they would update their Google Maps and Google Earth products with the new nation, until then they have been encouraging locals to produce their own maps in community mapping events.
South Sudan already has its own national soccer team which played its first match against a Kenyan club team on saturday, however currently the world governing body FIFA does not recognize the new nation and matches will remain, like the cartography, ’unofficial’.
- South Sudan Is Born (newser.com)
- South Sudanese sing and map their way to independence (google-latlong.blogspot.com)
- South Sudan: A new nation rises (boston.com)
- South Sudan celebrates first day as independent nation (independent.co.uk)
- Next for South Sudan: Building an Economy (newser.com)