|It’s Friday! Well, it is for me right now this afternoon in Santa Barbara, but for almost half of the planet, it’s already Saturday. As midnight sweeps around the world, a new day comes into being, and the process starts as midnight crosses an entirely arbitrary line in the Pacific – the International Date Line. Unlike 0 degrees, the line of longitude that goes through Greenwich, England, the Date Line is a very crooked boundary indeed. More or less directly opposite the Prime Meridian, it bends this way and that in order to allow various island nations and island groups to be unified on the day of the week they’re observing. There are no World Government rules about the placement of the International Date Line. If an island nation feels sufficiently strongly for reasons of trade or location to redefine the line in relation to their position, they can do it autonomously. Of course it’s not a small decision, so it doesn’t happen often or on a whim. One of the more unusual changes came at the end of the 20th century when the island group nation of Kiribati bent the line far to the east so that its easternmost island outpost would be the first to see the sun rise on the new century. Not long ago, Samoa decided to push the line to its east in order to share the same working day as Australia and New Zealand, their biggest trading partners. Tokelau also went along with them to the new day, and in the process each lost December 30, 2011. History will record that nothing whatosever happened on those islands on that day because for them, it never existed.|
Archive for the 'News & Current Events' Category
You’ve surely seen the coverage in the news about Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. While most of the World is refraining from making changes to official maps, including those from Maps.com, the Russians see this as a done deal. We will be taking a more pragmatic approach and wait until the dust settles, but that could take some time with the West objecting to the annexation of a portion of a sovereign nation. Depending on how this plays out, it is entirely likely that our maps will be shown with an “occupied by” notation for the Crimea. While we wait to see how this plays out, the Russians are moving ahead full steam, as you will see below…
Russia on Monday redrew its official maps to include Crimea after annexing the peninsula, even though the move has not been internationally recognized. Maps on the Kremlin and government websites include Crimea, describing it as the “youngest region of Russia.” Russia’s absorption of Crimea has drawn international condemnation and sparked the worst East-West crisis since the Cold War.
Russian troops have seized Ukrainian military bases on the mostly Russian-speaking region of two million people since a March 16 independence referendum. Several of Russia’s most popular websites including the main search engine, Yandex.ru, have also changed their maps. But on a parallel site for Ukrainian users, Yandex.ua, it continued to show Crimea as part of Ukraine.
Yandex, which is based in Moscow, wrote on its official blog last week that “maps will be different for different countries. That is Crimea will be shown according to the official position of each country.” Yandex said it would also change the way it presented news, with stories about Crimea being classed as domestic news for readers based in Russia. The Russian language version of Google shows Crimea with a dashed border line, used for “disputed” boundaries.
Russia’s biggest Internet company, Mail.ru, was one of the first sites to change Crimea to part of Russia on March 21, the day that President Vladimir Putin signed the agreement absorbing the peninsula. Russia’s television channels have for several days included Crimean towns in their national weather broadcasts.
One Russian bank used the change as an advertising opportunity, covering the side of a building in central Moscow with a map of Crimea and the slogan “Russia and Crimea together forever.”
Source Agence France Presse, reprinted from the International Map Industry Association
This from our friends at the National Council for Social Studies. Please take a moment to read and act! It is critical that we raise every voice to ensure that critical funding is available for our schools. Many recent reports have shown the increased relevance and importance of Social Studies (and Geography) to the success of our children as they develop the skills that will make them successful and productive adults. Maps.com is committed to not only creating products and services that are an essential part of our children’s education, but also to promoting and advocating for the resources that our schools need.
Subject: URGENT – Funding for Social Studies — Civic Learning & History
learn about how else you can help at the NCSS Advocacy page.
See also the following links for more about the increasing importance of geography to our collective future:
Under the title ‘70% of the world is covered by water, the rest is covered by Discovery’ this delightful marketing piece uses irregularly shaped topography to accommodate its vehicle silhouettes. This is a great example of cartographic double entendre that is arguably more honest and open than many accepted or ‘real’ world maps in print.
This is not the first imaginative, travel-themed campaign adopted by Landrover, according to the Creative Review Blog. In 2011 they used a cluster of passport stamps in the shape of a Land Rover Vehicle as part of a print campaign.
What Cartographic Advertising favorites stick in your mind? Let us know in the comments.
Geography Bee season is upon us, and this year Maps.com was lucky enough to take part at grass roots.
Instead of just writing about maps, geo-politics and an increasingly bizarre group of place-shaped kitchen products we elected to use our time more effectively by assisting in the early rounds of the National Geographic Geography Bee at our local school, Goleta Valley Junior High.
The results were inspirational. This is the second Geo Bee we have been involved with locally in recent weeks and once again it was a delight to see kids of school age up for geography.
You can read about it here at our Maps101 blog.
An intrepid team of Aussie researchers set out to find the prize of explorers for centuries, undiscovered lands. In this case, it was a small-ish island shown on some maps as lying between Australia and New Caledonia. There was some disagreement as to whether the island even existed. You see, some maps showed it, including Google, while others did not, like nautical charts. Which was right? Why were there no records of inhabitants on this island or previous landfalls? Could this be where Amelia Earhart landed? Or where all those missing from the Bermuda Triangle were transported?
Of course not. That’s because the island doesn’t exist. When the ship arrived at the place that was supposed to be an island, all they found was water. About 1400 feet deep of the stuff. When asked, Google merely said that the World is a constantly changing place, so maybe it sunk, or something to that affect.
All we could surmise was that the grant that the Aussies had was specifically to pay for a boat expedition. It would have been too fast to consult satellite imagery or too easy to fly a plane over the area. Had to be a boat. Hope they went fishing too.
Get the real story here: