The Topologist's World Map

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17 Responses:

  1. MSpong says:

    Mediocre. Little tiny exclaves like Gibraltar are represented but what about Alaska and Hawaii? Or Tasmania, or New Zealand north and south islands? I mean there has to be a limit to granularity but when a country is divided in two big chunks?

    • jwz says:

      Since you find it so mediocre, I eagerly await your improved version.

    • tfb says:

      Like it says: 'exclaves have bern shown only when they introduce borders between new pairs of countries'.  I mean, you could just have read that for yourself.

      • MSpong says:

        What about the Panama canal? Since a man made channel cutting a country of 4.3 million people in half is represented I would think a few blue lines across Australia and NZ would be warranted.

        • I believe the blue area of the map can be partitioned in such a way that each component represents a contiguous area of ocean (if we glue the top and bottom edge together). For example, the Pacific is on the top and bottom of the map, the Atlantic is on part of the left edge and part of the blue that divides the Americas from Europe and Africa. Then it does make sense to include the Panama Canal, the Bosporus Straits, and the Suez Canal, because these are additional connections between oceans/seas that shorten (or make possible, in the case of the Bosporus Strait) certain sea routes.

          He Cook Strait doesn’t really play the same role.

          • MSpong says:

            Now that is a very satisfying explanation. Even Bass Strait doesn't really separate major oceans. Thank you!

            Now all the map needs is Antarctica, although considering the disputes over the territorial borders there I don't blame them for leaving it out.

      • thielges says:

        I guess that’s the explanation for why Baarle doesn’t affect this map.   But how could a hungry topologist resist a bite of that sweet sweet ravioli enchilada inside of a burrito?  Baarle is the last word in geotopological porn.  

  2. cmt says:

    Iceland might be a little surprised to find itself in the Americas.

    • jwz says:

      This post is going to be catnip for joyless pedants, I see...

      • cmt says:

        At least I've been there - on both the European and the American side (yes, the touristy thing, I know). Over here, we've got quite a few international borders nearby, and it's not been that long that a lot of them became mostly invisible (and you still sometimes need to pay attention to currencies, customs, etc), so that awareness comes rather naturally. Look at you, two land borders ;)

      • James C. says:

        I am a joyless pedant and I approve this message.

    • I wonder if they were thinking of Greenland, which you could certainly argue is closer to The Americas than Europe.  And Greenland is otherwise missing, unless it's considered part of Denmark.

      In any case, the map is a thing of joy.

  3. Jeffrey L Bell says:

    With the recent addition of a land border between Denmark and Canada, I wonder how much it contorts.

  4. Ben says:

    Croatia built a road bridge between Croatia and Croatia, so their little C circle is no longer necessary.

    I know topology doesn't care, but having islands in the Mediterranean next to islands in the Atlantic next to islands in the Carribean is unsettling. It's surprising that they conjoined all the vaguely Atlantic islands but separated Pacific and Indian.

    Palestine and Taiwan get to exist, but poor TRNC and its yet-another-UK-border is left out.

    Looks like a fun project to put together. I did a similar one a couple decades ago to make the connections between tiles on a game map more obvious; the countries that only have two neighbors are annoying to deal with as they don't make polygons.

  5. phuzz says:

    It's as valid as any other 2D map.
    A bit less useful for finding your way around I suppose, but most people today don't know how to read a map anyway, (back in my day get off my lawn jumpers for goalposts etc.)

  6. Andrew says:

    I wonder if this information was covered in the OCSE newsletter.  I'm sorry to say that I let my subscription lapse.

  7. nooj says:

    I like how this is laid out!  It has a great symmetry, and it's amusing to see the Atlantic Ocean condensed to a single line.  Also fun that The Orient is oriented up.

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