Via the GIS Doctor (in itself a fun blog) I got introduced to NY Times’ Opinionator. The Borderlines category on the Opinionator is maintained by author/blogger Franc Jacobs who “writes about cartography, but only the interesting bits.”
Borderlines writes about interesting stories around country borders. So far, I’ve read the superbly entertaining and well informed “Where is Europe?“, which deals with the problems geographers face(d) with regards to defining the geographic extent of “Europe”. It’s all there: the perspectives of the Britons, Swiss, Croats and Eurocrats, Turks, Russians, …, the back and forth of the European boundaries, especially (but not only) those in the east and south and some surprises, even for geographers.
Is this an off-topic post on my blog?
Eh, depends: because, here we have great examples of the fiat and bona fide divide when it comes to geographic regions and objects, the fuzziness or spatial vagueness of toponyms and the regions they denote, qualitative spatial reasoning, vernacular geography, etc. – some of which I have dealt with also in my PhD thesis and which also pertain to stuff you do with GIS, spatial analysis and geovisualization.
Very interesting stuff! But for now I’ll spare you the details and recommend “Where is Europe?” and Borderlines.
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