Monday, February 13, 2012

Lost Land Map Techniques

One way to lay claim to a region is to display it as a "lost land" stolen from the country.  Overall all, there are three main ways cartographically a country can lay claim to a region.

One "lost land" map technique makes a special effort to emphasize the "lost" territory through coloring.  Nazi Germany in the below Lost - but Not Forgotten Country map uses color to claim territory.  Black Germany bleeds in the form of its lost lands.


This idea of German lost lands led to World War II. From Propaganda Post Cards of the Great War.
Another option is to use misleading text or legends. Pro-Palestinian groups use the below map, e-mailed to me, to claim Palestinian controlled land has been decreasing over time.  This map assumes local Palestinian Arabs controlled all non-Jewish lands, that the United Nations 1947 was the law of the land (instead it was rejected by neighboring Arab powers), that Palestinians controlled the pre-1967 territories (ignoring the Jordanian occupation of the West Bank and Egypt annexing the land of the Gaza-based All Palestine Government), and wrongly gives the impression that the various zones of current Palestinian control are decreasing (Israel instead has withdrew fully from the Gaza Strip and in the 1990s and 2000s began transferring islands of land to full and partial Palestinian control).  Finally it confuses Arab private property in 1946 and Palestinian National Authority political territory today .




Palestinian land is apparently land owned by another form of Arab state, occupation or not. From e-mail conversations.
The third technique is to show the claimed lost land with the flag of the claimer.  The "Real Irish Republican Army" political front group 32 County Sovereignty Movement uses a map of all the island of Ireland in front of an Irish Republican flag.



The Irish Republic's flag, not the Republic of Ireland's flag, embraces a unified Ireland.  From a terrorist website.
The idea for this blog post came from Argentina's new lost land map.  Inside the presidential palace, there is a new lost land mural map showing the Falkland Islands filled in with the Argentine flag.  This new mural is the latest development in Argentina's President Cristina Kirchner effort to refocus the country's population from problems with the economy to the "lost lands" of the Falklands.



Argentina uses the third Lost Lands map technique in claiming the Falklands.  From the AP/CSM

6 comments:

The Geography Lady said...

Although I don't agree with some of your inferences about Israel/Palestine, I do want to point out another contentious island group - Dokdo or Takeshima, depending on your POV.
http://www.dokdo-takeshima.com/ provides a relatively unbiased synopsis. Korea's claims are based on 16th century maps, among others: http://www.koreaaward.com/kor/5197

Piaras said...

Very interesting examples, although somewhat spoiled by tendentious and inaccurate commentary.

Most of the Palestinian Occupied Territories are still just that - occupied, while Israel proper is an ethno-confessional state, however understandable the reasons for its establishment.

The commentary on the Irish flag is inaccurate. The flag shown is not an 'Irish Republican flag'(I'm not sure what is meant by that anyway) but is in fact the flag of the state known as Ireland, comprising all but six of the counties on the island. There is no meaningful semantic distinction between 'Irish Republic' and 'Republic of Ireland'.

I am not a supporter of the republican organisation in question - quite the contrary, in fact - but I don't think it's useful to use the word 'terrorist' unless it is applied to all who use indiscriminate violence against civilians, including the IRA, the CIA, several states such as Saudi Arabia, Syria, Israel and China.

The topic of cartography as propaganda is an interesting one. In the case of Syria, for instance, locally produced maps show the sub-province of Alexandretta as still being in Syria, even though it was occupied by Turkey in dubious circumstances in the French mandate days and is now Hatay province. And what of Diego Garcia - part of the former Chagos Islands, from where the islanders were forcibly and disgracefully removed by Britain in order to make a present to their American friends of what is now the military base of Diego Garcia. US and UK maps do not show this and the CIA World Factbook says 'no indigenous inhabitants'.

Catholicgauze said...

Piaras,

Thank you for the comment. However, let me offer rebuttals to your complaints.

I do not claim to say most of the Palestinian territories are not occupied. All I am saying is that the Palestinian maps lie by making it look like Palestinians are losing political control of land overtime when the reverse is actually true.

In Irish republican verbage there is a very clear difference between the "Irish Republic" and Republic of Ireland. RoI is the country-day country. IR refers to the republic declared by the Easter Rebellion and the first two dails. Terrorist republicans do not recognize the RoI and would never wave the flag of the RoI. Instead, they wave the flag of the IR which they still view as the legitimate expression of Irish republicanism.

As for using the word terrorist who the terrorist Real IRA, what do you mean by "not useful"? How would calling those who intentionally target civilians anything else be "useful"? Will they put down their arms if I say they are just "bad men"?

As for the other comments on terrorism and ethnic cleansing, I do not address that in this post so I will not address that here.

data diplomacy said...

Coming to this late but on the OPT you should check out a good resource.
http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ocha_opt_firing_zone_factsheet_august_2012_english.pdf . This map does show the intense fragmentation and assertion of actual control and use of land.

data diplomacy said...

Also see this map that lays out areas A,B and C.
http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ochaopt_atlas_restricting_space_december2011.pdf

data diplomacy said...


Also check out this map for definitions of practical impact of Areas A, B and C. http://www.ochaopt.org/documents/ochaopt_atlas_restricting_space_december2011.pdf