Lying With Maps


A few days ago word came out that the publisher Harper Collins and their map-focused subsidiary Collins Bartholomew released a map atlas for sale in the Middle East that completely eliminates any mention of the State of Israel.

Talk about academic, intellectual and geographic dishonesty.

Harper Collins has tried to pin the blame on market forces; seems folks in the Middle East prefer their maps of the Eastern Mediterranean to be void of any reference to the State of Israel.  Guess what? I don’t much like North Korea, and I really don’t like Alabama, but I sure don’t want them erased from my maps, at least not by some moronic map editor who is willing to toss his or her cartographic integrity into the wastebasket merely to please local prejudices.

Folks, it doesn’t matter if you like a country or not. If it has legitimate, recognized borders then it belongs on the map. The State of Israel is recognized by virtually every nation on earth and has a seat at the United Nations. Hoping it goes away by erasing its borders on a map is a silly, immature and ridiculous exercise in geopolitical wishful thinking.

The map editor that approved this map needs to surrender his/her cartographic license and leave the business of map making to those of us who have integrity and intellectual honesty.

– Brian

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