Skip Navigation

Maps of the world

Travel Forums System Talk Maps of the world

Page

Last Post

11. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5595 posts) 9y

Quoting Peter

Quoting Utrecht

Actually, what is transcontinental? If it means that a country is located in two continents, then Turkey is transcontinental. Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaidzjan not really are they? And Egypt?
Interesting interesting:)

Yep, that's it. Countries like Turkey, Russia, Egypt, Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan can be considered transcontinental.

Spain as well.....Canary Islands are geologically African

12. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 9y

Am I wrong?

Basically, Yes. But so is the original premis

But I am so convinced that they are all european....officially they are.

Must.....Not.....Get....into....this....Argument.....

Peter - Don't know if it's any use to you, but iif you want, I selflessly offer my services as TP arbitrator on all Geographical queries and disputes, such as which areas/continents a country should be counted as. I'm sure lots of other people would do the same, but in my favour i would say that (a) as far as i'm aware i'm still the most travelled person on TP, but probably more usefully (b) Professionally at least, i probably have more experience dealing with these than most people here, and normally from several different competing sides [so not slanted to one govts/education view]

13. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 9y

Rich, your cartographical know-how would of course be much appreciated in making a judgement ;)

14. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5595 posts) 9y

Quoting Gelli

Am I wrong?

Basically, Yes. But so is the original premis

But I am so convinced that they are all european....officially they are.

Must.....Not.....Get....into....this....Argument.....

Peter - Don't know if it's any use to you, but iif you want, I selflessly offer my services as TP arbitrator on all Geographical queries and disputes, such as which areas/continents a country should be counted as. I'm sure lots of other people would do the same, but in my favour i would say that (a) as far as i'm aware i'm still the most travelled person on TP, but probably more usefully (b) Professionally at least, i probably have more experience dealing with these than most people here, and normally from several different competing sides [so not slanted to one govts/education view]

Excuse me
You are also the most conceided that's obvious
You are a carthographer, not a geographer. Those things have similarities I admit, but not 100%. Sorry for my language, but sometimes you really go to far with your language as well Gelli, I think I won't be the first one to tell you this I reckon.
I know you are a professional carthographer and you are indeed the most experienced traveler here on TP, I must admit. But you haven't been to lots of parts of the world and it should be kind of discussion forum as well, not an objective forum where all wrong answers are overruled by you.
Actually...what are Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaidzjan in you opinion/profession?

[ Edit: Edited on Feb 13, 2007, at 6:08 AM by Utrecht ]

15. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 9y

Hey Michael,

and it should be kind of discussion forum as well, not an objective forum where all wrong answers are overruled by you.

Of course it should, and it is. What I was trying to say (very badly, admittedly) is that if the TP powers that be wanted there geographical breakdown looked into by an independent point of view[the CIA World factbook, for example, takes an American political slant] i'd be happy to do it. Then i'd put my observations on the forums for everybody to debate before Peter/Sam made a fixed decision. I wasn't trying to give the impression that I was trying to overrule any kind of discussion whatsoever, or say that "I'm right, your wrong, end of story". Just that I could come up with a list of suggestions/recomendations (with reasoning/why) of changes to the current TP listing.

At the end of the day, in virtually none of these cases will everybody agree, at any level. There is no 100% correct answer or agreement for virtually anything, and even then things can change alarmingly quickly. Governments, sectors of governments, groups of countries, cartographers, geographers, socio-logists, geologists etc etc can all disagree with each other, and even within the field, or same company. There are VERY few countries that EVERYBODY agrees 100% on the exact borders (actually, I can't think of any at all off hand), even ones which seem entirely straight forward.

Heck, we have to use 4 different definitions of something as apparently basic as how many continents there are (and there are other definitions as well), depending who we are working with/for at that time. In one stupid case, we use 3 different ones for 3 different departments within the SAME government, and really have to be careful we don't show the wrong thing to the wrong department. And that's not even that unusual.

Also, just because something is generally believed, doesn't make it right. To give just one example, 99% of the world shows, teaches and thinks of Finland (and, generally, Iceland) as part of Scandinavia. But they are not and never have been [well, ok, parts of Finland have been in the past] as the Scandinavians keep saying, but who would think about listening to them?! Even Germany, which has a border with a Scandinavian country, counts Finalnd as Scandinavian.

Which I suppose brings me to...

But I am so convinced that they are all european....officially they are.

And here lies the problem. Officially according to who? I can give you sources which say that they are officially part of Asia and officially part of Europe (as well as Eurasian). Which/who's official stand do you believe/accept, and do you use the same source for each query? If not, why not? And is the continental location fixed, or can it chnage depending upon the local politics at the time?

Sorry for my language,

No problem at all, and i'd like to apologise for mine as well. I'm a pathetic typist and also tend to just hit send instead of reading things through, meaning that a chunk of what I write can come out sounding very harsh, or make no sense whatsoever.

You are a carthographer, not a geographer. Those things have similarities I admit, but not 100%

Actually, i'm not. It's a significant part of my work and one of my degree's is in cartography, but I do lots of other things as well. Its just a very simplified and easy way of answering the dreaded "what do you do" question without having to go into too many questions which i can't/don't want to answer. I agree completely that whilst cartography and geography has a certain overlap, it is definitely NOT the same. I spend more time that i would like trying to explain to random people i meet what the differences are (and whilst we're on it, no, everything isn't already mapped, so there is still a job for us).

But you haven't been to lots of parts of the world

I freely admit that as well, and try and avoid giving any kind of personal opinion about places that I haven't been - which is one reason why i normally avoid any even vaguely American based discussion on here. In my defence on this specific issue though, i will say that I have been to all of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia on more than one occssion, and have worked (still do for Armenia) for the governments of the former two.

Idiot. I knew i shouldn't have replied to this thread at all, but had to do it, didn't I? I just knew it. I One day I will finally have the willpower to avoid replying to any threads on any forums which delve into Geopolitics &/or geostrategy &/or geographical alignment/positioning, and will be lucky to work somewhere where it has no relevance to what i do whatsoever and I no longer have to worry starting diplomatic incidents entirely by about accident. Decision. Perhaps I should now leave the forums and my job, to lead a relatively simple life running the worlds first TP pub? Must be a winner, surely. Anybody lend me a few bob to get started?!

[ Edit: Edited on Feb 13, 2007, at 11:08 AM by Gelli ]

16. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5595 posts) 9y

You made me both laugh and feel guilty (just a little...;) about my former post. I guess I have the same problem in just typing first and thinking afterwards. That makes me kinda honest but sometimes a trigger for not so nice words by me or others.
I just shouldn't have looked at those damned maps of countries. I am into maps as well as you, but (fortunately or unfortunately, depends on the way you look) it's not my job at all. I can look for hours on maps of countries, cities etc.

Actually, I hope you will react upon this kinda threads in the future, mainly because of your profession.
I didn't know for example that most countries have other borders which are disputed. Knew about Finland though..;)
Nice to learn something new, because me being convinced about G, A and A being european was a mistake as wel....I am positive they joined the pre rounds of the european soccer championships...

Again...apologizing for my words as well and yours are accepted of course.

Shouldn't there be some sort of objective criteria for the countries to be in Europe OR Asia, and not both. Personally I don't like multiple explanations, not about this kinda subjects. But maybe I'll have to live with that.

hope this is not the end of the thread....

17. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 9y

hope this is not the end of the thread....

As i'm already in this thread, I may as well stay in it!

I am into maps as well as you, but (fortunately or unfortunately, depends on the way you look) it's not my job at all. I can look for hours on maps of countries, cities etc.

I really envy you that. I've always loved looking at maps and probably wasted months of my life just gazing at them. I still do, and am pathalogically incapable fo walking past any map without stopping for a few minutes. However, I now kind of look at them differently, and wish i still had that kind of innocence (for want of a much better word) that comes from being an outsider, as such..

I suppose it's like a Car freaks who always dream of owning a Ferrari. They do for years and years, then win a test drive. It's a great day for them, but they realise that the driving position is poor, the clutch is so still if kills the knee, and the steering is so heavy that turning left or right needs to be avoided at all costs. Afterwards, they still love Ferrari's, but see them in a completely different light.

I am positive they joined the pre rounds of the european soccer championships...

Which of course they do, every year.

There are actually more members of FIFA than the UN, and only 2 UN recoignised countries which aren't in FIFA - Monaco and the Vatican. So maybe using the FIFA definitions are as good as - or better - way of deciding how to split continents than any other way, as it is essentially non political [Thus both China and Taiwan are part of FIFA, but not the UN]. I've heard it suggested more than once, including by some very respected and highly placed people. And it may be worth considering.

But, of course, you would then have Israel as part of Europe - which most people disagree with on any "classical" definition of Europe, and now, you have Australia as part of Asia (they have moved federations, and now play in the Asian federation). Which starts a whole set of new arguments.

You may have noticed that I haven't actually responded to your query about which continent I would put them in, and that is deliberate. I'm waiting to see who else wants to contribute what first.

Shouldn't there be some sort of objective criteria for the countries to be in Europe OR Asia, and not both.

Fair enough. But then you get into what objective criteria, and then decided by whom...?

Personally I don't like multiple explanations, not about this kinda subjects.

Traditionally I didn't either. Now I accept that it's more or less a given, and generally causes more arguments than it solves if you have one fixed explanation.

I just shouldn't have looked at those damned maps of countries.

Sometimes, that really is the easiest thing to do! Ignorance can be bliss, and whilst i love this whole subject, i really do, the more involved i get, the more my ideas/thinking/views change. As with mapping it's something that whilst i can in no way complian that i'm doing something i really enjoy, at least a part of me wishes that i had never got involved, and was instead just a fascinated outsider. In many, i don't even know (or remember) what my own views are any more, and in others i just don't have a view, so much have i been subjcted to all sorts of stuff from all imaginable angles.

I didn't know for example that most countries have other borders which are disputed.

Damned you, Michael. You had to say it, didn't you? You knew i wouldn't be able to resist

This where the fun really starts. Proceed only if you have time!

It basically comes down to scale. Virtually all borders are disputed by at least some people, even if they are generally and officially accepted to be fixed and agreed upon.

Some are disputed, but not really - it's basically agreed by both (or all) parties to disagree, and the border stays as it is, without any kind of trouble or incident, although is offically disputed by both. And there are also lots of disputes which technically are border disputes, but don't include/affect the "main" part of the country, so are ignored/forgotten about by the general population. Some things are so small and trivial sounding, that to all extents and purposes, there is no dispute. And some are utterly daft. Yet, to the people involved it can be the most serious thing in the whole world.

CONTINUED IN THE FOLLOWING THREAD!!!!
((Michael - See what you've made me do now??? I've had to split this in to because i exceeded the 10,000 charecter limit!!!)))

[ Edit: Edited on Feb 18, 2007, at 10:21 AM by Gelli ]

18. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru 2457 posts) 9y

You have things like very simple and well known disputes like Pakistan and India (simple in that it is two countries with a common border, both of which think is in the wrong place) down to trickier simple ones like Ireland-UK in Northern Ireland (again, 2 countries and common boundary, but with more issues), to things which aren’t actually considered to be border disputes but essentially are (China and Taiwan both claim they are in charge of both, so the border isn’t technically in dispute, just the politics of it. Kind of).

Then you have things which internally are disputes, but internationally are not (yet, really, kind of) as they aren't really supported/accepted by anybody, such as Euskadi's attempts and desires for independendance from Spain. An alternative type is the internal Indian dispute of Belgam (sp?), where two internal states both claim it, yet both are happily part of India. One level up, you get places like Trans-Dinestr, which is a break away Republic of Moldova, although internationally is not recognised in the slightest. With the exception, sort of, of Russia. You of course have the opposite as well, such as Kosovo which is more or less accepted Internationally to be moving to complete independence, but the Serbs in no way want to rennounce any power or claim on it. A level further up are things like Western Sahara, which Morroco claims in entirity, yet is internationally split between Morroan and independant rule (after the Spanish left), and is on the UN list of Non-self governing territories due to it's colonial past.

The number of disputes (and in many cases, huge amounts of pain, suffering and thousands or even millions of deaths over the years) which are due entirely to the stupidity &/or ignorance of former colonial rulers is both amazing, scary and depressing at the same time.

Then you get longer distance disputes, which are generally not thought of as border disputes, but are. And there are many variants here as well. These include two good British examples - the Falklands, whom the British wanted to keep, and the islanders wanted to stay British [thus, no contest, surely?], but the Argentines claim and went to war over. They still seriously claim the Falklands and it comes up often, even though it is off the worlds radar in general, and has been since they topped sinking each others warships. Then you have Gibralter, which is British and the inhabitants overwhelmingly want to stay British, yet the government for other reasons keeps trying to give back in one form or another to the Spanish, who insist that it is Spanish. But at the same time, they pooh-pooh all discussion about returning their own enclaves of Ceuta and Mellilla, to Morroco who have long claimed them. These two had fights over a tiny rock who's name now escapes me, in the straight of Gibralter less than 5 years ago.

Then there are odd sounding ones, like the current serious yet little talked of dispute between Denamrk and Canada, of all people, over a tiny uninhabited rocky outlet in the Arctic between Greenland and Ellesmere Island. In the last year alone, warships have been sent there, and foreign secretaries of both have visited and claimed it. It's official status is dubious as the dividing line laid down in the 70's (i think) was not detailed. It had no importance then, so nobody questioned it. Now however, the territorial water that surrounds it is believed to potentially contain large reserves of oil, meaning both have developed a keen interest in it!

You also get border disputes where the actual border isn't (well, not much) actually disputed, but the name is. Greece battled really hard to prevent Macedonia being so named when it gained it's independance, as it insists that Macedonia as a name is Greek, from the ancient Macedon kingdom of Alexander the great, and shouldn't be used for the area that it is. Macedonia (and variants) are also still used as regions of Greece. All of which kind of led to the compromise of "Republic of Macedonia" and "FYROM - Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" despite the fact that almost all FYROMians disagree with the usage of Yugoslav. The Greeks still tends to use FYROM or Skopje (the capital, used as a name for the whole country) and the whole issue is still hugely complex, and not solved to anybodies satisfaction. And all of that over a geographical area who's boundaries are in no way disputed [well, in the name claim, anyway].

Some places are long disputed and are claimed by lots of people, yet mostly unknown elsewhere. The Spratlys, for example, are claimed by all of Brunei, Malaysia, China, Taiwan (although, of course, these two are complicated in themselves as they both claim to be the only one), the Phillipines, Vietnam and sometimes even Thailand and the US. Again, huge potential oil reserves plus in this case, fishing rights, make them relevant.

You can be almost certain that anywhere there is a military base on land outside of the "mainland", there is a dispute in some way shape or form as well. And any number of Embassies (which are legally part of their home country, not their host) also have disputes of varying levels. It also means that, in some cases, a building and even some hallways can be part of 2 or 3 countries [where an embassy building is shared] and disputed by the host or other countries. Don't even think about embassies or consulates which don't have ground floor access...

Then you come down to really small and essentially daft things - the Vatican and Italy, for example, dispiute a small piece of land (pavement), which in places is barely 2m wide.

Then you have really random things where both governments and the international community are essentially in full agreement, but the people on the ground have a dispute. They can sound outstandingly trivial (and be really funny to everybody else), but still cause major problems.

One of my favourites is actually between The Netherlands and Belgium. For those who don't know, whilst the international border at in Brabant is basically a line, it's anything but that simple. For historical reasons, whilst there is a "normal" boundary line, there are enclaves of Belgium in the Netherlands, and Netherlands within Belgium. In the Dutch side at least, there are also Dutch enclaves within the Belgian enclaves within the Dutch mainland. There may even be a Belgian enclave within the Dutch enclave within the Belgian enclave of the Dutch territory. And probably there are some Belgian enclaves in the Dutch enclaves in Belgium. Still with me?

And it's not even that simple. Some fields and even houses are spilt between the two countries, or enclaves of them. There are at least a couple of bars/restaurants which straddle the border, and at various times due to different national laws of opening/closing hours, mean't that everybody had to shift to the other side of the pub/restaurant at a certain time. One brilliant pub, which i think is now long shut, was Dutch on both sides (different enclaves) but Belgian in the middle.

The thing to remember here is that both the Belgians and Dutch (and Internationally) are quite happy with this, and don't dispute the border. Then a few years ago, infamously, a couple who's house (or maybe just land, i don't remember the details) had a messy divorce. Of course, divorce laws are different in both countries, and legally, everything had to be decided twice, so as to be legally binding for the whole house. It was basically the worlds daftest border dispute, yet was fascinating and ended up in the European court.

(((i've just found this link to a photo of the smallest enclave http://www.grenspalen.nl/archief/baarle-enclave-h22-outlined.jpg)))

Going off at a slight tangent as it's not a border dispute, I know a number of people who passionately object to use of the name Holland to mean the whole country, some who object mostly in jest and others who can't even understand why it might cause a problem. I even have a friend who insists on saying he's from the Greater Netheralnds (which includes a chunk of Belgium, and bits of Germany). It's a bit different to that whereby people get offended being called English (meaning British) due to the legalities of the places involved, but is still a major issue.

And thats even ignoring completely irrelevant ignornace such as people confusing Slovakia and Slovenia [President Bush, amongst others], Austria and Australia [I don't know if the famous "no kangaroo's" roadsign still exists on the road out of Wien's Schwechat (sp?) airport] and any number of people i come across confusing Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Holland, Denmark and the Netherlands in differing combinations for reasons i've never actually worked out in the slightest [I've been asked on more than one occassion if Copenhagen is the capital of Amsterdam, for example]

And of course you have disputes over things like oil rigs, parts of the Antarctic etc etc. A quick wikipedia search (yes, i know, i know) gives a list of roughly 150 interational disputes, without even going into internal successionist disputes (no idea how many, but i'd guess well over 100), unrecognised countries (another good 100-150).

In every one of these there are at least 2 differing views, but normally many more, and saying the wrong thing to the wrong person can cause a major diplomatic incident!

It's a fun world, and means that i'll always have work!!

19. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru 3546 posts) 9y

Totally off topic and l will be honest l havent even read the post but award for longest ever post must now go to Gelli!!

- l will go back now and read the posting!

20. Posted by Hien (Moderator 3906 posts) 9y

Rich, that's it? No more? I was hoping to read more, like continuing to the third post at least, if not more!