The charts of contention

Google maps the world in a way that satisfies most users, but not all.

A popular tool such as Google Maps may be less romantic than the outsized tomes passed from one generation to the next, but its maps have a level of detail previously inconceivable and also do their best to keep pace – thanks in part to user involvement – with frenetic and often controversial geopolitical developments.

When borders are disputed, digital maps start to resemble the blurring and blending colours on a painter’s palette. How are they supposed to take into account the constantly shifting boundaries between nations vying to stick their flag on contested territories, vast archipelagos and isolated frontier regions?

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