Fake borders and tactical hoaxes: 11 surprising truths behind your maps


We scour them, study them, and – when the sat nav’s playing up – swear at them, too. At their most basic, maps are useful tools; but they can also be sublime works of art, weapons of war… or pure, unflinching fictions. 

Consider this a user’s guide to maps – and all their foibles. After all, we’d be lost without them. 

Don’t believe your eyes

1. The boundaries between countries aren’t as clear-cut as they seem. In some parts of the world the pattern of international boundaries is actually fiendishly complex. So complex, and sensitive, in fact, that a single representation on a map may not be enough. A user of Google Maps in India would see a different picture of that country’s boundaries than…

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