Wednesday, 28 January 2015

toponym or afternoon map

In celebration of the centennial since the establishment of its own, independent bureau of cartography, National Geographic is presenting a small retrospective of the estimated three thousand meticulously detailed maps of land, sea and space they produced for the magazine and other outlets. One arduous update that struck me as particularly poignant and telling of the politics and impermanence of the trade was the task of rebranding once the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991—when many place names, not just in Ukraine, reverted to their older forms. This past century has seen a lot of those changes but possibly no more than average.