The right to map

Afarensis points out that Malaysia and the Philippines are making it harder to make accurate maps. The goal there is to block indigenous groups from using GPS and GIS to map their historic lands and defend their lands from developers.

A few years back there was a student here at KU who grew up in the Soviet Union. On birding trips, he’d check a map, then ask where features really were. Soviet maps would always put roads and bridges in the wrong place, whether to confuse invading capitalist pigs or internal dissent I couldn’t say. What I do know is that governments which prevent their people from making or possessing accurate maps are not acting in their people’s best interest, and probably are working exactly against those interests.

Comments

  1. #1 Anna Z
    April 30, 2007

    It’s deplorable, but I think creative ways around the ban will be found, like making “art” which so happens to function just like a map. Thanks for pointing out a significant, overlooked issue.

  2. #2 GPS??
    May 1, 2007

    back there was a student here at KU who grew up in the Soviet Union. On birding trips, he’d check a map, then ask where features really were. Soviet maps would always put roads and bridges in the wrong place, whether to confuse invading capitalist pigs or internal dissent I couldn’t say. What I do know is that governments which prevent their people from making or possessing accurate maps are not acting in their people’s best interest, and probably are working exactly against those interests.

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