The Middle East of the Americans


In a world where the powerful can do pretty much whatever they want, some abuse their self-declared privileges. Sometimes, their bullying comes to a point where they cross the jurisdiction of other nations.

The above map is produced in the June 2006 issue of the Armed Forces Journal of the United States of America. It is a re-drawing of the Middle East Asia. According to Frank Jacobs (2006), this map is to the liking of the American forces, balkanized, and split-up along ethnic lines. The controversies that may be brought by this map make it interesting. It can cause rage on the different nations affected by this map (especially those who lose territory), or it can start uprisings (for those who will believe that this should be the new demarcation of boundaries). As a whole, it can cause war. Good thing, it didn’t…as of now.

TECHNICALITIES AND AESTHETICS

There are so many good things about this map. First, there are graticules. Though, the use of graticules here is more on the aesthetics rather than showing absolute location. The legend used is able to tell the difference between the colors of the countries. And it is placed in a good location. The colors used are visually pleasing and looks appropriate such as red for countries that lose territories, etc. And also, the color gradient of each country makes it easy to distinguish one territory from the other. And lastly, the labels are easy to read and able to name the different territories and water bodies. As a result, the readers can identify where it is through relative location. On the other hand, there is imbalance on the map. The upper left corner appears heavier than the rest of the map. Maybe, it’s because of the shape of Middle East Asian countries. To address this, the cartographers shouldn’t have shown much of the East Asian countries. They could have cut the map right after the tip of Afghanistan, completely omitting Nepal in the map. This should shift the focus towards the center. Also, there is unnecessary information such as capitals or leading cities. It just makes the map look crowded (look at the western countries of the Middle East). Lastly, there is no direction and scale bar in the map.

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