Global News: Canada-U.S. border closure to extend into December as coronavirus cases rise: source. “The Canada-U. S. border is set to remain closed well into December. A federal source speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to comment publicly confirmed the 30-day rollover of the closure that was set to expire on Friday.”
AP: Pence ordered borders closed after CDC experts refused. “Vice President Mike Pence in March directed the nation’s top disease control agency to use its emergency powers to effectively seal the U.S. borders, overruling the agency’s scientists who said there was no evidence the action would slow the coronavirus, according to two former health officials. The action has so far caused nearly 150,000 children and adults to be expelled from the country.”
CNN: The Cherokee Nation reservation is now visible on Google Maps. “The reservation boundaries include 7,000 miles nestled in northeastern Oklahoma. Borders for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Chickasaw, Choctaw and Seminole reservations — all in Oklahoma — have also been added in the last few weeks.”
Down to Earth: New database shows how large rivers form the basis of global borders. “Rivers have historically provided humans with fresh water, fertile land and food and have, thus, formed the bedrock of several civilisations. A new database, however, quantified how rivers were used to divide land and form international, national and local borders. Rivers make up 23 per cent of international borders, 17 per cent of the world’s state and provincial borders and 12 per cent of all county-level local borders, according to the Global Subnational River-Borders database.” The dataset is available here.
DubaiLad: Has Palestine Really Been Removed From Google And Apple Maps?. “Palestine is a small region of land around 2,400 sare miles in size and is recognised as the State of Palestine by the United Nations. But it’s not officially represented on Google Maps. And while it’s often referred to as the region between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, and can include Gaza Strip and the West Bank, there isn’t an official border. Which has lead to controversy in the region over who owns the land.”
CNN: US-Canada border closure to be extended another month, officials say. “The US border with Canada border is expected to remain closed until at least August 21, two Canadian government sources with knowledge of the situation tell CNN, extending the ban on non-essential travel between the two countries for another month.”
Washington Post: Google redraws the borders on maps depending on who’s looking. “Google’s corporate mission is ‘to organize the world’s information,’ but it also bends it to its will. From Argentina to the United Kingdom to Iran, the world’s borders look different depending on where you’re viewing them from. That’s because Google — and other online mapmakers — simply change them.”
Another late December good thing I missed from Big Think: You can now drag and drop whole countries to compare their size. “Is Texas really bigger than Poland? Does Russia stretch further east to west than Africa does north to south? And how big a chunk of Europe would the U.S. cover? If you’re losing sleep over questions like these, you’ll find relief at… a web tool designed to provide answers about the relative sizes of countries (and U.S. states).”
New-to-me from TexLibris (what a GREAT name): Read, Hot and Digitized: South by—The Border Studies Archive at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. “The Border Studies Archive (BSA) at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) has fostered really interesting digital collections of borderlands materials in recent years. These projects include Traditional Mexican American Folklore; Border Wall and Border Security; Border Music; Latinas and Politics; Spanish Land Grants; and Visual Border Studies. Each of these collections offers insight into a vast array of cultural elements that combine to depict life along the U.S.–Mexico border.”
Neowin: Apple ‘taking a deeper look’ at how it handles disputed borders. “Earlier this week, the changes to Apple’s Crimea map were announced by State Duma, Russian parliament’s lower house, describing the former boundaries as an ‘inaccuracy’. As a result of this, Apple received widespread Ukrainian condemnation and has now stated that it is “taking a deeper look” at how it handles disputed borders.”
San Diego State University: SDSU Library Archive Details Detainee’s Path to Seeking Asylum, Conditions Inside Detention. “What began as a casual gathering of friends has become a first-of-its-kind living archive of handwritten letters shared by hundreds of asylum seekers detained along the U.S.-Mexico border. Those letters, in the collective correspondence, provide a detailed description of each person’s path to pursuing asylum, and the conditions inside detention centers.”
Reveal: Lost on the border: A decade later, a man finds his father’s remains on Facebook. “Eliseo Cárdenas Sánchez was browsing Facebook late one night in March when he landed on a series of photos: snapshots of his father’s identification card and a small pile of bones. Cárdenas Sánchez suddenly realized he likely was looking at all that was left of his father, Eliseo Cárdenas Zetina, who disappeared after trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in 2008.” Please be warned that this article includes graphic images of human remains.
Gadgets360: Google Maps to Be Used by Pakistan in Afghan Border Dispute . “Pakistan and Afghanistan plan on using Google Maps to help resolve a border dispute that led to deadly clashes last week, a senior Pakistani security source said Monday. At least eight civilians were killed on both sides in fighting that began when a Pakistani census team accompanied by soldiers visited disputed villages along the southern border on Friday.”
Good stuff from the McGill Daily: Google Mapping the world: Agnostic mapping reveals and affects different perceptions of global boundaries. “While those of us whose knowledge is largely based in a North American context may think of these changes (due to their presentation as historical fact, rather than an ongoing dispute) as cut-and-dried, they often aren’t: many boundaries are still being contested. The way that these boundaries are depicted, both verbally through education and the media, and visually through maps and globes, shows the relations between the countries involved in the dispute, as well as how global communities view the disputed area. One of the most visible ways this manifests is in Google Map depiction of disputed boundaries.”
Wow: Google Maps apparently changes country borders depending on who’s looking at it. “Author Ethan R. Merel points out that ‘if a border is disputed by two or more states, the border as seen on Google’s services will adhere to the beliefs of Country A when accessed from within that country, while simultaneously adhering to the beliefs of Country B when accessed on its local servers.'”