Geoblogger’s Blog

Geography, GIS, history, landscape, life

Maps on flags – unclear boundaries?

The map symbolizes the nation. It describes the territory that the government, king etc controls. The flag does more or less the same thing – the banner of the state. It is surprising that so few flags combine these two. The best known banner is the flag of the United Nations. It was created in 1947.

unflag

From time to time you find variants of the map for instance this one below that has the American continents in the centre instead of Africa. This could be a mistake made by someone trying to create a genuine map, but I have not been able to find the origin of it, but it can be found on some places on a couple of blogs on the Internet. They show up if you search for images in google as well.

fake_un-flag

Cyprus

Another obvious example is Cyprus. And this is where it gets interesting. These two flags have two similarities apart from presenting a map. The first one is that there are olive branches symbolizing peace. The second is that they actually do not present the area the organisation cover. Not every country of the world is a member of the UN and Cyprus was divided into two separate parts. So maybe when an area is under question you include the map in your flag. This must have been clear to the new republic of Kosovo, a former part of Yugoslavia (Serbia), where we can see the map under six white, five-pointed stars – each representing one of the major ethnic groups of Kosovo.

kosovo2

Unclear boundaries = lets put the map on the flag!

Filed under: Cartography, , , , ,

ArcGIS and Excel 2007

Ahhhrg. I just understood that my fancy Excel in Office 2007 does not support dBase-files. This was probably going to happen at one time or another, fewer and fewer program were using dbf, but ESRI has inArcGIS been using it a lot so I have a bunch of files that now cannot easily be read in Excel 2007 and furthermore I cannot export to dbf for use in ArcGIS. I have an older version of ArcGIS installed on my laptop – 9.1. If I upgrade to for instance 9.3 there is a way of importing xls-files from Office 2007. Thank you very much ESRI… Reading excel-files was easy in MapInfo years ago. It even works with strange looking characters. (OK I know other formats can be read as well txt, csv etc, but it all takes time, time I do not have). Many have figured out this problem a year ago (I am slow…) There are also some small programs out there to transform from dbf to xls/xlsx  and vice vers of course and a very nice litle script. But honestly Microsoft why abandon dbf? Was it really that expensive to keep it as a possible file?

Filed under: GIS, , , , ,

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