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Friday, April 04, 2008

 
This Is Your Cartographical Skills On Vodka

The Absolut world map linked in yesterday's post is not a historic map.

Texas falls within Absolut Mexico, so if this map ever really existed it would have to predate 1836, the year Texas gained its independence. Now take a look at the northern US border. It follows the 49th parallel straight to the Pacific coast. That border was not established until the Treaty of Oregon was signed in 1846; prior to that the US claimed the territory up to the 54°40' parallel, even with the southernmost tip of Alaska.

Furthermore, the Absolut map gives parts of the Oregon and "unorganized" territories to Mexico! Refer to this 1830 US territorial map. The northern Mexico border shares the same latitude as the southern tip of Lake Michigan. Absolut Mexico's northern boundary goes further north - by roughly 100 miles, at about the same latitude as Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

No, I'm not gonna expand Tuborg Denmark's borders.

Update: Upon closer observation I have found the source of the error. Think of pre-1836 Mexico's eastern border as a three-tier staircase. The top tier is the border with Oregon. The step right below that is a stretch of the Arkansas River that flows through modern-day Colorado - Absolut misplaced the river.

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