Palestine geography – The Right Road To Peace http://therightroadtopeace.com/ Mon, 09 May 2022 13:51:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://therightroadtopeace.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-2.png Palestine geography – The Right Road To Peace http://therightroadtopeace.com/ 32 32 Geography Quiz Creator Discovers Many World Borders Are In Different Places For Different People | Content for children https://therightroadtopeace.com/geography-quiz-creator-discovers-many-world-borders-are-in-different-places-for-different-people-content-for-children/ Thu, 21 Apr 2022 17:22:19 +0000 https://therightroadtopeace.com/geography-quiz-creator-discovers-many-world-borders-are-in-different-places-for-different-people-content-for-children/ The geography quiz game Globle was a product of quarantine boredom, its popularity a happy side effect. While working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, 26-year-old Abe Train from Toronto decided to study web development, quit his corporate job and try something new. Inspired after the simple online word game Wordle gained popularity in January, […]]]>

The geography quiz game Globle was a product of quarantine boredom, its popularity a happy side effect.

While working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, 26-year-old Abe Train from Toronto decided to study web development, quit his corporate job and try something new. Inspired after the simple online word game Wordle gained popularity in January, Train created an impersonator just to practice his skills.

The rules of Globle are simple: “Every day there is a new Mystery Country. Your objective is to discover the mystery land using the fewest guesses. Each incorrect guess will appear on the globe with a color indicating its proximity to the Mystery Land.

If the mystery country is Germany and you guess China, China appears in pale beige on the globe, indicating that the correct answer is far away. A guess from France – getting closer! — appears in dark red. Winning requires a pretty decent knowledge of the names of the world’s nearly 200 countries, an idea of ​​where they are and, just as important, who their neighbors are.

As in life, learning from the wrong answers is a key part of finding the right ones, and to Train’s surprise, many people have decided that his homemade practice project is an easy way to brush up on their geography. After gaining traction on Reddit and then Twitter, Globle now averages between 1.3 million and 1.4 million players per day, according to Train, who declined to place ads on the game. come from teachers,” Train said. “Once in a while, I get something like, ‘Thank you from seventh-grade geography class to such-and-such, Virginia.'”

But in the process of creating the game to practice his web skills, Train learned something else he didn’t expect: many national borders are in different places for different people, and creating a single world map for a universal web audience. is so politically charged that some tech giants have long since given up trying.

“Anyone trying to make a map on a global scale runs into this problem,” said Sterling Quinn, an associate professor of geography at Central Washington University who studies digital maps and society. Since the days of paper maps and desktop globes, countries and cartographers have disagreed over sovereignty and the location of borders. Digital maps just made these arguments more, well, global.

Originally, Microsoft’s Windows 95 was banned in India because the operating system’s world map depicted the Kashmir region as contested rather than belonging to India. In 2009, Google defined its own logic for navigating disputes on Google Maps, writing in a blog post: “In all cases, we strive to represent ‘ground truth’ as ​​accurately and neutrally as possible.” In some cases, this involved pluralizing the map viewing experience by “providing multiple claim lines (e.g. Syrian and Israeli lines on the Golan Heights), multiple names (e.g. two names separated by a slash: “Londonderry/Derry”), or clickable links policy annotations with brief descriptions of the issues.

But Google has also created more than 30 different “localized” maps to reflect the preferences – and laws – of local nations. Different users, different cards. Different maps, different realities. Google Maps caused an uproar in India in 2010 by describing place names in the Tibet-bordering state of Arunachal Pradesh as Chinese, because Chinese users might want to see the disputed area. It was a technical error but rooted in the very real differences between nations.

“There was an interesting period where you would see these companies, at least Google and Microsoft, posting a few statements on their blogs about how they were resolving border disputes,” Quinn said. “Perhaps there was a certain desire that there was a one size fits all to choose which is the most appropriate border, perhaps based on international courts of justice. … But in the end it was more commercially viable to personalize the cards or make them ambiguous.

Globle, being so new and being the product of a guy who decided to do a geography quiz, relives some of those same challenges, except in game form. Like any good game developer, Train felt the pressure fans to get Globle right and, like its predecessors, to continue iterating its project into better releases.

Border bugs, if you could call them that, came early. For example, the open-source dataset that Train borrowed from the Github hosting service to create its game’s globe came with country data. It was only after the launch that he noticed that the data showed that the disputed Crimean peninsula in Ukraine belonged to its current occupier, Russia. (“I spoke to my brother who has spent time in Russia and knows the area well, and he was like, ‘Yeah, you should probably change it,'” Train said.) Other countries , like Singapore, were not even included. .

Train dumped the dataset for a more reputable set in the public domain, called Natural Earth, but user complaints kept piling up.

Train decided he needed a rational framework for settling geopolitical disputes, so he turned to the guide created by quiz site Sporcle to streamline his quiz on the countries of the world. (Train also credits Sporcle as an inspiration for Globle.)

The Sporcle guide itself, while trying to establish consistent rules, sets out a series of trade-offs between measures: “Universal recognition is NOT a valid litmus test: we cannot wait for unanimity,” says the Sporcle Guide. “If we did, South Korea, North Korea, Israel, Cyprus, Armenia and the People’s Republic of China would all be excluded from the quiz.”

The guide also decided that membership of the UN was too restrictive, because until 2002 it would have excluded Switzerland, deemed neutral. Thus, the Sporcle standard recognizes UN member states as well as Vatican City, Kosovo, Taiwan, and Palestine as countries.

When players realize that Globle recognizes a country they don’t want recognized or doesn’t represent a border accurately, they sometimes complain to Train, who is anxious about the responsibility of assessing their concerns and playing arbiter. “I’m just changing a few international borders, that’s okay,” Train said nervously.

As a developer, technical issues can be fun to solve. But when it comes to which government has sovereignty over a disputed territory, “geopolitical issues can’t really be resolved. Everything is a compromise, and you try to find the best compromise,” Train said. “It’s certainly more difficult in the areas that matter most.”

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Why Globle’s Online Geography Game Was a Hard Puzzle to Create https://therightroadtopeace.com/why-globles-online-geography-game-was-a-hard-puzzle-to-create/ Thu, 14 Apr 2022 16:43:31 +0000 https://therightroadtopeace.com/why-globles-online-geography-game-was-a-hard-puzzle-to-create/ The geography quiz World was a product of midlife boredom, its popularity a happy side effect. While working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, 26-year-old Abe Train from Toronto decided to study web development, quit his corporate job and try something new. Inspired after the simple online word game Wordle gained popularity in January, Train […]]]>

The geography quiz World was a product of midlife boredom, its popularity a happy side effect.

While working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, 26-year-old Abe Train from Toronto decided to study web development, quit his corporate job and try something new. Inspired after the simple online word game Wordle gained popularity in January, Train created an impersonator just to practice his skills.

The rules of Globle are simple: “Every day there is a new Mystery Country. Your objective is to discover the mystery land using the fewest guesses. Each incorrect guess will appear on the globe with a color indicating its proximity to the Mystery Land. If the mystery country is Germany and you guess China, China appears in pale beige on the globe, indicating that the correct answer is far away. A guess from France – getting closer! — appears in dark red. Winning requires a pretty decent knowledge of the names of the world’s nearly 200 countries, an idea of ​​where they are and, just as important, who their neighbors are.

As in life, learning from the wrong answers is a key part of finding the right ones, and to Train’s surprise, many people have decided that his homemade practice project is an easy way to brush up on their geography. After gaining traction on Reddit and then Twitter, Globle now averages between 1.3 million and 1.4 million players per day, according to Train, who declined to place ads on the game. come from teachers,” Train said. “Once in a while, I get something like, ‘Thank you from seventh-grade geography class to such-and-such, Virginia.'”

But in the process of creating the game to practice his web skills, Train learned something else he didn’t expect: many national borders are in different places for different people, and creating a single world map for a universal web audience. is so politically charged that some tech giants have long since given up trying.

“Anyone trying to make a map on a global scale runs into this problem,” said Sterling Quinn, an associate professor of geography at Central Washington University who studies digital maps and society. Since the days of paper maps and desktop globes, countries and cartographers have disagreed over sovereignty and the location of borders. Digital maps just made these arguments more, well, global.

Microsoft’s Windows 95 was originally banned in india because the OS’s world map depicted the Kashmir region as disputed rather than as belonging to India. In 2009, Google establishes its own logic to navigate disputes on Google Maps, writing in a blog post: “In all cases, we strive to represent ‘ground truth’ as ​​accurately and neutrally as possible.” In some cases, this involved pluralizing the map viewing experience by “providing multiple claim lines (e.g. Syrian and Israeli lines on the Golan Heights), multiple names (e.g. two names separated by a slash: “Londonderry / Derry”), or clickable links policy annotations with brief descriptions of the issues.

But Google has also created more than 30 different “localized” maps to reflect the preferences – and laws – of local nations. Different users, different cards. Different maps, different realities. Google Maps is all the rage in India in 2010 by describing place names in the Tibet-bordering state of Arunachal Pradesh in Chinese, as Chinese users might wish to see the disputed area. It was a technical error but one rooted in the very real differences between nations.

“There was an interesting period where you would see these companies, at least Google and Microsoft, posting a few statements on their blogs about how they were resolving border disputes,” Quinn said. “Perhaps there was some desire that there was a one size fits all to choose which is the most appropriate border, perhaps based on international courts of justice. … But in the end it was more commercially viable to personalize the cards or make them ambiguous.

Globle, being so new and being the product of a guy who decided to do a geography quiz, relives some of those same challenges, except in game form. Like any good game developer, Train felt the pressure fans to get Globle right and, like its predecessors, to continue to iterate on its project in better, more accessible versions.

Border bugs, if you could call them that, came early. For example, the open-source dataset that Train borrowed from the Github hosting service to create its game’s globe came with country data. It was only after the launch that he noticed that the data showed that the disputed Crimean peninsula in Ukraine belonged to its current occupier, Russia. (“I spoke to my brother who has spent time in Russia and knows the area well, and he was like, ‘Yeah, you should probably change it,'” Train said.) Other countries , like Singapore, were not even included. .

Train dumped the dataset for a more reputable set in the public domain, called natural earth, but user complaints kept piling up. Games change log on GitHub reads like the diary of someone advancing their technical skills between votes at the United Nations.

Edition 1.1.0. Feb 4: “Fixed centering logic for automatic viewpoint switching for some countries, including Fiji.” “Reduced aggressive auto-zoom when clicking on a country.” “Get Crimea from Russia to Ukraine. Combined from Greenland to Denmark.

Version 1.2.0, Feb 13: “Removed the zoom limit when recentering. Fixed a bug that disrupted the order of guesses when refreshing. “Added ‘territories’ to the game, which appear in a neutral color when their sovereign country is guessed Restructured Greenland, French Guiana and Puerto Rico into territories.

Version 1.4.0, March 21: “Changed sharing message to remove URL and include emojis and hashtag. Created new territories for Kaliningrad, Canary Islands, Western Sahara, Martinique and New Caledonia. Adjusted Cyprus borders to include Northern Cyprus.

Train decided he needed a rational framework to adjudicate geopolitical disputes, so he turned to the guide created by the quiz site Sporcle to rationalize its Country of the World Quiz. (Train also credits Sporcle as an inspiration for Globle.)

The Sporcle guide itself, while trying to establish consistent rules, sets out a series of trade-offs between measures: “Universal recognition is NOT a valid litmus test: we cannot wait for unanimity,” says the Sporcle Guide. “If we did, South Korea, North Korea, Israel, Cyprus, Armenia and the People’s Republic of China would all be excluded from the quiz.”

The guide also decided that membership of the UN was too restrictive, because until 2002 it would have excluded Switzerland, deemed neutral. Thus, the Sporcle standard recognizes UN member states as well as Vatican City, Kosovo, Taiwan and Palestine as countries, based on some degree of international recognition or clear autonomy.

When players realize that Globle recognizes a country they don’t want recognized or doesn’t represent a border accurately, they sometimes complain to Train, who is anxious about the responsibility of assessing their concerns and playing arbiter. “I’m just changing a few international borders, that’s okay,” Train said nervously.

As a developer, technical issues can be fun to solve. When it comes to creating a digital dash or figuring out how to calculate the distance between polygonal boundaries of a sphere, “I can quickly tell there’s a good answer here,” Train said. “As soon as I know something can be solved, it’s just a matter of work.”

But when it comes to which government has sovereignty over a disputed territory, “geopolitical issues can’t really be resolved. Everything is a compromise, and you try to find the best compromise,” Train said. “It’s certainly more difficult in the areas that matter most.”

]]>
Why Israel cannot defeat the Palestinians – Middle East Monitor https://therightroadtopeace.com/why-israel-cannot-defeat-the-palestinians-middle-east-monitor/ Tue, 12 Apr 2022 07:55:00 +0000 https://therightroadtopeace.com/why-israel-cannot-defeat-the-palestinians-middle-east-monitor/ There is a reason Israel insists on linking the series of recent attacks by Palestinians to one specific location, namely the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank. In doing so, the beleaguered government of Naftali Bennett can simply order another deadly military operation in Jenin to reassure its citizens that the situation is […]]]>

There is a reason Israel insists on linking the series of recent attacks by Palestinians to one specific location, namely the Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank. In doing so, the beleaguered government of Naftali Bennett can simply order another deadly military operation in Jenin to reassure its citizens that the situation is under control.

Indeed, on April 9, the Israeli army had stormed Jenin refugee camp, killing one Palestinian and injuring ten others. However, Israel’s problem is much bigger than Jenin.

If we look at events from the March 22 stabbing offensive in the southern city of Beersheba (Bir Al Saba’) – which resulted in the deaths of four people – and ending with the murder of three Israelis in Tel Aviv – including two army officers – we will come to an obvious conclusion: these attacks must have been, to some extent, coordinated.

Spontaneous Palestinian retaliation for the violence of the Israeli occupation rarely follows this pattern in terms of timing or style. All attacks except Beersheba were carried out using firearms. The shooters, as amateur videos of some of the events and statements from Israeli eyewitnesses indicate, were well trained and acted with great composure.

One example was the Hadera event on March 27, organized by two cousins, Ayman and Ibrahim Ighbariah, from the Arab town of Umm Al-Fahm, inside Israel. The Israeli media reported on the indisputable skills of the assailants, armed with weapons which, according to the Israel News Agency, Tazpit press office, Cost over $30,000.

READ: Who is responsible for the ongoing attacks in Israel?

Unlike the Palestinian attacks carried out during the Second Palestinian Intifada (2000-05) in response to Israeli violence in the occupied territories, the latest attacks are generally more targeted, targeting police and military personnel and clearly aimed at undermining Israel’s false sense of security and undermining intelligence services from the country. During the March 29 attack on Bnei Brak, for example, an Israeli woman who was there Told to reporters that “the activist asked us to move away from the place as he did not want to target women or children”.

While Israeli intelligence reports have recently warned of a “wave of terrorism” before the holy month of Ramadan, they clearly had no idea what kind of violence, or where and how the Palestinians would strike.

Following the Beersheba attack, Israeli officials invoked Daesh responsibility, a convenient assertion given that Daesh had also claimed responsibility. This theory was quickly sidelined, as it became apparent that the other Palestinian attackers had other political affiliations or, as in the Bnei Brak case, no known affiliation at all.

The confusion and misinformation continued for days. Shortly after the Tel Aviv bombing, Israeli media, citing official sources, reported on two assailants, alleging that one of them was trapped in a nearby building. This was wrong as there was only one attacker and he was killed, albeit hours later in another town.

A number of Palestinian workers were quickly arrested in Tel Aviv on suspicion of being the attackers simply because they looked Arab, evidence of Israel’s chaotic approach. Indeed, following each event, the total mayhem ensued, with large crowds of armed Israelis taking to the streets looking for anyone with Arab features to apprehend or beat for no reason.

Israeli officials have contributed to the frenzy, with far-right politicians, such as extremist Itamar Ben Gvir, first hordes of other extremists are rampaging through occupied Jerusalem.

Palestinians attend the funeral ceremony for Palestinian Ahmed Nasser Al-Saidi, who was killed in a raid by Israeli forces, at the Jenin refugee camp in Jenin, West Bank, April 9, 2022. [Issam Rimawi – Anadolu Agency]

Instead of calling for calm and showing confidence, the country’s own prime minister on March 30 called on ordinary Israelis to arm themselves. “Whoever has a firearms license, now is the time to carry it,” he said. mentioned in a video statement. However, if Israel’s solution to any form of Palestinian resistance were more weapons, the Palestinians would have been pacified long ago.

To appease angry Israelis, the Israeli army attacked the city and the refugee camp of Jenin on numerous occasions, each time leaving several Palestinians dead and injured, including many civilians. Among them, the child Imad Hashash, 15, killed on August 24 when he filming the invasion on his cell phone. The same scenario repeated itself on April 9.

However, it was an exercise in futility, as it was Israeli violence in Jenin over the years that led to the armed resistance that continues to emanate from the camp. Palestinians, whether in Jenin or elsewhere, are fighting back because they are deprived of basic human rights, lack a political horizon, live in extreme poverty, lack real leadership and feel abandoned by the so-called international community.

The Palestinian Authority of Mahmoud Abbas seems totally removed from the masses. Abbas’ statements reflect his detachment from the reality of Israeli violence, military occupation and apartheid throughout Palestine. True to form, Abbas quickly sentenced the Tel Aviv attack, as it did the previous ones, each time making the same reference to the need to maintain “stability” and prevent “a further deterioration of the situation”, according to the official Wafa Press Agency.

What stability is Abbas referring to, when Palestinian suffering has been compounded by increasing settler violence, illegal settlement expansion, land theft and, thanks to recent international events, food insecurity as well?

READ: Why does the world believe that killing Palestinians is necessary for Israel’s security?

Israeli officials and media, once again, conveniently place the blame largely on Jenin, a small part of a crowded area. By doing so, Israel wants to give the impression that the new phenomenon of Palestinian retaliatory attacks is confined to one place, adjacent to the Israeli border and can be easily “dealt with”.

An Israeli military operation in the camp could serve Bennett’s political agenda, convey a sense of strength and win back some members of his disenchanted political constituency. But all this is only a temporary solution. Attacking Jenin now won’t make any difference in the long run. After all, the camp rose from the ashes of its near total destruction by the Israeli army in April 2002.

The new Palestinian attacks speak of a much larger geography: Naqab, Umm Al Fahm, the West Bank. The seeds of this territorial connectivity are linked to the Israeli war of last May and the ensuing Palestinian rebellion, which broke out in all parts of Palestine, including Palestinian communities inside Israel.

Israel’s problem is its insistence on providing short-term military solutions to a long-term problem, itself resulting from these same “military solutions”. If Israel continues to subjugate the Palestinian people under the current system of military occupation and deepening apartheid, the Palestinians will surely continue to react until their oppressive reality changes. No amount of Israeli violence can alter this truth.

The opinions expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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Recognition of the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Luhansk https://therightroadtopeace.com/recognition-of-the-peoples-republics-of-donetsk-and-luhansk/ Mon, 28 Mar 2022 07:00:00 +0000 https://therightroadtopeace.com/recognition-of-the-peoples-republics-of-donetsk-and-luhansk/ Areas controlled by the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk just before the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. For approximate changes that have occurred since then, see our Ukraine control map. (Map by Evan Centanni and Djordje Djukic. Contact us for permission to use this map.) Donetsk and Lugansk: unrecognized “republics” Although […]]]>
Areas controlled by the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk just before the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. For approximate changes that have occurred since then, see our Ukraine control map. (Map by Evan Centanni and Djordje Djukic. Contact us for permission to use this map.)

Donetsk and Lugansk: unrecognized “republics”

Although now overshadowed by war, an important political geography event took place in the days leading up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, altering some versions of the world list of countries.

In April 2014, the month after Russian-backed separatists in the Crimean peninsula declared independence from Ukraine, Russian-backed rebels in the eastern provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk also announced that they were forming independent countries: the Donetsk People’s Republic (CMA) and Lugansk People’s Republic (RPL). (“Luhansk” is the Ukrainian spelling of the place name, while “Lugansk” is the Russian version.)

But unlike Crimea, which had already been secured by the Russian military and was quickly absorbed by Russia with the permission of its supposedly independent government, Donetsk and Lugansk would remain unrecognized for the next eight years – not officially treated as independent countries by no other country. , even Russia.*

* That is, unless you expect them to recognize each other, or to be recognized by Russian-backed South Ossetia, which claims independence from Georgia but is itself barely recognized by any other country.

Ukrainian flag.  Two solid horizontal bars, the upper one blue and the lower one yellow. Full country name:
• Ukraine (English)
• Ukrayina (Ukrainian)
Capital: Kyiv

Russian recognition

In any case, everything changed last month, just days before the Russian army launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. On February 21, Russia officially recognized Donetsk and Luhansk as independent countries, its president sign a document to grant them what international law experts call “diplomatic recognition”. [Correction: The recognition officially took effect only after the upper house of Russia’s legislature ratified the document on February 22.]

While almost every other country in the world still considers Donetsk and Luhansk to be part of Ukraine, Russia’s recognition has technically elevated the two self-proclaimed countries from “completely unrecognized” status (by any member country of the UN) to “partially recognized“.

Flag of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic (DPR).  Three solid horizontal bars of colors (from top to bottom) black, dark blue and red. Name of proclaimed country:
• Donetsk People’s Republic (English)
• Donetskaya Narodnaya Respublika (Russian)
Capital: Donetsk
Recognized by: Russia
Status according to others: Ukrainian province

Which countries recognize the independence of Donetsk and Lugansk?

So far, Russia is the single country known for having formally recognized Donetsk and Lugansk as independent countries. Close Russian ally Syria made a point of saying that he supported Russia’s decision to recognize the two self-declared republics, while a few other countries did various statements of general support for the Russian side. But so far, no evidence has emerged that they officially offer their own separate recognition.

Are Donetsk and Lugansk really independent countries?

Although the Russian government now considers Donetsk and Luhansk to be independent, does this mean that they are in fact real countries? Well, most governments in the world would say “no” on principle, but what if we were just being realistic?

There is an argument to be made for each side. On the one hand, the DPR and the LPR have their own governments, with military forces and at least some government services, which are certainly not controlled by Ukraine. But on the other hand, they largely depend – and more and more integrated – with Russia, so some people might claim that they are de facto (“actually”) parts of Russia – for better or for worse – rather than de facto independent countries.

Beyond official declarations and diplomatic recognition, independence is a bit of a fuzzy concept, so ultimately it depends on your interpretation. There is not necessarily one correct answer.

Flag of the self-proclaimed Lugansk (Luhansk) People's Republic.  Three solid horizontal bars of colors (from top to bottom) light blue, dark blue and red. Name of proclaimed country:
• People’s Republic of Lugansk (English)
• Luganskaya Narodnaya Respublika (Russian)
Capital: Luhansk (Lugansk)
Recognized by: Russia
Status according to others: Ukrainian province

Unrecognized and partially recognized countries

By receiving official recognition from Russia, the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk have joined the small list of proclaimed countries that are not considered independent by the UN, but are considered independent by a small minority of member countries of ONU. The only other recognized by a single UN member country is Northern Cyprus, considered independent only by Turkey. Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which claim independence from Georgia, are each recognized by five UN member countries.

After the DPR and LPR upgrade, there are only three self-declared countries that are not recognized by any member of the UN, but have governments that act independently of the countries they are widely considered to be part of. :

Transnistria – yet another self-proclaimed republic with Russian military support, claims independence from Moldova, a neighboring country of Ukraine, while the Republic of Somaliland claims the independence of Somalia. Meanwhile, the self-proclaimed Republic of Artsakh (or Nagorno-Karabakh) is considered part of Azerbaijan by the UN, but is run by a separate government with close ties to neighboring Armenia.

For a more detailed account of partially and completely unrecognized countries in the world, see our “How Many Countries Are There In The World” explainer, which has been updated for recent events.


Ukrainian flag graphics (The source), DPR flag (The source), LPR indicator (The source) and the Russian flag (The source) are in the public domain.

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Ukraine: Map of Russian control as of March 24, 2022 (Subscription) https://therightroadtopeace.com/ukraine-map-of-russian-control-as-of-march-24-2022-subscription/ Fri, 25 Mar 2022 07:00:00 +0000 https://therightroadtopeace.com/ukraine-map-of-russian-control-as-of-march-24-2022-subscription/ SUBSCRIBERS CLICK HERE TO PROCEED TO ITEM AND MAP Newer versions of this map are available. To see them, check out all articles about Ukraine on PolGeoNow. Search for Djordje Djukic. Map by Evan Centanni and Djordje Djukic A month after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Ukrainian government forces managed to retake ground from Russia. […]]]>
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Newer versions of this map are available. To see them, check out all articles about Ukraine on PolGeoNow.

Search for Djordje Djukic. Map by Evan Centanni and Djordje Djukic

A month after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Ukrainian government forces managed to retake ground from Russia. However, Russian troops made smaller, but still significant, advances on other fronts, such as the port city of Mariupol.

Find out all this and more in the latest update to PolGeoNow’s concise and professional Ukraine War Control Map, which includes a timeline of changes since our previous Ukraine map report from March 15, with cited sources.

This map and report are premium content, available to paid subscribers of the PolGeoNow conflict mapping service.

Want to see before subscribing? Check out our newest FREE SAMPLE map of Ukraine!

The exclusive map report includes:

  • Up-to-date illustration of current territorial control in Ukraine, color coded for the Ukrainian government on one side and the Russian military and allied rebels on the other side, with areas of uncertainty indicated. Accessible to color blind people.
  • Darker color indicating which areas were already under Russian or Allied control before the start of the 2022 invasion
  • Claimed borders of the self-proclaimed Russian-backed Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic in the eastern Donbass region.
  • Detailed indication of city-by-city control, including key cities and other important locations for current events
  • Locations of recent control changes and other significant events including Irpin, Izium (Izyum), Rubizhne, Baryshivka, Makariv, etc.
  • Detailed timeline of significant events and territorial control changes since March 15, 2022, with links to sources.


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Ukraine: Map of Russian control as of March 15, 2022 (Subscription) https://therightroadtopeace.com/ukraine-map-of-russian-control-as-of-march-15-2022-subscription/ Wed, 16 Mar 2022 07:00:00 +0000 https://therightroadtopeace.com/ukraine-map-of-russian-control-as-of-march-15-2022-subscription/ SUBSCRIBERS CLICK HERE TO PROCEED TO ITEM AND MAP Newer versions of this map are available. To see them, check out all articles about Ukraine on PolGeoNow. Search for Djordje Djukic. Map by Evan Centanni and Djordje Djukic The invasion of Ukraine continues slowly into its third week. While Russian and allied rebels have closed […]]]>
SUBSCRIBERS CLICK HERE TO PROCEED TO ITEM AND MAP

Newer versions of this map are available. To see them, check out all articles about Ukraine on PolGeoNow.

Search for Djordje Djukic. Map by Evan Centanni and Djordje Djukic

The invasion of Ukraine continues slowly into its third week. While Russian and allied rebels have closed many gaps in their control around the country’s borders, they have made only small progress towards capturing new towns. Meanwhile, most of the interior and western half of Ukraine remains under Ukrainian government control.

Find out all this and more in the latest update to PolGeoNow’s concise and professional Ukraine War Control Map, which includes a timeline of changes since our previous Ukraine map report on March 6, with cited sources.

This map and report are premium content, available to paid subscribers of the PolGeoNow conflict mapping service.

Want to see before subscribing? Check out our newest FREE SAMPLE map of Ukraine!

The exclusive map report includes:

  • Up-to-date illustration of current territorial control in Ukraine, color coded for the Ukrainian government on one side and the Russian military and allied rebels on the other side, with areas of uncertainty indicated. Accessible to color blind people.
  • Darker color indicating which areas were already under Russian or Allied control before the start of the 2022 invasion
  • Claimed borders of the self-proclaimed Russian-backed Donetsk People’s Republic and the Lugansk People’s Republic in the eastern Donbass region.
  • Detailed indication of city-by-city control, including key cities and other important locations for current events
  • Locations of recent control changes and other significant events, including Irpin, Izium (Izyum), Skadovsk, Mariupol, Brovary, Voznesensk, Yavoriv military base, etc.
  • Detailed timeline of significant events and territorial control changes since March 6, 2022, with links to sources.


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Daniel Hannan: We feel the pull of geography, cultural congruence and kinship in the West. Whether Woke likes it or not. https://therightroadtopeace.com/daniel-hannan-we-feel-the-pull-of-geography-cultural-congruence-and-kinship-in-the-west-whether-woke-likes-it-or-not/ Wed, 16 Mar 2022 06:56:25 +0000 https://therightroadtopeace.com/daniel-hannan-we-feel-the-pull-of-geography-cultural-congruence-and-kinship-in-the-west-whether-woke-likes-it-or-not/ Lord Hannan of Kingsclere is a Tory peer, writer and columnist. He was a Conservative MEP from 1999 to 2020 and is now Chairman of the Free Trade Initiative. When the pandemic hit in March 2020, I made a spectacularly inaccurate forecast. The coronavirus, I predicted, would end our obsession with identity politics. In a […]]]>

Lord Hannan of Kingsclere is a Tory peer, writer and columnist. He was a Conservative MEP from 1999 to 2020 and is now Chairman of the Free Trade Initiative.

When the pandemic hit in March 2020, I made a spectacularly inaccurate forecast. The coronavirus, I predicted, would end our obsession with identity politics.

In a darker, harsher world, we would be less inclined to engage in abstruse debates about “cis privilege.” Companies struggling to stay solvent would no longer worry about gender pay gaps. In the rush to find vaccines, no one would care about the gender or color of the researchers.

Boy, I was wrong. Woke had become a religion, and like all religions, it inserted new events into its existing theology.

Indeed, as has happened over the centuries, the plague drove the faithful into demented displays of devotion. Some statues self-flagellated, others shattered – of white BLM supporters unwittingly imitating their medieval ancestors

I have no intention of repeating my inane predictions. The Ukrainian war will leave many people poorer, colder and hungrier. Soaring food and fuel prices will mean that almost everyone will end up working longer hours or being able to afford fewer things or both. But that does not mean that there will be a retreat from identity politics.

The war did not weaken his revival, but it revealed it. He exposed, for example, how woke is only ever used against the West.

Vladimir Putin’s government has few women and fewer people of color. He is no friend of LGBT rights. But people who insist on seeing the world as a pyramid of hierarchy and oppression have struggled to extend their criticism beyond their usual targets.

Consider, for example, the global rage sparked by Prince William’s almost startlingly banal observation that “for our generation it is very strange to see this happening in Europe.” Immediately, the merchants of grievance piled in. Typical was the reaction of Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King:

“Awful comment. Europeans have trampled on the African continent, plundering communities, raping women, enslaving human beings, colonizing for profit and power, stealing resources, causing generational devastation.

As usual, a spiral of purity set in, with original remarks being exaggerated with each rehearsal. The prince, it was claimed, had not only been insensitive, he had been a colonialist. No, he had been downright racist. Much of the furor was stoked by Nadine White, the Independentracing correspondent, who repeated then refused to retract that “Prince William said it is quite normal to see war and bloodshed in Africa and Asia, but not in Europe”.

How easily wokies reach the concept of “my truth” when it suits them. A week before the Duke of Cambridge’s banal remark, I had written an article making the same point: that it was shocking to see full-scale war in a European consumer society whose people “use Netflix and Instagram, vote in free elections and read uncensored newspapers”.

Since then, Google Alerts has notified me of mentions of my article in various foreign journals, mainly in South Asia and the Middle East. Except that, in this imaginary version, I am told to have written that we must worry about Ukrainians “because they look like us” or “because they are white”.

To repeat, wokery only works against the West. Nobody finds it strange that, say, the Arab countries are more bothered by the violence in Palestine than by the violence in Papua. No one is complaining that the Pakistani government is focusing more on Indian-controlled Kashmir than on Russian-controlled Kherson.

Double standards are intrinsic to wokies. Identity politics insists on seeing race in everything. It defines people by their gender and ethnicity. It requires that the collective identity of certain groups be elevated: that, for example, American policy towards Africa be guided by the sensibilities of African Americans.

Yet he simultaneously resents when Western public opinion is swayed by geographic proximity, cultural congruence, or kinship.

In reality, these links are inevitable. Britain is bound to feel more responsible to, say, Hong Kong than Macao, more kinship with the Falklands than with the Faroes. All human beings feel empathy when they can imagine themselves in a similar situation.

The reason why, for example, the abduction of schoolgirls by Boko Haram caused more global revulsion than the death of children in Syria is that, while few of us can imagine being bombed in our homes, we can all imagine how we would feel if our children didn’t come back from school.

These reactions are part of the human condition. Adam Smith made the famous observation that “a man of humanity in Europe”, hearing that “the great empire of China, with all its myriads of inhabitants, has suddenly been swallowed up by an earthquake”, would feel very hurt for them, but would sleep as if nothing like that had happened. Warned, on the other hand, that he would lose his little finger the next day, he would not sleep a wink.

People often stop quoting at this point, but Smith goes on to explain that we would still sacrifice our finger to save hundreds of millions of lives because our conscience would come into play with or without a direct emotional connection to China.

This, it seems to me, should be the guiding principle of our foreign policy. We should treat all lives as sacrosanct, all human rights as valid, all nations as entitled to their independence. But most of us will naturally feel closer to, say, Canada than Kazakhstan, and there is no dishonor in that feeling.

Ah, say the critics, but do we really treat other peoples the same? Have we been as generous to Afghans and Syrians as we are to Ukrainians?

It depends on who you mean by “we”. If you mean Britain, yes we were. We airlifted some 17,000 people out of Afghanistan when the government fell last year, and welcomed more than 20,000 Syrians, not counting the tens of thousands more we are supporting in states bordering the Syria.

If by ‘we’ you mean EU border states, such as Poland and Hungary, then I can only invite you to spend a few days there and you will see what the difference is.

In 2015 I worked in a hostel for some of the young people crossing the Mediterranean to Italy. They were bright, resourceful children who had had hellish journeys. I hope I would have done the same in their place.

But they were not refugees, at least not in the sense that we legally define that word. Almost all of them were men. At the Polish-Ukrainian border, where I spent last week, the picture is very different. Lines of women with young children queue patiently in freezing temperatures.

Another requirement of woke is that it must act as if gender is a social construct. But Poles and Hungarians have not yet learned to play the game. They can see the difference between men who left their families behind and families who left their men behind. It is tempting to think that a European war could cause us to see the same thing. But that won’t be the case. Nothing will. Woke won.

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David Smith obituary | Geography https://therightroadtopeace.com/david-smith-obituary-geography/ Thu, 10 Mar 2022 18:11:00 +0000 https://therightroadtopeace.com/david-smith-obituary-geography/ My friend David Smith, who died at the age of 85, was Professor of Geography at Queen Mary University of London and author of 21 books focusing primarily on the intersection between human geography, ethics and moral philosophy. Much of his work has focused on compelling case studies drawn from research in South Africa, Palestine, […]]]>

My friend David Smith, who died at the age of 85, was Professor of Geography at Queen Mary University of London and author of 21 books focusing primarily on the intersection between human geography, ethics and moral philosophy.

Much of his work has focused on compelling case studies drawn from research in South Africa, Palestine, Australia, the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, examining in particular the causes of inequality and social injustice and what could be done about them.

David was born in Solihull in the West Midlands to James, who ran a secretarial agency, and Elizabeth (née McIlquham), a designer. After attending school in Solihull, he studied geography at the University of Nottingham, where he met Margaret Harrup, a classmate turned social worker. They married in 1961 and collaborated on a number of projects, including co-authoring a book, The United States: How They Live and Work, published in 1973.

David’s first post was as a lecturer at the University of Manchester from 1964 to 1966, when he moved with Margaret and her family to the United States, where he first taught at the University of southern Illinois at Carbondale (1966-68) then at the University. from Florida to Gainesville (1968-72). There were short guest lectures at the Universities of Natal and the Witwatersrand in South Africa and the University of New England in Australia in 1973, before moving to Queen Mary University of London that year, remaining there until his retirement in 2002.

Most of his books were written while he was at Queen Mary, and he was most proud of his last two, Geography and Social Justice (1994) and Moral Geographies: Ethics in a World of Difference (2000). Both are distinguished by their commitment to bringing human geography and moral philosophy into politically relevant dialogue.

Although he also wrote 104 academic papers over the years, David was not one to attend international conferences, although he was invited to many conferences. What mattered to him was the personal contact with students and colleagues, changing their lives with a simple conversation. He was a private and family person, humbled by his accomplishments, a man who loved to travel, eat out and listen to music, especially Elgar and jazz.

Margaret died in 2002. He is survived by their children, Michael and Tes, and his sister, Sheila.

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Syria Monitoring Map and Report – February 2022 (subscription) https://therightroadtopeace.com/syria-monitoring-map-and-report-february-2022-subscription/ Thu, 24 Feb 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://therightroadtopeace.com/syria-monitoring-map-and-report-february-2022-subscription/ SUBSCRIBERS CLICK HERE TO PROCEED TO ITEM AND MAP (To see all the cards in this series, see all Syria updates.) Search for Djordje Djukic. Map by onestopmap.comEvan Centanni and Djordje Djukic Despite no changes in Syria’s lines of control since 2020, the so-called ‘Islamic State’ (ISIS/ISIL) has continued a bloody insurgency in the central […]]]>
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(To see all the cards in this series, see all Syria updates.)

Search for Djordje Djukic. Map by onestopmap.comEvan Centanni and Djordje Djukic

Despite no changes in Syria’s lines of control since 2020, the so-called ‘Islamic State’ (ISIS/ISIL) has continued a bloody insurgency in the central desert, which has increasingly occupied the Assad government and its allies. Russians and Iranians. Meanwhile, fighting between Kurdish and Turkish-led forces has continued sporadically, and something of a rebel resurgence in the southwest has come and gone.

Find out all this and more on the latest update to PolGeoNow’s concise and professional Syrian Civil War Control Map, which includes a timeline of changes since our previous Syria map report in July, with sources quoted.

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Several religions, one world: the geography of religion https://therightroadtopeace.com/several-religions-one-world-the-geography-of-religion/ Wed, 08 Dec 2021 07:25:06 +0000 https://therightroadtopeace.com/several-religions-one-world-the-geography-of-religion/ In recent articles, I have written about the geography of food, water, sports, and music, and how geospatial technologies and geographic methods are applied to these topics – all of which have been an essential part of the human experience since the beginning of civilization and even before. Likewise, religion and spirituality are and have […]]]>

In recent articles, I have written about the geography of food, water, sports, and music, and how geospatial technologies and geographic methods are applied to these topics – all of which have been an essential part of the human experience since the beginning of civilization and even before. Likewise, religion and spirituality are and have been ubiquitous elements of humanity.

In this article, we’ll explore the fascinating geography of religion. For clarity and brevity, I will use the term religion to include all facets of belief in a world beyond what is tangible to our physical senses. Of course, those senses are part of that connection, as are material elements ranging from a drop of holy water or a stack of vision-seeking stones, to the monumental architecture of the Mayan and Egyptian pyramids.

The material aspects of religion are well beyond the scope of this article. Instead, let’s explore the amazing realm of world religions and what they mean to so many elements of human existence. As universal as religion is, so is geography, and the two are closely related. There are countless religions and faiths around the world, and with limited space, this piece can only touch on a few examples. The mention or omission of a religion or a faith does not imply any opinion of the author.

The migration of religion

Of course, there is no way to know when and where religion started, but we do know that as humanity has spread across the world, we have taken our beliefs with us. . These trips were sometimes short, and at other times, hundreds of generations. Homo sapiens has been shown to be incredibly adaptable, both to the physiographic and cultural setting, so that beliefs and religion have changed over time in dogma and space.

As an undergraduate student at Indiana University, I wrote an article on the migration of Buddhism from India to China. (With all due modesty, I got an A +, and I still have it in a box somewhere.) This was long before GIS and the Internet became ubiquitous tools, there was therefore only text and paper maps. Since then, however, researchers have used GIS to map the centuries-old migration of this faith, which has shaped the lives of billions of people.

As is the case with many web maps, this one on the Spread of Buddhism can be hard to digest at first, but once you dive into it it shows a fascinating history, illustrating many elements of this religion. It shows the routes taken by sects of Buddhism in various countries, spanning both space and time, and also, in a larger context, it shows how many different factors can be mixed together for individual stories to create one. much larger image, spanning centuries.

An interesting University of Arizona project, the Buddhist Geographic Information System, “… aims to digitally present data on Chinese Buddhism with the potential to expand the scope to include the entire Buddhist world at the same time. ‘to come up “. The site is a bit complicated to use, but it offers downloadable data on temple sites, pilgrimages, and other aspects of the vast geographic scope of Buddhism.

Religion and geopolitics

Religion, as one of the most defining elements of identity, binds people together in a common culture. Unfortunately, as much religion has enriched humanity, it has been a constant source of conflict throughout the world. These conflicts have been, are now, and perhaps always will be, important elements of global geopolitics, shaping the lives of countless generations.

Every day we hear about religious conflicts in the news. One of the most lasting is that between the Jewish State of Israel and Islamic Palestine, a nation without a state of its own. Maybe no religious conflict at 20e and 21st centuries has affected American politics and interests as much as this one.

I was teaching “Geography of the Non-Western World” (admittedly an outdated term) in the state of Oregon, and one of my students was confused about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A young exchange student from Asia asked, “But why are they fighting so much? This place is so… it is so small! He had a degree in political science, so he raised his eyebrows and added, “There is no oil there.

This ongoing and incredibly complex conflict is described in a story map. While offering no resolution, the story map illustrates the many religious and political factors that continue to fuel conflict, not least of which is the use of the vast aquifer that lies beneath the shore. west of the Jordan, as well as, of course, the claim to Jerusalem, which both religions consider holy.

National Geographic has released a video series on the subject that uses interviews and maps to illustrate the complexity of life in the conflict zone.

Fortunately, there are people who seek peace. The Economic Cooperation Foundation, an Israeli think tank, has created an interactive database using Mapbox and OpenStreetMap. These are open source tools, and the site offers over a hundred downloadable maps and layers. Being open source, this site also offers editing possibilities for users who sign up for a group account. (Since I don’t know anything about the field, I chose not to contribute. This brings up the topic of ethics in GIS, especially in such a volatile environment, which I’ll cover in a future article.)

Mapping religion in the classroom

Mapping religion in the classroom can be difficult at any grade level, as Martin W. Lewis explained in his insightful article on GeoCurrents, “Wikipedia, the Difficulties of Mapping World Religions, and a Most Bizarre Map”.

Why is this difficult?

There are many religions and just as many ways to map them.

In the dynamics 21st century, people are moving faster than ever, often because of conflict, but also of opportunity, so collecting empirical data can be difficult.

There are also issues of scale and units of measurement. The majority religion in a country may be only 51%, and national borders, like many in Africa, have been redrawn by colonial powers without regard to previous allegiances.

So, what exactly defines a religion? Islam and Christianity, for example, each have multiple belief systems, so simply putting them together can be unintentionally misleading.

Nonetheless, there are excellent map resources for showing religion across the country and the world. Lewis found a map on Wikipedia that shows a more nuanced picture, with religions defined by region rather than country. However, even the most basic maps can be an introduction to the big picture.

For decades, the CIA has compiled and published demographic and geopolitical data in various forms, both tabular and spatial, in The World Factbook. This data has been used for countless projects by many organizations, from humanitarian agencies to national defense (and sometimes to national crime).

From Bahai to Zoroastrianism and Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, The World Factbook offers comprehensive data sets on the world’s religions, country by country, and this data is incorporated into many online maps. One example is a basic AGOL map showing world religions by country, which is a great class tool for showing the global distribution of religion as it currently exists, albeit on a rough scale.

These maps illustrate the diversity of beliefs and, of course, spatial patterns will become evident. Africa is predominantly Muslim in the north and Christian in the south, while Buddhism is most prevalent in East Asia. Judaism is concentrated primarily in Israel, but the geographic scope of a particular faith may not reflect its importance on the world stage, as noted above.

Nationally, several resources are available. Although obsolete (2003), GIS Lounge has a Map Gallery of Religion in the United States. However, the data is mostly based on self-declaration, so this is another example of always checking your sources and creating metadata. They are, however, very beautiful maps and reveal some interesting spatial patterns.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency has an interactive map that includes religious data down to the provincial level. The audience-oriented site is clunky and mostly attribute-based, but it has some useful information that students could use.

Few of us are likely involved in geopolitical analysis and intelligence, and while demographics and religion are essential to conflict resolution, they can seem esoteric in our day-to-day lives. However, an understanding of the vast scope and diversity of this ingrained and perhaps timeless part of human history is essential to understanding the world. We have the power, and therefore the responsibility, to share this knowledge. Regardless of faith, we are still the same species and we all share the same world.


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