Today’s world – making maps lie

By Nathan Barton

Anti-War.com (an excellent website, if sometimes incredibly biased and bigoted) recently featured an article from Mondoweiss.com entitled “Palestinian cities are ghost towns between settlements, on Google Maps.”

Hmmm.  Interesting, indeed.

I am no advocate of or great fan of Google Maps.  It has serious problems, and they certainly are not all limited to Canaan, but the reporting by Mondoweiss (a site I visited for the first time via the link from Anti-War) is a wee bit suspect, incredibly biased, and a excellent example of how maps can be used to support lies.  Even (as the article itself points out) the BIG LIES on the scale of Orwell’s 1984 Oceania culture and government.

But methinks that the article doth protest far too much, in its obvious allegiance to the “Palestinian Cause” (clearly noticeable on its website).

In that article, we find this map – definitely from Google, and a discussion:

Google Maps has done to Palestine what Big Brother was unable to do to Winston’s newspaper clipping. An indigenous civilization has long thrived on land you want to steal? No problem — poof, we’ve erased it. It’s gone.

Oh, my, it looks pretty damning, doesn’t it?

Unless you are familiar with the quirks of Google Maps and Google Earth.

Go one zoom level IN and you get this:

Oh, no!  Not the pro-Zionists will get ticked off: there is no “Israel” and the pro-Arabs can continue to be upset: no “West Bank” and no “Gaza Strip.”  But suddenly towns like Jericho, Hebron, Nablus, and Ramallah appear.  (I don’t think any of these are Israeli settlements, but I may be mistaken.)

Not that Google is to be forgiven for the various games that the entity plays with directions in Canaan.  Although some of the claims made by Mondoweiss are clearly false: I could not get directions from Beirut to Hebron, but COULD get directions from Beirut to both Ramallah and Nablus. Still, Google has problems with their maps: problems which do seem likely to be due to their prejudices.  And so, no forgiveness for those things. Any more than they can be forgiven for the stupid way their program works in many other places, including the Fifty States.  Towns (and cities) come and go on their maps, and their route directions are often confusing, inefficient, and sometimes dangerous. And just plain stupid.  Just as they often fail to show accurate locations of many businesses – and sometimes refuse to even list them or show them on their maps.

But the same thing can be said for Bing maps – and every other program out there.  They show their prejudices and biases AND their worldview, in which they care not in the least what most of us in flyover country do (that 5-10% of the population they can live without).

Of course, I also need to point out that it is Arabs – and their supporters and advocates of a “Free Palestine” – that first started this sort of stupid game: of publishing maps which show nothing of the State of Israel, and histories which deny the existence of the Hebrew people, much less their homeland in Canaan, before the 7th or 10th Century. (Remember that Mohammed (peanut butter und honig) recorded (and with pride) his unprovoked attacks on Jewish tribes in Arabia.) Not that Israelis and Jews before 1948 did not launch their own attacks against Arabs in Canaan.

The point of this all is quite simple.  People lie – especially when it comes to politics.  And especially in running government.  They use lots of things to lie, maps among them. The lies (as both Anti-War.com and Mondoweiss.com point out) are of both omission and commission: not stating the truth, stating falsehoods, and of course, making the truth sound like falsehoods.  All of them are forms of (nonviolent) aggression against those being told the lies – unless the lie is made in legitimate defense of others.

The more the lies are spread and argued, the more anger and friction and fracturing of society builds up.  And most likely, the more liberty is stolen.

Think on these things!

About TPOL Nathan

Follower of Christ Jesus (christian), Pahasapan, Westerner, Lover of Liberty, Free-Market Anarchist, Engineer, Army Officer, Husband, Father, Historian, Writer.
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