Odds and Ends: World’s Youngest Countries, GIS Anniversary, and More

Some odds and ends for the day:

-While the current Slovak Republic will turn 20 years old on 1 January 2013, it still ranks among the world’s five or six youngest countries, depending upon your interpretation of Kosovo’s status.

South Sudan 9 July 2011 Partition of Sudan
Kosovo 17 February 2008 Declaration of independence from Serbia (recognised by 93 of 193 UN countries)
Montenegro 3 June 2006 Montenegro leaves union of Serbia and Montenegro
Timor-Leste 20 May 2002 International  recognition of independence from Indonesia
Palau 1 November 1994 End of US-administered United Nations trusteeship
Eritrea 24 May 1993 Declaration of independence from Ethiopia
Czech Republic 1 January 1993 Dissolution of Czechoslovakia
Slovakia 1 January 1993 Dissolution of Czechoslovakia

-One of the fun parts about working at an archives is the books you come across scattered in among a donated fonds of papers. Published books aren’t generally ‘archival’ per se, but they sure are interesting. Today I discovered a complete 1901 edition of The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia, including the atlas the formed the tenth volume (naturally, the item that was of most interest to me). At first I thought about scanning a few plates from the atlas to post here, but that I realised that the wonderful Internet Archive would likely have the entire atlas (and the entire encyclopaedia/dictionary set it came with) online in multiple formats.  Sure enough, here’s the atlas. Browse and enjoy!  But, be warned: there are 118 plates to browse though, plus a number of historical maps at the front.  You may be occupied for some time. On a side note, the Internet Archive recently hit the incredible 10 petabyte mark in storage, and continues to grow in size by about 190 terabytes a month.

-Can you believe that GIS is 50 years old this year (thank you, Roger Tomlinson)?  My home province designated 14 November as BC GIS Day to celebrate as part of the larger Geography Awareness Week (which itself turns 25 this year). One thing I used to do every year back in graduate school during Geography Awareness Week was host ‘GEOpardy!’ trivia nights at the local campus watering hole (always a blast).

-Also speaking of anniversaries, happy 5thanniversary to Tom Howder’s excellent geoblog Twelve Mile Circle!

The results of the referendum on the political status of Puerto Rico held on 6 November  should make for some interesting political discussions over the next two years, as there is now at least a decent chance the island could accede to the United States in the near future. Were such a thing to happen, the United States would stretch over 11 168 km (6 940 mi) of territory from Green Island, Kure Atoll, Hawaii in the west to the east end of Vieques, Puerto Rico.

-Be sure to come back in the next few days as we post Part II of Tragedies of the Crowsnest Pass.

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