Monday, November 15, 2010

Map Video Monday



Instead of a regular music video this week, I've decided to feature a cool video that compresses one thousand years of European history into five minutes. It really shows you how impermanent national borders are. This is fascinating to watch, as I could watch it over and over for hours. I haven't yet, but I probably will watch it a few times a day, focusing on one country on the map. Its particularly interesting to me that there was a country named Bohemia, whose borders were pretty consistent through most of the past 1,000 years. I don't know why it prefers to go by Czech Republic now, as Bohemia has historical prestige.

Some other points of interest include how the borders of Great Britain, France, and Spain seemed to be set pretty early, while Italy and Germany were slow to become united. Even more interesting, you can see when the Napoleonic era happened as France increased its land area. You can also see when the Nazis came to power in Germany, as the expansion happened really quickly and then imploded even more quickly. For a history buff like myself, not to mention map-obsessed, this animated history is awesome! I inherited from my paternal grandfather a love of maps. Like him, I could stare at maps all day. As a youth, I loved creating my own maps of imaginary countries and even an amusement park. My favourite class in college was a Political Geography class in which our final exam was a take-home exam featuring an imaginary continent and we had to come up with our educated guesses about which countries would be natural allies and which ones would likely go to war with one another. I impressed the professor when I named each country and major city on his map (he used numbers and letters). I got an "A". I should've majored in Geography, I think, seeing as how worthless International Politics has proven to be in my search for a meaningful career in my major.

Anyhow, I hope you enjoy this cool feature! The music video selection should return next week.

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