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Jakarta Post

Maps mark borders, and yet always lies

  • I Made Andi Arsana

Yogyakarta   /   Mon, November 22 2010   /  09:26 am

In the early 1990s, Goenawan Mohamad wrote that God might not agree on one single map that men had created.Maps continually change, especially when it comes to borders. New lines are needed to mark the emergence of new autonomous entities, while some other lines disappear because of the fusion of two or more territories.Most of the time, border lines separating two entities (countries, provinces, districts, villages, etc) are imaginary. While some borders are marked by walls such as the Berlin Wall that fell in 1989, most borders do not physically exist. They can be marked by pillars even these can only be limited in density.Alternatively, borders are shown on a map, represented by lines distinguishing one area from another. Maps are legal documents depicting borders between countries or other entities. In maritime areas, where physical markers are almost impossible to install, maps are ...