Here’s my globe reference guide as it approaches my work. Two earlier posts about the Guide are here and here.

The globe reference guide gives instructions for determining the date of a globe

“by comparing it to the listing of cartographic changes below. […] As an example: If your globe shows the Philippines as independent (1946); but India is a British colony and not yet independent (1947); then the approximate edition date for your globe is 1946 or 1947. The general area of change is shown in brackets [ ].”

The listing consists of real-world political and circumstantial events that have altered boundaries, names and relationships of dependence. These alterations are reflected in ongoing cartographic amendments, which, allowing a lag for printing and publishing, run contemporarily with the events. Any outdated globe can be located in time via a return to these events as they are retrospectively presented in history.

The list in the reference guide presents real-world changes in such a way that they are co-opted into the service of their own representation. Each listing includes “[t]he general area of the change”, not in sympathy with the event itself but rather as a tool to help locate it on the globe. Events are listed anti-chronologically and described in the present tense as a series of parameters to be applied in order as the list ascends:

1990      East Germany and West Germany reunify into Germany [Central Europe]
1989      Burma changes to Myanmar [Southeast Asia]
1986      Ivory Coast changes to Cote d’Ivoire [West Africa]

In this context the relations of cause and effect lighten and appear to pursue one another in a closed circuit of reciprocity. The real-world event seems to take place for the express purpose of its subsequent representation: representation which is in turn entirely fulfilled in its service to the event.

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