Cartography Catastrophe – Continued

Following the outcry in Israel after the Eurovision Song Contest‘s 2nd semifinal, in which Israel was the only country whose map was not shown prior to its song, the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs contacted the Norwegian hosts of this year’s contest to convey their message. During tonight’s final the Israeli map was indeed shown – albeit missing the west bank. Sources in the MFA told Ynet that they insisted Israel “will be shown as a country with borders, and not some amorphous entity”.

Graphics shown in the ESC’s 2nd semifinal::
ESC 2010 - 2nd semifinal - Israel
Graphics shown in the ESC’s final::
ESC 2010 - Final - Israel

I realize that all this might seem like some kind of a bizarre Rorschach inkblot test, making too much out of a graphical element, but I think flags, anthems and maps are important symbols of independence, and it seems every now and again someone figures Israel is fair game.

Cartography Catastrophe

Did you watch the European Song Contest‘s 2nd semifinal last night? Did you notice it? It came and went really fast, but did you manage to notice how Israel was wiped off the map?

Before each live performance a short video clip about the participating country was shown, but right before that video some on-screen graphics created the map of each country. Yes, each country but one: Israel.
Right before Harel Skaat took to the stage, the same yellow graphics that filled the screen for each other country, that graphics was now squished to the side and quickly disappeared.

Did the 62 years old Jewish nation get the shaft? Did The Jew Among Nations got the regular treatment? Serbia, a country that got its independence less than 4 years ago got similar treatment in the 1st semifinal; Does that fact make it better or worse?

Here’s the video (Don’t blink during the first few seconds):


Screen captures for each participating county after the jump:
Continue reading Cartography Catastrophe

Channel 10 Presents: A Riddle, Wrapped in a Mystery, Inside an Enigma

After solving the Riddle of the Sphinx, there really aren’t that many riddles left to solve. The only one I can think of has to do with Israel Channel 10’s weather map and its representation of famous Israeli landmarks: Mount Hermon has a snowman, Haifa has the Baha’i Shrine, Tel-Aviv has the Azrieli skyscrapers and Jerusalem the Knesset.
Which leads us to the Beersheba conundrum: behind the inevitable camel, there is a complex of buildings which resembles nothing I have ever seen in the city, and certainly nothing that is as easily recognizable as the others mentioned.

Now, this may not be as important to solve as the Iranian nuclear race – but unlike Ahmadinejad, this one is within our reach:
Israel's Channel 10 Weather Map

Israel's Channel 10 Weather Map

Which Way is Israel? – A Follow-up

Jerry I’m telling you I have this power. And I have no control over it.
   – – Cosmo Kramer – Seinfeld – s05e11

[singlepic id=185 w=320 h=240 float=right]Just two days ago I blogged about the mixed messages sent by Agritech, Israel’s agricultural exhibition, in their full page ads which had both an inviting slogan (The world arrives in Israel! Israel awaits the world!) and a deterring world map featuring relocated countries and arrows pointing every which way.
Well, it only took one phone call to event organizer Atar Krauss (as suggested by a reader of mine) to produce some results. In today’s Maariv newspaper the new ad is partly fixed: the countries are still playing musical chairs (except for Korea, circled in yellow by me, which was moved back), but at least the arrows are pointing to Israel, helping the world arrive there:

Before: After:
[singlepic id=186 w=525 h=151 float=center]
click image for higher resolution

Which Way is Israel?

[singlepic id=183 w=320 h=240 float=right]

“Ya know, I don’t get it. I’m not allowed to ask a Chinese person where a Chinese restaurant is? Aren’t we all getting a little too sensitive? If somebody asks me which way is Israel, I don’t fly off the handle.”
  – – Jerry Seinfeld – Seinfeld – s05e10

Israel may be a leader in agriculture, but probably not in cartography. Agritech, The 17th International Agricultural Exhibition will be held in Tel-Aviv this coming week. Published in the local papers is an ad for the event sporting a map of the world and the ambiguous slogan “The world arrives in Israel! Israel awaits the world!”. I assume publishing full page ads is costly, and so I have to wonder: who was in charge of putting arrows on the map to direct the world to Israel?
[singlepic id=182 w=525 h=583]
Come to think of it, upon closer inspection this seems like the craziest map I have ever seen:
Korea seem to have moved into China, Nigeria is now in the center of Africa instead of the Congo, Ukraine moved to Russia and Bulgaria is now where Germany used to be. Way to welcome the world to your exhibition, Agritech! …or is this game of musical chairs intended to break the ice?
Israel gets plenty mad whenever anyone gets creative drawing a map of the Middle East and usually raises a storm when someone uses a different color for the occupied territories – so the act of relocating whole countries seems to me like the strangest way to say welcome.

Update: This post has a follow-up here.

Learn Hebrew While You Drive

When I wanted to know how to get to a certain address in Jerusalem, these were the travel instructions I got from Israel’s leading mapping website

English Route Instructions Software Bug |

7.  Straight on Agripas
8.  Turn left on Ki’akh
9.  Straight on Ha-Nevi’im
10. Take ramp to say what?

Yes, it is not a software bug; it is an induced-Hebrew-learning feature.

Where Is This All Going? Web Trend Map 2007 Version 2.0

We all feel the excitement in the air: the internet is evolving. Information Architects in Japan have produced a new version of their Web Trends for 2007, documenting the 200 most successful websites, mapped by popularity and category on the Tokyo metro map, with the added bonus of a forecast.

Legend: Web Trend Map 2007 Version 2.0

How to get from New York to London, According To Google

Google Maps: New-York to London Map

1. Go to
2. Click on "maps"
3. Click on "get directions"
4. Type "New York" in the first box (the "from" box)
5. Type "London" in the second box (the "to" box)
6. When directions appear, scroll down and see how Google Maps suggests you cross the Atlantic Ocean.

Google Maps: New-York to London Directions