Monday, July 11, 2011

It's Official

Welcome to Statehood South Sudan. 

South Sudan, officially the Republic of South Sudan, is a country in East Africa.  That's how the South Sudan wikipedia page now begins (so you KNOW it's legit).  Over the last week I've been making the occasional comment about the new country and surprisingly, most people are at least somewhat familiar with the situation.  The most common response being along the lines of "Oh yea, I think I heard something about that"  which, for a geography question is about as good as you can hope for from a...commoner ;)

South Sudan independence has the web buzzing too.  My blog and my flickr page both saw huge spikes with pages and pictures relating to South Sudan.  Of course huge spike is a relative term and of course, my blog and flickr pages are clearly indicative of the entire web.

However, unlike my blog, National Geographic is proving itself old and slow, not updating their maps, online or print.  Perhaps I'm jumping the gun with my criticism but its not like they didn't see it coming.  When their Map Policy Committee declared South Sudan an area of special status they knew when things would become official but apparently didn't have a plan to update their maps with the biggest change since the breakup of the Soviet Union.  For now I guess I'll have to rely on my fake map of South Sudan.  The question remains...what color will the new nation be on the National Geographic Maps and which other countries will change color?

An exciting time for map nerds everywhere.

Here are a few great pages about South Sudan and its independence I think you should out. Government of Southern Sudan - The US Government of South Sudan Mission - Don't forget the Press - A REAl SS blog


  1. Hey, fan of NG here (my comments do not reflect the ideas of National Geographic), not entirely agreeing with your assessment. I wish the maps were updated faster as well.

    You might be jumping the gun a little bit, but it's not like YOU didn't see it coming:
    "The CPA requires that the details of the independence referendum be worked out by July 9 of this year. National Geographic won't be out with a map showing South Sudan until well after the details have been worked out [...]"
    I liked that post, but there's no need to call NG maps "old and slow." With regards to online maps, Google and Bing haven't even drawn in S. Sudan. But Print? You really expect them to be up to date in print two days later?

    Hope you're not offended by my criticisms. I like your blog. Here's a peace offering: YELLOW.

  2. I'm gonna be be constantly checking map colors now, thank you.

  3. Cedar,

    I'm certainly a big fan of Nat Geo too!

    Even I said that I was probably jumping the gun but for a group that goes out of its way to make its maps reflect the reality on the ground, I don't think it needs to take so long to make such a simple but important change. It's just one of the things I'd like to seem them do differently.

    I know Google has the borders up now, and at least thought they were previously.

    And no, I don't really expect them to be up to date with print maps. Although, in a time of social media and promotion it seems that a press release or tweet with how the map would look around the same time as official independence would have been pretty cool.

    Certainly not offended and welcome the criticism and conversation - thanks for reading.

    My Guess- South Sudan retains the brown color (I feel somewhat confident of this) and Sudan becomes purple.