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The labeling would also be less confusing if it were not so dense, which means that it’s hard to associate a label with a specific feature, or place them very clearly and cleanly.
I’m not sure why there are so many cities on this map.
Look at Serbia and Belgrade — it looks to me like Belgrade is the country and Serbia the city.
Using multiple colors for the labels would help, as would using something like small caps for the countries, or even another typeface.
The map labels all the countries of the world (which helps date it to the early 1990s, as well), but the borders rarely show up clearly.
Special thanks to Jaime Stoltenberg at the Arthur Robinson Map Library for running this through the large-format scanner for me. w=300" data-large-file="https://cartastrophe.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/map.jpg? w=655&h=326" alt="2007 Surveillance States" width="655" height="326" srcset="https://cartastrophe.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/map.jpg?Unless you need a guide to a parallel Earth where most of Turkey is higher than Tibet. On the image above, I count seven types of labels: Countries, capital cities, other cities, islands, individual mountains, mountain ranges, rivers, and seas.That being said, I do kind of like the highly generalized, faceted appearance the terrain has. Before I move away from this image, notice the Aral sea, in the center. These very different things are being represented by very similar looking labels.Admittedly, the terrain colors limit the options for label colors, which is perhaps another strike against them.Speaking of countries, where are the borders for Poland? They’re pretty hard to see, both on the scan and in the print.
So, perhaps instead of elevation, the colors are depicting land cover, and showing a snowy Russia?