Friday, October 05, 2018

Unboxing the Shetlands


Yesterday the Scottish government passed a law which makes it illegal to place the Shetlands Islands in an inset box on a map of Scotland.

Just as Hawaii is often shown in an inset box on maps of the United States the Shetland Islands are often placed in an inset box on maps of Scotland. By making it illegal to place the Shetland Islands inside an inset box the politicians have created a huge problem for cartographers.

Or have they?

My solution to this problem is simply Unboxing the Shetlands and placing the rest of Scotland in an inset box instead. This simple and elegant solution to the new law will hopefully satisfy everybody.

Obviously my solution does not quite fit the letter of the new law which requires that the islands be "displayed in a manner that accurately and proportionately represents their geographical location in relation to the rest of Scotland". However I think it does fit the spirit of the law in that it more accurately reflects the huge cultural and historical significance of the islands. My map obviously has the additional benefit of putting Scotland back in the box where it belongs.
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