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Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:42 pm UTC
by Don Calvus
Klear wrote:
Don Calvus wrote:Now the distinction is pointless and is almost never used in the present. There's no such thing as Western Europe. There is such a thing as "ex-Eastern Europe" though, which is, as was said, the former Communist block.


Of course it is used, at least here. Western Europe are the countries to the west of us, and are thought to be well developed nations. Eastern Europe are those to the East, not-so-well developed.


I admit that this kind of separation is probably based on Czech Republic being pretty much in the middle from all sides.


Well I think this proves that, like with date formats -- who in fact depend of the natural language, as has been proved -- the use of some geopolitical expressions is not the same everywhere; which definitely makes sense, since some are relative, as you're pointing out.

Czech Republic being definitely more central than France, which has a long Atlantic border. Technically, all continental Europe except Portugal* is east to France. That's probably why "Western Europe" doesn't mean much after the Cold War for us. We use "Occident" for the whole Western World/Culture.


*Spain is too, generally, but its westernmost point is a little eastern to France's (while also, anecdotically, sharing the same name, Finistère / Finisterre = "End of Land"). Portugal has the most westernmost point in Europe, I think -- Cabo San Vicente. But I'm talking without a map, and may actually be talking pure bullshit here!

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 12:57 pm UTC
by Don Calvus
Don Calvus wrote:Czech Republic being definitely more central than France, which has a long Atlantic border. Technically, all continental Europe except Portugal* is east to France. That's probably why "Western Europe" doesn't mean much after the Cold War for us. We use "Occident" for the whole Western World/Culture.


*Spain is too, generally, but its westernmost point is a little eastern to France's (while also, anecdotically, sharing the same name, Finistère / Finisterre = "End of Land"). Portugal has the most westernmost point in Europe, I think -- Cabo San Vicente. But I'm talking without a map, and may actually be talking pure bullshit here!


Yes I was. Total BS, and I am a bit ashamed!

Continental Europe's westernmost point is Cabo da Roca, north of Lisbon (38°46′ 48″ N - 9°30′ 02″ W)

Spain's Cabo de Finisterre is 42°55′ 28″ N - 9°17′ 29″ W
Portugal Cabo de São Vicente is 37°01′ 30″ N - 8°59′ 40″ W
much more western than France's westernmost Pointe de Corsen (48°24′ 46″ N - 4°47′ 44″ W)

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:24 pm UTC
by Smylers
Oktalist wrote:
Spoe wrote:ISO defines 4 digit years as a minimum length. It allows for longer years.

You still have to add leading zeroes to all your old dates to maintain proper sorting.

Or use ls -v, which will cope with numbers that have different numbers of digits in them.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:31 pm UTC
by Smylers
fifiste wrote:I don't mind them going from larger to smaller or smaller to larger.
So both dd/mm/yy and yy-mm-dd are fine by me.

But dd/mm/yy (or even dd/mm/yyyy) isn't going from smallest to largest.

In yyyy-mm-dd the eight digits are descending, thus: 8765-43-21.

But in dd/mm/yyyy they go 21/43/8765. Because in a two-digit day you always write the tens digit before the unit, similarly for the month, and years are written as millennium then century then decade then year-within-the-decade.

To actually go from smallest to largest you'd end up with a date like 72/20/3102. Fine, that's logical, but it's backwards to the order we normally write the digits in numbers, and I suspect most people would find it much harder to read than 2013-02-27.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 1:38 pm UTC
by Klear
You are nitpicking. We read short words or numbers as a whole, not digit after digit. When you see 2013, you see just that and not 2-0-1-3.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 2:49 pm UTC
by orthogon
brenok wrote:What? "British Islands" is different from "British Isles"? These guys must be crazy.

The Falkland Islands are British islands, are not in the British Isles, and may or may not be British Islands (I haven't heard that term before).
The Malvinas are none of the above.
Both names happen to refer to the same cold and windswept lumps of land.
Another tricky problem solved by an extra level of indirection.
We just need to get Cameron and Kirchnerto agree to a couple of symlinks and we're good.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 4:58 pm UTC
by ysth
Klear wrote:You are nitpicking. We read short words or numbers as a whole, not digit after digit. When you see 2013, you see just that and not 2-0-1-3.
? The topic was sorting a list of dates, not reading a single date.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 7:24 pm UTC
by Jamaican Castle
brenok wrote:What? "British Islands" is different from "British Isles"? These guys must be crazy.


It's the distinction between the geographical feature known as "the British Isles", versus those islands which happen to be British, e.g. administered by the British government. The term "British islands" isn't really used much, though - most people refer to both of these concepts as "the British Isles", which leads to no end of confusion (and, sometimes, angry people declaring that their home is not British... when they're using a completely different definition to the person they're arguing with).

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 8:57 pm UTC
by Rorgg
Unstealthing after a couple years to importantly state my personal preferences:

I use yyyymmdd on computer files for autosorting. When I'm dating checks or other handwritten foofraw, I use d Mon yyyy

Just like it that way, I do.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 9:01 pm UTC
by Diadem
It's not that complicated people: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNu8XDBSn10

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:21 pm UTC
by Pfhorrest
Jamaican Castle wrote:
brenok wrote:What? "British Islands" is different from "British Isles"? These guys must be crazy.

It's the distinction between the geographical feature known as "the British Isles", versus those islands which happen to be British, e.g. administered by the British government. The term "British islands" isn't really used much, though - most people refer to both of these concepts as "the British Isles", which leads to no end of confusion (and, sometimes, angry people declaring that their home is not British... when they're using a completely different definition to the person they're arguing with).

I think the real source of this problem is the restricted use of "British" to refer to things related to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Whatever Else it Controls at the Moment, when that state neither encompasses all of Britain (the archipelago) nor is limited to it. I guess it's not any worse than referring to things related to the United States of America as "American", even though the US neither encompasses nor is limited to the continent(s) called "America". But at least in the latter case we've got non-US peoples clamoring "Hey, 'American' isn't exclusively US, we're American too!", where the British situation seems reversed, with e.g. the Republic of Ireland being adamantly "not British!" (meaning "not UKian", if I may adapt the "USian" terminology used by non-US Americans), even though Ireland (the island) is a part of Britain (the archipelago).

Compare "British islands" to "American states": should those mean "islands under the control of the UK" and "member states of the US", or "islands in the archipelago of Britain" and "states in the continent(s) of America"?

I contend that Ireland is precisely as British as Brazil is American.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:04 am UTC
by bmonk
Klear wrote:
EvanED wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:I'm curious to hear other people's take on what constitutes western/central/eastern Europe.
Germany, for me, is very firmly planted in the Western Europe camp; before this discussion it probably wouldn't have occurred to me that people would not put it there. I would say Western is Germany/Switzerland/France/probably Italy and west, Eastern is Poland/Czech Republic/Austria/Slovinia and east. "Central" Europe is actually a somewhat strange notion to my ear, to be honest. I don't really know what I'd call Central Europe.


Central Europe is what we like to call ourselves in Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia etc. to not be lumped up with eastern Europe.

Eastern/western Europe has always been a political distinction more than geographical, so the the meaning of the terms obviously shifted after the dissolution of USSR, and since the situation is no longer so polarized between two extremes, now we get to have a central Europe as well.

BTW, I recently realized that I've been confused most of my life because the communist USSR in the east had leftist politics and the west was right - which is sadly opposite to how they are situated.

This whole discussion reminds me of how the southern part of Asia used to be designated (that part outside of the Soviet Union, which also no longer exists. . . .): Near East was Turkey through Iran; Middle East was Pakistan-India-Burma; Far East was Thailand to Korea and Japan. Now the Near East is the Middle East, and nobody talks about the (former) Middle East as a region.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 6:07 am UTC
by da Doctah
Jamaican Castle wrote:
brenok wrote:What? "British Islands" is different from "British Isles"? These guys must be crazy.


It's the distinction between the geographical feature known as "the British Isles", versus those islands which happen to be British, e.g. administered by the British government. The term "British islands" isn't really used much, though - most people refer to both of these concepts as "the British Isles", which leads to no end of confusion (and, sometimes, angry people declaring that their home is not British... when they're using a completely different definition to the person they're arguing with).


I recommend the movie "The Blue Angel", particularly if you can get the German version. Emil Jannings plays an English teacher, which is not to say that he's English; or he plays a German teacher, but he doesn't teach German.

He teaches in what I'd call a high school. Except that in German, that'd be "Hochschule", which is more like what I'd call a junior college. In the German dialogue, he actually teaches at the "Gymnasium", but he's not a gym teacher.

He's a German English high-school Gymnasium teacher who doesn't teach German, isn't English, and doesn't teach in a gymnasium or in German for "high school".

It's a wonder it takes Marlene Dietrich to ruin his life; seems like he's already perilously close to unemployed.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:49 am UTC
by Diadem
That high school part is really the American's fault. Why on earth call secondary education 'high school'. It's middle school. Higher education is tertiary education. Heck even in the US higher education means tertiary education. Which means that even using the American's own terminology, you don't get higher education in high school. Ridiculous!

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:27 am UTC
by Klear
bmonk wrote:This whole discussion reminds me of how the southern part of Asia used to be designated (that part outside of the Soviet Union, which also no longer exists. . . .): Near East was Turkey through Iran; Middle East was Pakistan-India-Burma; Far East was Thailand to Korea and Japan. Now the Near East is the Middle East, and nobody talks about the (former) Middle East as a region.


Yeah, good point. In Czech, we still uses both "Near East" and "Middle East" interchangeably, the latter being probably due to the influence of English. Far East is only used in historical context, and slightly less than "orient", which means simply "east".

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 10:39 am UTC
by Pfhorrest
Because the names stem from when it was only a few elites who went on to what we'd now call "higher education", and the basic standard education everyone was expected to receive was 12 grades of compulsory schooling. Primary school was elementary school, and secondary school was high school. And if you were some kind of upper-class erudite scholar who could afford to pay a fancy private college or university to teach you more, then sure, you got even higher schoolin'. But that weren't for the common folk, y'hear.

Those 12 grades of compulsory schooling sometimes usually have the middle few separated out into their own grouping, either the lower two grades of secondary become "junior high school", or those and the last grade or two of primary get lumped together into a "middle school".

I rather like that grouping (1-4 elementary, 5-8 middle, and 9-12 high), because it corresponds well with the classical education trivium of grammar, logic, and rhetoric, which I think need to be paired with mathematical analogues of arithmetic, algebra, and statistics, and taught as the primary focus of those three levels. Of course, we have a hard enough time getting our high school graduates to master grammar and arithmetic, so maybe pushing them to be competent rhetoricians and statisticians too is a bit much. (But if you could pull it off, hoo boy would we see a reduction in bullshit tolerance in this country... which is why it will never happen, those in power would never want that).

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:04 pm UTC
by Hafting
n079614 wrote:Was Australia consulted on this ISO?

DD/MM/YYYY or death!


A popular system for good reason. Many of the dates we deal with is less than a month away, so the day part is the most important and the rest is optional. Again, if the month is necessary, it is often enough in the same year . . .

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:05 pm UTC
by Vitus
Don Calvus wrote:
Continental Europe's westernmost point is Cabo da Roca, north of Lisbon (38°46′ 48″ N - 9°30′ 02″ W)

Spain's Cabo de Finisterre is 42°55′ 28″ N - 9°17′ 29″ W
Portugal Cabo de São Vicente is 37°01′ 30″ N - 8°59′ 40″ W
much more western than France's westernmost Pointe de Corsen (48°24′ 46″ N - 4°47′ 44″ W)


True for the continental part.
If you count the Spanish or Portugese islands French Oversea territories things get more complicated.
EU boundaries goes as far away as the Carribean Sea and France ends outmost west in French Polynesia.

just to do a little nitpicking :wink:

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 6:21 pm UTC
by Don Calvus
Vitus wrote:
Don Calvus wrote:
Continental Europe's westernmost point is Cabo da Roca, north of Lisbon (38°46′ 48″ N - 9°30′ 02″ W)

Spain's Cabo de Finisterre is 42°55′ 28″ N - 9°17′ 29″ W
Portugal Cabo de São Vicente is 37°01′ 30″ N - 8°59′ 40″ W
much more western than France's westernmost Pointe de Corsen (48°24′ 46″ N - 4°47′ 44″ W)


True for the continental part.
If you count the Spanish or Portugese islands French Oversea territories things get more complicated.
EU boundaries goes as far away as the Carribean Sea and France ends outmost west in French Polynesia.

just to do a little nitpicking :wink:


Yes, that's why I used the word "continental" ;)

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:29 pm UTC
by da Doctah
Klear wrote:Far East is only used in historical context, and slightly less than "orient", which means simply "east".


It always bothered me, growing up in California, that to get to the part of the world called the "Far East", you had to go west (unless you were flying, in which case you had to go north), and that the much-touted "midwest" was to the east.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:42 pm UTC
by brenok
da Doctah wrote:
Klear wrote:Far East is only used in historical context, and slightly less than "orient", which means simply "east".


It always bothered me, growing up in California, that to get to the part of the world called the "Far East", you had to go west (unless you were flying, in which case you had to go north), and that the much-touted "midwest" was to the east.


Not exactly a "question", but:

Memetic Completeness Conjecture!

Image

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Sun Mar 03, 2013 11:08 pm UTC
by Klear
That's because you're using these messed up maps which split Asia in the middle... =P

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:41 am UTC
by phlip
Right... you want maps that date from a time where all you have is Europe, Asia and Africa. The Americas and Australia didn't exist yet. And Africa didn't really count, we only care about places where people live, not Africans. Then, all the land that matters is a long stretch from west to east across Eurasia. From the point of view of someone in Europe, you have the West (meaning Western Europe), the Near East (meaning Eastern Europe), the Middle East (the only one of these terms that's still in common use) and the Far East (India and China).

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:29 am UTC
by EduardoSilva
In my team I have enforced ISO 8601 as date format per default. Any developer not using it has to ask me beforehand. Sortability of the documentation and the chance to lookup dates by text search are just important.

But it is one of the very, very few times I can see an error in the comic. 20130304 is exactly as ISO as 2013-03-04, exactly as encouraged by the standard.

Written at 2013-03-04T05:27:39Z+01 (and yes, that was ISO 8601 too).

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:31 am UTC
by Klear
phlip wrote:Right... you want maps that date from a time where all you have is Europe, Asia and Africa. The Americas and Australia didn't exist yet. And Africa didn't really count, we only care about places where people live, not Africans. Then, all the land that matters is a long stretch from west to east across Eurasia. From the point of view of someone in Europe, you have the West (meaning Western Europe), the Near East (meaning Eastern Europe), the Middle East (the only one of these terms that's still in common use) and the Far East (India and China).


I never said that. I said that maps that cut Asia in half are weird. It's a strange coincidence that maps centred on Europe, which are the first world maps that were created, have their edge go through the pacific ocean, neatly missing both Siberia and Alaska. (and yes, they include Australia and Africa. In fact, Africa gets the same spotlight at Europe)

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:47 am UTC
by phlip
Oh, no, I wasn't accusing you of having that point of view. Just talking about the point of view where the terms "West" and "East" came from in this context.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:52 am UTC
by Diadem
phlip wrote:Oh, no, I wasn't accusing you of having that point of view. Just talking about the point of view where the terms "West" and "East" came from in this context.

But that is not where those terms come from.

Centering the map on Europe is, given the geography of the continents, the only logical way to draw a world map. This is also the most common way to draw the world map, and there's nothing euro-centric about it. On such a map Asia is indeed in the east. Especially East-Asia, which is the part of Asia most commonly referred to as The East.

Meanwhile of course not all of Europe is referred to as The West. Only Western-Europe is. There are two reasons for this, none of those having to do with the position of Europe on a world map. The first is that Western Europe is, for the most part, in the western part of Europe. The second is that Western Europe is closely associated with the USA, which is, indeed, in the west on a standard world map.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:09 am UTC
by yurell
Diadem wrote:Centering the map on Europe is, given the geography of the continents, the only logical way to draw a world map.


There are many more map projections than north-superior, south-inferior on a rectangle.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:19 am UTC
by Klear
yurell wrote:
Diadem wrote:Centering the map on Europe is, given the geography of the continents, the only logical way to draw a world map.


There are many more map projections than north-superior, south-inferior on a rectangle.


The only logical way. I wouldn't call getting rid of the north-superior orientation which has been used for a long time and everybody is used to it while it's not broken in any way logical.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:22 am UTC
by yurell
A globe, maybe? OH NO, HERESY!

Also, why north-superior? South-superior is just as logical, which defeats your contention of the 'only logical way'.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:28 am UTC
by phlip
Diadem wrote:
phlip wrote:Oh, no, I wasn't accusing you of having that point of view. Just talking about the point of view where the terms "West" and "East" came from in this context.

But that is not where those terms come from.

Centering the map on Europe is, given the geography of the continents, the only logical way to draw a world map. This is also the most common way to draw the world map, and there's nothing euro-centric about it. On such a map Asia is indeed in the east. Especially East-Asia, which is the part of Asia most commonly referred to as The East.

Meanwhile of course not all of Europe is referred to as The West. Only Western-Europe is. There are two reasons for this, none of those having to do with the position of Europe on a world map. The first is that Western Europe is, for the most part, in the western part of Europe. The second is that Western Europe is closely associated with the USA, which is, indeed, in the west on a standard world map.

Are you trying to claim that the terms "West" and "East", as rough geographical areas, date to after the European discovery of the Americas? Because that seems to be what you're claiming.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:36 am UTC
by Carlington
I know it's probably starting to get old, but I'm just saying...
Memetic Completion Conjecture.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:35 am UTC
by orthogon
Klear wrote:
yurell wrote:
Diadem wrote:Centering the map on Europe is, given the geography of the continents, the only logical way to draw a world map.


There are many more map projections than north-superior, south-inferior on a rectangle.


The only logical way. I wouldn't call getting rid of the north-superior orientation which has been used for a long time and everybody is used to it while it's not broken in any way logical.

Especially if we replace the loaded words "superior" and "inferior" with the more neutral "up" and "down".

Do engineers and programmers who work on the application layer feel themselves superior to those working on the physical layer, an injustice perpetuated by the convention of portraying their layer at the top of the ISO/OSI diagram? (OK, maybe they do, but the reverse is also true). The problem with the world is that the global South really does have more poverty, hunger, disease, violence, corruption etc. Investment, education, mosquito nets, cheap drugs, education, condoms, transparency and education might be solutions, whereas I'm sceptical as to whether different maps will help very much. It seems to me that if those problems could be eradicated, nobody would care too much about the convention for showing North on a map.

I may be reading more into yurell's post than was intended!

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:39 am UTC
by OrenT
The ISO8601 includes stuff like skipping the '-' or ':' separators, formats for week dates, ordinal dates and even allows the hour to be 24:00:00(!) :?

I prefer the simple subset of ISO8601 described in RFC3339: yyyy-mm-ddTHH:MM:SS[.fffffff]

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:05 pm UTC
by Klear
orthogon wrote:It seems to me that if those problems could be eradicated, nobody would care too much about the convention for showing North on a map.


The benefit of the convention is that if you look at any map, you don't have to check which way it is oriented. Of course putting south on top would be identical except that it's been like that for ages and with both orientations being identical, there's no benefit in changing it.

http://geography.about.com/od/understandmaps/a/North-At-The-Top-Of-The-Map.htm wrote:The discovery and use of the compass in Europe in the 1200-1500s may have greatly influenced many modern-day maps with north at the top. A compass points to magnetic north, and Europeans, like other cultures long before, noticed that the earth spins on an axis that is relatively pointed at the north star. That idea combined with the concept that when we look up we see the stars, contributed to north being placed up at the top of maps, with words and symbols being placed relative to that viewpoint.


It's interesting to note that there is a psychological bias for north - The North-South Real Estate Bias.

BTW, when I need to find some place in a part of the city I'm unfamiliar with, I look on the map, remember the places' position from the nearest mass transportation station, note that it is, say, to the north, and when I arrive, I tend to go uphill, usually the opposite direction. It still happens to be from time to time, even though I know it about myself and try to avoid doing this embarrassingly stupid mistake.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:17 pm UTC
by yurell
Klear wrote:The benefit of the convention is that if you look at any map, you don't have to check which way it is oriented. Of course putting south on top would be identical except that it's been like that for ages and with both orientations being identical, there's no benefit in changing it.


Are you saying that you wouldn't recognise which way the world map is oriented if it weren't for north up the top? Plenty of maps are made with different orientations (e.g. a map of the botanic gardens may have the entrance at the bottom of the map, which may not correspond with due south).

I merely contest the idea that projecting a spherical body onto a flat rectangle with north up the top is the only logical way to convey the orientation of landmasses on the planet.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:19 pm UTC
by Diadem
yurell wrote:
Diadem wrote:Centering the map on Europe is, given the geography of the continents, the only logical way to draw a world map.

There are many more map projections than north-superior, south-inferior on a rectangle.

Perhaps I should have specified "on a rectangle" but I thought that was fairly obvious given the context of the conversation. Of course you can use globes or Waterman-Butterfly's. But we were comparing standard rectangular maps.

On a standard rectangular map, the only logical place to cut it is through the pacific ocean.

Yes, you could put the south on top. But lo and behold! Europe will still be in the centre, east-asia will still be in the east, and the Americas will still be in the west. Putting the south at the top changes nothing about any of the points I was talking about.

Edit: Also note that when I said "centered on europe" I was talking along the east-west axis. The true centre of such a map will of course be Africa. Unless you cut off the poles and then cut off more off the south pole than the north pole. Then the centre moves northward. This is actually fairly common, but the centre of such a map will generally still be northern Africa.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:23 pm UTC
by yurell
Klear wrote:It's interesting to note that there is a psychological bias for north - The North-South Real Estate Bias.


That only shows that there's a bias for the superior map position in W.E.I.R.D. American college students; that's not necessarily a north-bias, especially since it changed upon rotating the map.

Diadem wrote:On a standard rectangular map, the only logical place to cut it is through the pacific ocean.


I disagree. If I care about, say, China, and thus want to see it in relation to everything else, I would have China centred on the east-west axis; sure, this would cut up land masses, but it would also tell me what I want to know. The 'logical' place to divide a map depends on what you want the map for.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:34 pm UTC
by Klear
yurell wrote:Are you saying that you wouldn't recognise which way the world map is oriented if it weren't for north up the top?


I'm saying that I wouldn't recognise which way a map of, let's say, Glasgow is oriented if it weren't for north up the top.

Klear wrote:The benefit of the convention is that if you look at any map, you don't have to check which way it is oriented.


Edit: As for the botanical gardens etc. - those are plans rather than maps. There's a subtle difference.

yurell wrote:
Klear wrote:It's interesting to note that there is a psychological bias for north - The North-South Real Estate Bias.


That only shows that there's a bias for the superior map position in W.E.I.R.D. American college students; that's not necessarily a north-bias, especially since it changed upon rotating the map.


The bias is for the upper part of the map, sure. Which happens to be north in most cases.

Re: 1179: "ISO 8601"

Posted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:41 pm UTC
by yurell
Sometimes conventions aren't useful — if I'm looking at a map of my house, I'm wasting space if I orient north at the top, since the rectangular house would be put at an angle. In general, if I look at a map of my local area with north towards the top, I'm completely lost, because I think of right outside my door as 'the top', and were I to draw a mud map, that's where I'd start. And if you don't check the orientation of a map you're using, you're an idiot, convention or no; people die for doing things like that. And having 'north' as a convention is purely a cultural bias. At any rate, we were discussing world maps, not local ones (like my house or Glasgow), and the thing I was arguing against is that one arrangement of one map projection is the only logical way to have a map.

Edit:
Diadem wrote:Edit: Also note that when I said "centered on europe" I was talking along the east-west axis. The true centre of such a map will of course be Africa. Unless you cut off the poles and then cut off more off the south pole than the north pole. Then the centre moves northward. This is actually fairly common, but the centre of such a map will generally still be northern Africa.

I gathered what you meant, as it's the arrangement of basically every generalist rectangular map of the world I've ever seen. It's definitely a logical way to arrange a map. May even be the most logical (although I don't think I'd necessarily agree with it). I just disagree that it's the only logical.