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Map Room Ramblings | Atlas Altera

Map Room Ramblings | Atlas Altera

By Telamon Tabulicus
Tired of learning geography and history in an uninspired world? In the Map Room, a cartographer and a geographer sit down and have backstage discussions on all things related to Atlas Altera, a creative exercise that repaints the world while going hardcore on real geography, anthropology, linguistics, and history. Learn awe-inspiring facts about our world as you're sucked into an alternate reality, differently imagined and yet so similar to our own.

You can watch the video versions on YouTube: youtu.be/tAH-Wst_JzA
Dig deeper on www.atlasaltera.com
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Origins of Regions - Toponyms
Following episodes 11 and 2, we now turn to exploring how and why the different regions of the world of Altera got their names.  Other topics covered: the four ways to divide the continent of Africa; Eritrea as an exonym; Nubia's Baqt treaty's connection to the Zanj Rebellion in Mesopotamia;  an Zanj, Zanzibar, and Azania as cognates and Sudan as an analogous term; defining the new boundaries for Asia; the many possible etymologies of Siberia; reapplying the Greco term Taprobana to Australia; how places like Guinea, Ethiopia, Thule, and Hesperia were geographic moving targets until recently; the emerging political geography of Turtle Island; and lamentations for missed opportunities of basing place names on Tierra del Fuego, Andina, and the Caribbean. Tired of learning geography and history in an uninspired world? Atlas Altera is a creative exercise that repaints the world while going hardcore on real geography, anthropology, linguistics, and history. For more content, visit www.atlasaltera.com or watch the video on YouTube.
31:12
September 05, 2021
Landmasses and Continents - Toponyms
Building off of the general overview in episode #2 for how and why places are named/renamed in Altera, we set off to systematically explore the etymologies behind geographic name in Altera, starting top-level first with landmasses and continents. Other topics covered: the difference between a continent and a landmass, Amerigo Vespucci, the etymology of Alaska, the geographic concepts of Ecumene and Nusantara, the -stan suffix, power relations and exonyms, connecting the East Indies with the Spice Islands or Moluccas, septentrion as north and the historic French system of orientation, the Southern Cross and its tie to iconography in the Southern Hemisphere, and Southern Ocean geographic exceptionalism. Tired of learning geography and history in an uninspired world? Atlas Altera is a creative exercise that repaints the world while going hardcore on real geography, anthropology, linguistics, and history. For more content, visit www.atlasaltera.com or watch the video on YouTube.
21:39
July 27, 2021
Human Spectrums & Ancestries
This is the last episode done for the Humans of Altera feature map for the Atlas Altera project. We cover the topic of genetic differences in human populations, rework commonly perceived notions of race, and showcase interesting connections and ironies in human ancestries.    Tired of learning geography and history in an uninspired world? Atlas Altera is a creative exercise that repaints the world while going hardcore on real geography, anthropology, linguistics, and history. For more content, visit www.atlasaltera.com or watch the video on YouTube.
35:10
July 22, 2021
Radical Population Disruptions in the Modern Era - Humans of Altera
CONTENT WARNING: This discussion refers to mass violence, mass atrocities, and genocide. Moral judgement is not touched upon, but is implicit and expected from viewers. Moving from the early prehistoric dispersal humans and pre-modern migrations covered in the previous discussion, we discuss the demographic implications of the so-called "Age of Discovery" in an unorthodox way by looking at population shifts, disruptions, and displacements. By coming to see settler colonialism and imperialism in this lens, we come to appreciate just how radically different human populations have become in the last few centuries. Other topics covered:  the Guanches people of the Canary Islands, the concept of terra nullius, isolated and uncontacted peoples, Canadian residential schools, the silent trade, the Kusunda of the Himalayas, the Vedda of Sri Lanka, uncontacted farmers of Papua in the early 20th century, the Moriori Genocide in the Chatham Islands, Lorde Howe Island, and the Vezo and the Bajau of Madagascar and Borneo. Tired of learning geography and history in an uninspired world? Atlas Altera is a creative exercise that repaints the world while going hardcore on real geography, anthropology, linguistics, and history. For more content, visit www.atlasaltera.com or watch the video on YouTube.
34:16
June 14, 2021
The Dispersal of the Human Species - Humans of Altera
Following our previous discussion on re-imagining how to think of phenotypical and physical differences in human populations, we talk about the prehistoric dispersal the human species in Altera, which closely follows the real world. Understanding these early waves of migration. going from the paleolithic to even the pre-modern period, helps us understand contemporary population admixtures. Other topics covered: population extinction events, founder effects, the Southern Dispersal Route, the possible origins of humans in the a paleo-wetlands of Zambia in southern Africa, Coastal Migration, the hypothesized connection of prehistoric connections between the Nivkh and peoples of the Pacific Northwest, the Inuit and Paleo-eskimos, the debunked Solutrean hypothesis, the expansion of Austronesian peoples, the Negritos and ancient population shifts in the insular Southeast Asia, the timing of the arrival of dingos in Australia, ancient Indian ancestries among Australian aboriginals, new discoveries of ancient humans and the Out of Africa theory. Tired of learning geography and history in an uninspired world? Atlas Altera is a creative exercise that repaints the world while going hardcore on real geography, anthropology, linguistics, and history. For more content, visit www.atlasaltera.com or watch the video on YouTube.
19:51
June 12, 2021
From Race to Lineages & Admixtures - Humans of Altera
This is the first of a series of talks we have to address the idea of the physical differences of human populations in Altera, mainly on shared ancestral lineages and populations being made up of admixtures. The discussions are meant to help compliment the "Old Kin and Humankind" map graphic. In this first discussion, we look at the 24 ancestral clusters identified for Altera, which are informed by real scientific genetic structure studies, in order to surface the fascinating connections but also differences contained within all of us. Other topics covered: race, categorizing population make-up, problems with sampling human populations, the changing face of America, demographic shifts and multiculturalism, genetic "purity" and Indigenous Australians, "African Pygmies" or the Twa and similar rainforest hunter-gathers, the "Negrito" peoples of Southeast Asia, and Masaman's ethno-racial map. Tired of learning geography and history in an uninspired world? Atlas Altera is a creative exercise that repaints the world while going hardcore on real geography, anthropology, linguistics, and history. For more content, visit www.atlasaltera.com or watch the video on YouTube.
27:58
June 02, 2021
Confluences of Culture - Spread of Humankind in Altera through the Lens of Innovations and Technology
Uncut, extra long: this episode covers the spread of humankind through the lens of culture, going from Altera's centres of origin to transoceanic contact. We use the Confluences of Human Culture adornment piece on the Chorographical Depictions world map as a talking piece, ranging from the overstated "cradles of civilization" to more understudied areas of independent crop domestication in the far corners of the world. Other topics covered: the Norse discovery of Vinland, the sweet potato theory of trans-Pacific contact, and other pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact theories, as well as the connection of pirogues and caravels, the Bantu ironworking tradition, Austronesian expansion across two oceans, domestications of the Sahel, the Eastern Woodlands agricultural complex, Australian bush tucker and potential food domestications, the Ainu as oceangoing sailors, Papua as a cradle of civilization, and deltas and river bifurcation! Tired of learning geography and history in an uninspired world? Atlas Altera is a creative exercise that repaints the world while going hardcore on real geography, anthropology, linguistics, and history. For more content, visit www.atlasaltera.com or watch the video on YouTube.
01:05:04
May 07, 2021
How Might the Chinese Map the World? - Altera's Sinosphere
This is a special episode following the Sinosphere themed map posted on Reddit last week. We get right into explaining the layers of meaning and decisions made regarding this epic map. Other topics covered: cardinal directions, wind directions, Suzhou numerals, Chinese classics like Siku Quanshu and the Classic of Mountains and Seas, Matteo Ricci and early Chinese cartography, Sinocentrism and cultural myopia, the Lanfang Republic and the Peranakan konsi as a kind of commonwealth, Ainu itaomachips, euligan or candlefish grease, and mammoth-riding Yukaghirs!   Tired of learning geography and history in an uninspired world? Atlas Altera is a creative exercise that repaints the world while going hardcore on real geography, anthropology, linguistics, and history. For more content, visit www.atlasaltera.com or watch the video on YouTube.
01:11:34
April 06, 2021
Naughty Geography - Global Intercourse
From episode 3's topic on chorography, we explore the idea of globalization and historical understandings of cultural exchange in relation to imperialism and annihilation. Other topics covered: Augusto Pinochet, French Algeria and Albert Camus, deontology and classical liberalism, gunboat diplomacy, neoliberalism and economic globalization, alter globalization, Isaiah Berlin and the two concepts of liberty, the ideals of Enlightenment in the era of postmodernism, cosmopolitanism and global citizenship, culture in the era of atomization and individualism, culture as the backdrop to our stories, culture as flux, tattooing, modernity and the quest for material wealth, the East Asian Tigers experience, Kemalism and political Islam, Orhan Pamuk, Adam Smith, Samuel Huntington and the Clash of Civilizations, and solfoods like snails, witchetty grub, and sandworms! Tired of learning geography and history in an uninspired world? Atlas Altera is a creative exercise that repaints the world while going hardcore on real geography, anthropology, linguistics, and history. For more content, visit www.atlasaltera.com or watch the video on YouTube.
25:13
March 12, 2021
Chorography and the Art of Travel Writing
Following episode 2, we go even more theoretical on Atlas Altera, focusing on the antiquated form of regional geography known as chorography. Other topics covered: the history of geography, territory and conquest, landscape and romanticist landscape paintings, possibilism and environmental determinism, Alexander von Humboldt, Carl Sauer, Vidal de la Blache, Friedrich Ratzel, Nazi geography and lebensraum, French imperialism, Wade Davis, and Jared Diamond. Tired of learning geography and history in an uninspired world? Atlas Altera is a creative exercise that repaints the world while going hardcore on real geography, anthropology, linguistics, and history. For more content, visit www.atlasaltera.com or watch the video on YouTube.
23:48
March 07, 2021
Renaming the World - Toponyms
In this episode, we continue to do a general overview of Atlas Altera, focusing on the overall logic used for toponyms. Other topics covered: obscure historical references to people like the Macrobians and Jaga, Germany as an exonym, Polish Sarmatism, Nahuatl locative suffixes, the Inca Road system and the Chinese dao or "circuit" as an administrative system, exporting Sanskrit to Papua and Australia, as well as the the Ossetian connection in the Carpathians, and the Yeniseian link to the Navajo and the Huns. Tired of learning geography and history in an uninspired world? Atlas Altera is a creative exercise that repaints the world while going hardcore on real geography, anthropology, linguistics, and history. For more content, visit www.atlasaltera.com or watch the video on YouTube.
28:50
February 26, 2021
That Map You Won't Be Able to Memorize
In our debut episode, Tristan and Tabouli introduce the world map that became a one-hit wonder on Reddit, and discuss the general themes and overall thinking behind Atlas Altera. A screen capture video version is available on YouTube, where you will be able to access auto-generated captions. Learn awe-inspiring facts about our world as you're sucked into an alternate reality, differently imagined and yet so similar to our own. 
54:02
February 19, 2021