14 September, 2010 | Filed under “Projects”
To use the live country locator, please go to the project site.
Based on work by Christian Effenberger, the project aims to build a non-cluttered country locator for all United Nations member states – as of 2006 some 192 countries. You are invited to contribute by reporting new coordinates where existing geodata is either missing or off target. For instance, several states were not included with Effenberger’s original data – and Chile and Ecuador are way off the map.
The method uses bounding borders to pin each country, in effect drawing an invisible rectangle around each state and fixing a pin in the center of the rectangle. Thus, countries that partly or fully wrap around other countries (on the map projection), may be pinned down falsely. This used to be the case with Norway which was located in neighbouring Sweden.
Coordinates are available in a file for download and reference. Please observe that the accuracy (some 12 decimal points) is way over the top for the map used in the project. In most cases it is enough to zoom in on the country of interest and observe latitude and longitude readouts on the map. Alternatively, you can use the geographic grid module at National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency to select a country to center on the map they provide (check for
Use Decimal Degrees in View). Employing the latter method, Andorra was added to the project with 1 decimal point only.
The format used is west (“left”) longitude (
bw), east (“right”) longitude (
be), north (“upper”) latitude (
bn), and south (“lower”) latitude (
bs). Note that some values are negative.
Please use the participation form linked to in the sidebar (or leave a comment below) to report
bs. You may also include the country’s two-letter code element (
index) specified in ISO 3166-1-alpha-2 as maintained by The International Organization for Standardization, as well as the country’s numerical code (
nc) and three-letter ISO 3166-1-alpha-3 code (
lc) as published by the United Nations Statistics Division.
All contributors will be duly acknowledged.
Updates: A broken link to ISO 3166-1-alpha-2 has been corrected. Thank you, Paige Pearson, for living up to your name (paige meaning “young helper”, right?). Paige also brings to our attention the article Country Names and Codes on LearnStuff.
And, yes, I know that South Sudan is now an independent state and I have yet to draw the border between this country and Sudan.