The Independent State of Papua New Guinea is a country in Oceania, occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and numerous offshore islands (the western portion of the island is occupied by the ► Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Irian Jaya). It is located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, in a region defined since the early 19th century as Melanesia., and has maritime borders with ► Micronesia, ► Nauru, the ► Solomon Islands and ► Australia. In the east lies the autonomous province of ► Bougainville. Its capital, and one of its few major cities, is Port Moresby. It is one of the most diverse countries on Earth, with over 850 indigenous languages and at least as many traditional societies, out of a population of just under 6 million. It is also one of the most rural, with only 18 per cent of its people living in urban centres. The country is also one of the world's least explored, culturally and geographically, and many undiscovered species of plants and animals are thought to exist in the interior of Papua New Guinea.
Divisions of Papua New Guinea and the Indonesian part of Papua
Map of Bougainville (Northern Solomons)) in Papua New Guinea
Map of Bougainville
This section holds a short summary of the history of the area of present-day Papua New Guinea, illustrated with maps, including historical maps of former countries and empires that included present-day Papua New Guinea.
Division of the Germany colonies in Oceania after World War I
This section holds copies of original general maps older than 70 years of this entry.
Map of New Guinea ('Nova Guinea'), Spanish/Portuguese, c.1600; as reproduced in G. Collingridge's 1906 work, "The First Discovery of Australia and New Guinea"
Notes and references
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The maps of former countries that are more or less continued by a present-day country or had a territory included in only one or two countries are included in the atlas of the present-day country. For example the Ottoman Empire can be found in the Atlas of Turkey.