File talk:BlankMap-World.svg/Documentation

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Other languages: Russian / русский

This is a blank map of the world with political borders with Robinson projection.

Territories included


The map contains the territories included in ISO 3166, with a few modifications. Specifically, the following territories are included:

Subnational areas

  • China (cn) includes the SARs of Hong Kong (hk) and Macau (mo).
    • Every SAR as well as Mainland China (cnx) can also be selected separately.
    • The circles around the SARs can also be selected with cnxx.
  • Netherlands (nl) includes the Caribbean BES islands (bq).
    • The BES islands (bq) and the European Netherlands (nlx) can also be selected separately.
    • The circle around the BES islands can also be selected with nlxx.

Supranational areas


Unpopulated areas


Because Antarctica (aq), the South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (gs), British Indian Ocean Territory, and French Southern and Antarctic Lands (tf) are areas with no permanent population, they have been given their own class (antxx). The smaller of the three have also been given their own class of locator circles (noxx).

Disputed sovereignty


Several largely unrecognized countries are included in this map (as an overlay over their "host" countries) but they remain invisible by default. It's important to note that these are countries, not just geographic territories: the distinguishing feature of all these territories is their de facto autonomy and existence of a local government that maintains administrative control over their claimed territory. If they don't have an ISO 3166 code, then they are assigned a code outside the ISO 3166-1 standard (prefixed by letter "x"). It is left to the user to decide whether to display them and how to color them:

Territorial disputes


Some territories are disputed between two or more countries. It's important to note that these are geographic territories, not countries: the distinguishing feature of all these territories is an absence of their claim for independence. It is left to the user to decide how to color them, although each by default is shown belonging to the country that maintains actual (de facto) administrative control over the territory:

Claims for independence/sovereignty


The territories for which there exist current claims for independence, but for which the claimants maintain no de facto control over the claimed territory, are not specifically shown on the map. Some examples are (this is not an exhaustive list):

Small countries

A map showing all the small-nation & small-territory markers unhidden.

All countries under 20,000 km2 have a rather large circle (roughly the equivalent of 20,000 km2 in size) to show their position. The opacity of the circles is currently set to 0%.

Some subnational territories (French DOMs, the Chinese SARs, as well as Dutch and Australian territories) listed above can also be selected separately from, or together with, the small countries circles (see below), the circles for these regions are smaller in size (roughly the equivalent of 10,000 km2).

The smaller-size unrecognized nations included in this map (see below) also have circles of the smaller size similar to the subnational territories.

Selecting and colouring countries


Please have a look at the English Wikipedia map conventions before creating a new map.

In a text editor


Non-contiguous parts of a country's territory are grouped together with the main area of the country, so any country can be coloured in by setting the style for the class of that country.

All included territories have a CSS class attached to them. The class for each territory is its ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code in lower case. See here for territories without an ISO 3166-1 code. The oceans and Antarctica each have their own class: oceanxx and antxx

To colour a country, set the fill of its class to the desired colour. For example, to colour Afghanistan and Bahamas, enter the code below within the css block:

.af, .bs

to show the circle for a small country, as well as the country itself, write:

.af, .bs

Remember that the image may look very different in Inkscape, Firefox and Mediawiki.

In Inkscape or similar


Non-contiguous parts of a country's territory are "grouped" together with the main area of the country, so any country can be coloured in completion with one click anywhere on the country's territory.

Also, all countries have an "id" attached to them, making them easy to find (comes in handy for the small countries). Select "find" in the Objects side panel and then enter in the country's ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code in lower case in the "id" field to find the country. There are other areas to colour as well that don't have a code, listed below (the codes are not canonical and had been assigned to them only for the purposes of this map):

For small countries as well as for subnational territories (Australian, Chinese, French and Dutch), you can find and select their "circle" by typing the country's ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 code in lower case followed by an underscore ("_"). However, just searching for the country, and selecting and colouring it, will also colour the circle as well, increasing the transparency of the circles will reveal them. Searching for all IDs that contain a "_" in the tag (in Inkscape this is achieved by just entering an underscore in the ID field of the Find/Replace box) will select all the circles, the transparency can then be increased to 100%, and the colour of the circles will be same as that of the territory it represents (if it has already been coloured).


1. SVG script (by Biercenator talk)
Map made using Biercenator's script centered at 162E and flattened

A utility script written in Python is available, that can perform a number of weird and wonderful operations on this map. These include (in least-to-most-entertaining order):

  • output of the original file, with all SVG transforms applied
  • output as a flattened image with parallel lines of longitude (see theoretical notice)
  • output as a rotated Robinson projection, with an arbitrary line of longitude at the center of the image
  • output of an individual country
  • addition of pinpoint marks of arbitrary size, at positions set by geographic coordinates (longitude and latitude)
  • production of rendered images in PNG or JPG format
  • generation of pages with clickable countries and/or clickable pinpoint marks
  • replacement of the style section of the file with arbitrary CSS code, before rendering
  • production of separate rendered image "layers", each containing a portion of a single map instance (useful when a bitmap editor is to be used for post-processing)
2. Gunnmap (gradiant mapmaker application, by Arthur)
Map made using or (code by: arthur [atrobase] )

Gunnmap is a little free application allowing to produce nice coloured wiki world maps according to provided data. The author, Arthur, only made some edits on to announce his application, and hasn't made further edits since summer 2007. It may be need to contact him, ask him information about the status of his application, and if possible collaborate to expand it, or edit it to be more adapted to wiki-mapmakers needs. (See also theoretical notice.)

3. Recommendations to make maps

Wiki-graphists plan to set up common recommendation for all wikipedias. This is not yet done. More information at : en:Wikipedia:WikiProject Maps/Conventions‎.

4. SVG Translate script

See – this script helps translate all text appearing in an SVG.

  • There may be other useful tools available – feel free to add them here.
  • There was also an effort underway to organize a team to merge all these and similar SVG tools and expand them according to the needs. The Graphic Labs and wiki-graphists already started such project (and a team of SVG programmers/think tank). This may help with easing the process of creating illustrations, spreading harmonized maps, and setting up integrated SVG tools as the needs appear.


The following notice refers to images as they existed on 18 February 2019. They may have since been changed.

In practice, a professional recommendation is not to re-use or produce:

The reason is, such derivative works are still Robinson projection maps, but since they lose their outline it becomes hard for readers to recognize the actual projection used. Without the outline as a reference, a reader would likely consider them as cylindrical projections instead – but the shapes of the continents will be wrong (i.e. they will not match the shapes that correspond to cylindrical projections). Because of that, any derivative work (especially the cut-off work) that uses these maps without correctly flattening/stretching them first, would also be wrong – and additionally, such derivative works may end up using very weird projections, which would not correspond to any of the standard or well-known map projections.

Another factor to consider is that, since most of these blank maps will likely be released into the public domain and the attribution not made obligatory, their derivative works could easily lose any and all information about their origins, and hence it may become impossible to track the specific projections and projection types those images will end up using.

The following are also specifically not recommended:

Since they are only flattened horizontally from File:BlankMap-World.svg with no vertical flattening/stretching applied, they would not be of a standard or known map projection. Be aware that they are not of an equirectangular projection either, since Robinson projection compacts the distances between the parallels (i.e. lines of equal latitude) beyond 38°N/S, and also in addition it uses interpolation to calculate exact coordinates based on the coarse grid with 5-degree spacing, see: Robinson projection#Specification. However, such flattened maps may still be "better" than either File:BlankMap-World, compact.svg or the maps that Gunnmap produces.

Finally, for any statistical world map, it's desirable to use cylindrical projections, especially either equirectangular projection or Miller cylindrical projection. If the Robinson projection is used nevertheless, the map must retain the Earth's elliptical outline to make it clear that it's Robinson and not one of the cylindrical projections.

File origins/sources


Although the origins of this file had been mis-attributed for years (from this documentation's initial creation in 2007 till early 2019), this SVG vector map seems to have been originally derived from the following file: File:"Political World" CIA World Factbook map 2005.svg. It is unclear how exactly it had been derived – converted, retraced, etc. – but it bears much closer resemblance in minute details to that SVG file than to its ultimate origin – the CIA-published vector-based PDF file (which can now be found in Perry–Castañeda Library Map Collection). Since the outlines of the countries, coastlines, etc. closely match that 2005 vector map, including some of the obvious errors – e.g. the Netherlands seemingly having an inland lake – the source now seems to have been established beyond any doubt.



Over the intervening years since its original creation, this blank map has been found very useful to serve as a base for multiple derivative works. It is highly recommended that any derivative maps created from this file, as well as any new updates to this file, be created using a text editor to reduce file size and to keep file structure human-editable by hand.