Friday, 9 October 2009

Mapping the Visions

The aim of the mapping exercise is to visualize the route of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyehan oil pipeline with the geopolitical condition in times of it's planning and engineering in relation to the two popular visions dominating in the Georgian discourse about the future of the region.

The first map shows the geopolitical condition in the Caucasus region by the time of planning and engineering of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyehan oil pipeline together with it's geographic route. The second map show the desire on the future of the region dominating in the Georgian discourse. The third map shows another vision dominating in the Georgian discourse of how Russian side desires the future of the region.

The cartographic techniques applied in the diagrams
although the general interrelation of the geographical components of the region is closely followed, the information is represented in a simple geometrical manner in order to make the diagrams clear and concentrated on the subjects they are highlighting. The main topographical element of the region - the Caucasus mountain range is inserted in the diagrams as a photographic image to emphasize its geopolitical importance as the natural border as well as a historical - strategic shelter for the small ethnic groups, which make the region ethnically and culturally diverse and determines much of it's current geopolitical condition. The photographic images such as oil tankers and pumps are also introduced as images to highlight geopolitically important factors. The line thickness of the pipeline is determined by its capacity of oil transportation. The legend of the maps includes only the necessary indicators such as the borders of the conflict regions and the zones of the NATO (North Atlantic Treaty organization) influence.


  1. i assume everything that is not in the NATO sphere of influence is in the russian sphere or sometimes rather independent? maybe that would add to the understanding.
    just as an issue of mapping I would suggest to indicate the black and caspian sea with a (light) grey background. that would make more clear the geographical features and that the caucasus together with both the seas really seperates the north from the south.
    and i think you swapped map 2 and 3 in your discription.
    thanks for sharing.

  2. Hei phillip, thanks for comments