How’s the map project coming along? Better than I feared this afternoon, thanks to indespensible help from Duane.

Duane has access to some very fancy mapping software at work, and sent me exactly the map I needed. Black and white with bold, clean lines, and in my favorite Winkel Tripel projection. (The Mercatur projection is proof, perhaps, of the existence of Pure Evil. Anyway.)

Was just getting into playing with the thing, when I realized Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tadzhikistan (yes, those are real places) were all missing. Instead, they were part of that great big blob we call Russia.

So I spent an hour or so retouching Central Asia. Some cutting and pasting, some pixel-by-pixel editing, and the results are so sharp, you can’t tell it from the real thing. Except those countries look less like they were drawn by Duane’s mapping software, and more like they were drawn by a guy with a mission. And a scotch.

Back in a bit.

NOTE: Wouldn’t “Retouching Central Asia” make an excellent name for a porn flick?

UPDATE: Oh, crap. Just noticed Ukraine and Belarus aren’t marked on the map, either. Well, Belarus was going to get Russia’s color anyway, but still…

UPDATE: Yeah, Moldova, too. Still, Duane did me a great service, and a little retouching of his map is still far, far better than anything I could have gotten on my own.