The Mapping Wiki
The Mapping Wiki

A screenshot of the Paradox game Europa Universalis IV, in where Central Asia is filled with border gore.

Border gore is the phenomenon in maps where borders are aesthetically unpleasing or difficult for the eye to look at.

The term originated from the online community of the Paradox grand strategy game Europa Universalis IV, and was mainly used as a light-hearted term. However, in mapping, where the visual pleasure of a map is vital to creating content, border gore is an issue commonly addressed.

Border gore is most prevalent in Alternate History mapping, as historical borders often did not take aesthetics into account. To deal with these, mappers are faced with two options:

  • Keep the borders as their original format, no matter the gore, in order to preserve historical accuracy. This leads to the mapping philosophy Accuracism.
  • Change the borders of the country so as to improve the viewer experience.

The French borders are immediately recognizable, even if they are not in the same map with the rest of Europe.

It must be noted that shapes may not always qualify as border gore, and that any mapper must take special care in not removing a nation's identity in their borders in order to slightly soften jagged borders of a map. For example, Alsace-Lorraine gives France a less than smooth border with Germany, however, this border gives the French border identity, and makes it immediately recognizable from other countries.

Attributes

The Sykes-Picot Agreement is often blamed for creating border gore in the Middle East. Take notice of the straight-line borders that sacrifice originality for simplicity.

Notable attributes of border gore are:

  • Territory split so as there is no "mainland".
  • Many enclaves or exclaves.
  • Snaking borders.
  • Jagged borders.
  • Many salients

See Also