"The purification begins now."
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Mapping, also occasionally dubbed Video Mapping, is a type of film, almost exclusively produced as a YouTube video, in where a series of still images depicting political maps creates a narrative. People who create mapping content are self-dubbed Mappers. Most commonly, characters are displayed as political or corporate entities, such as countries, states, parties, or companies, yet individual fictional people occasionally are portrayed as characters. As opposed to simply the names of the countries, many mapping videos use countryballs to depict countries. Many mappers also use countryballs as public personas.
Mapping can be further divided into two branches; Historical Mapping and Fictional Mapping. Historical Mapping is a visual representation of a prior event, usually a war. Fictional Mapping is where a narrative is created, mainly by alternate history or future scenarios. However, Historical Mappers and Fictional Mappers tend not to be classified in the same community. For this reason, Fictional Mappers are often dubbed "Mapperdonians", after the name Mapperdonia which refers to the collective community of Fictional Mappers.
Mapping is typically comprised of geographic and oceanic cartography, with a section of the screen being set off to give information about a country, such as its official name and flag. It is also used for dialogue. A mapper will create a video by animating characters interacting frame by frame in programs such as Paint.net or Photoshop, then by compiling them in an editing software, often adding music and other animation to increase the entertainment.
This is a simplified summary of the history of the mapping community. For specific details, read the History of Mapping page.
Mapping as a Medium
The first mapping video, World War 1 and 2 Simulation With MS Paint, was uploaded on July 7, 2008, by Mathew Nicolson. Relative to mapping content today, the map was very crude, and the graphics were minimal. As Nicolson made the video with no prior research, the changes in territory were not historically accurate. Despite Nicolson's channel not being particularly well known, the video spawned a group of imitators, and by 2012 there were an estimated 100 mappers. This number grew exponentially and within 10 years of the first mapping video being uploaded there were mapping videos consistently getting millions of views and at least 30,000 people who were actively watching mapping related content.
Within time, mapping as a medium began to improve. The auditory-visual experience became less primitive and plots were more intrinsically crafted. The number of mappers began to grow, partly thanks to a few large innovative mappers throughout time who heavily enhanced mapping. Countryballs also began to be used in mapping around 2014, and the genres became interlinked. Eventually, as styles began to splinter from the initial set blueprint of mapping, mappers began to classify themselves under specific genres. By 2016, the two largest distinctions of mappers were known as Classic Mappers, with a simpler map and story, and Edgy Mappers, who preferred to create a more intrinsic, sometimes overcomplicated story, many of which had universally revered characters which began to be classified as "nationiums". Edgy Mappers began to dominate mapping and the sub-genre became so large it splintered off into other divisions.
Currently, the largest Historical Mapper is EmperorTigerstar, and the largest fictional mapping specific channel is Bace Bulgarian Mapper. However, the largest YouTube channel to have uploaded a fictional mapping video is SMART BANANA.
Mapping as a Community
A public community was created called TheFutureOfEuropes Wiki on October 7, 2012, and the general term for the collective community of mappers began to be known as Mapperdonia. Eventually, the community began to utilize Skype in 2013. For a while, TheFutureOfEuropes Wiki was the largest mapping community, but eventually, mappers began using google+ for communications and communities like The European Mappers Union, The People's Republic of Mappers and Community Of Mappers were some of the most known ones, but google+ won its place as the main mapping social media platform in 2016, when mappers began to migrate from Fandom to Google Plus, and prominent communities were formed such as The Mapping Community. In its height, The First Mapping Community had over 2,000 members. In 2017, the Edge began to be one of the most commonly used style in mapping, and several Discord Guilds were set up for the purpose of theorizing and discussion, such as the Diarchy of Mapping. Within a year, Discord had overtaken Google Plus as the principal communications platform.
Today, most mappers use Discord to contact other mappers, with over 200 estimated communities and at least 260,000 mappers globally, with the number likely being far higher. The largest community server is the Mapping Central Station while the largest channel based server is Dronizja DroneQi'ego. Other platforms are also used, but to a lesser extent. The main mapping subreddit is r/mapping, and mapping dedicated websites such as MapperStash exist and are commonly used by mappers. Also, platforms such as Amino, Facebook Messenger, and Snapchat all host smaller mapping communities.