ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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A Cartographic Mess

How Much Is Nagaland’s Area?

Population and area are the two most essential statistics describing any jurisdiction. Area is the more fundamental of the two because population is defined for a given area. The anomalies in estimates of Nagaland’s area are examined.

The authors are thankful to their affiliated institutes for support.

The diversity of Nagaland’s maps published by the state government strikes anyone who visits their offices in Kohima.1 Unable to find an authoritative estimate of the state’s area, one of the authors met a senior official in-charge of border affairs (25 June 2013). The officer first denied the cartographic diversity and then explained it away by arguing that each department publishes maps depicting its footprint. So, the education department’s map of schools differs from the health department’s map of dispensaries. This explains the differences in the contents shown within the boundaries, but cannot explain the differences between maps with regard to the state’s external boundaries. The official finally admitted that there might be discrepancies due to the boundary dispute with Assam. He added that since the matter was sub judice he was unable to share the official estimate of Nagaland’s area and one has to use figures reported in, say, the census.


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Updated On : 21st Jul, 2017
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