The first phase of The World, a development by Nakheel just off the coast of Dubai, was completed in January. It consists of 300 man-made islands that form a scale model of the world, surrounded by a breakwater. The next phase of the project involves handing the island off to individual developers and building the infrastructure.
In honor of this momentous occasion, I feel compelled to quote one of my favorite short stories by one of my favorite authors — “Of Exactitude in Science” by Jorge Luis Borges, from his book of short stories, A Universal History of Infamy:
…In that Empire, the craft of Cartography attained such Perfection that the Map of a Single province covered the space of an entire City, and the Map of the Empire itself an entire Province. In the course of Time, these Extensive maps were found somehow wanting, and so the College of Cartographers evolved a Map of the Empire that was of the same Scale as the Empire and that coincided with it point for point. Less attentive to the Study of Cartography, succeeding Generations came to judge a map of such Magnitude cumbersome, and, not without Irreverence, they abandoned it to the Rigours of sun and Rain. In the western Deserts, tattered Fragments of the Map are still to be found, Sheltering an occasional Beast or beggar; in the whole Nation, no other relic is left of the Discipline of Geography.
From The Travels of Prasieworthy Men ( 1658 )
by J.A. Suarez Miranda