lunes, 21 de septiembre de 2015


"This is a map of New York State that was made in 1937 by the General Drafting Company. It's an extremely famous map among cartography nerds, because down here at the bottom of the Catskill Mountains, there is a little town called Roscoe -- actually, this will go easier if I just put it up here -- There's Roscoe, and then right above Roscoe is Rockland, New York, and then right above that is the tiny town of Agloe, New York. Agloe, New York, is very famous to cartographers, because it's a paper town. It's also known as a copyright trap. Mapmakers -- because my map of New York and your map of New York are going to look very similar, on account of the shape of New York -- often, mapmakers will insert fake places onto their maps, in order to protect their copyright. Because then, if my fake place shows up on your map, I can be well and truly sure that you have robbed me. Agloe is a scrabblization of the initials of the two guys who made this map, Ernest Alpers and Otto [G.] Lindberg, and they released this map in 1937. Decades later, Rand McNally releases a map with Agloe, New York, on it, at the same exact intersection of two dirt roads in the middle of nowhere. Well, you can imagine the delight over at General Drafting. They immediately call Rand McNally, and they say, "We've caught you! We made Agloe, New York, up. It is a fake place. It's a paper town. We're going to sue your pants off!" And Rand McNally says, "No, no, no, no, Agloe is real." Because people kept going to that intersection of two dirt roads --  in the middle of nowhere, expecting there to be a place called Agloe -- someone built a place called Agloe, New York. (Laughter) It had a gas station, a general store, two houses at its peak."

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