Borders From Above Are More Than Just Lines On A Map

International borders viewed from above show how different patterns of political, urban and agricultural development often collide.

1 minute read

July 18, 2016, 6:00 AM PDT

By jwilliams @jwillia22

US - Canadian Border at Chief Mountain

Carolyn Cuskey / Flickr

Can you identify two countries, side-by-side, just by their urban and agricultural patterns of development? As Emily Gilbert writes in Medium, viewing international borders from above can provide visual evidence of starkly different levels of economic and political systems. Farming practices on either side of the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic give cues about the wealth disparities between the two neighboring countries.

Using satellite images, Gilbert also notes the inventive infrastructural changes needed when two countries meet where road rules require drivers to switch what side of the road they drive on, such as the switch-over between Hong Kong and mainland China.

At borders, different laws, politics, and cultures come together. These disparities can manifest in many ways we can see from space. Countries can regulate many aspects of our daily lives, including one of the most mundane parts — our daily commutes. Different nations have different laws about which side of the road we drive on. We can see several instances where these laws change over borders, and it is interesting to look at the inventive infrastructure that has been developed to handle the lane switch.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 in Medium

Chicago Intercity Rail

Amtrak Ramping Up Infrastructure Projects

Thanks to federal funding from the 2021 infrastructure act, the agency plans to triple its investment in infrastructure improvements and new routes in the next two years.

September 25, 2023 - Smart Cities Dive

Google maps street view of San Francisco alleyway.

Ending Downtown San Francisco’s ‘Doom Loop’

A new public space project offers an ambitious vision—so why is the city implementing it at such a small scale?

September 26, 2023 - Fast Company

Google street view of yellow "End Freeway 1/4 mile" sign on 90 freeway in Los Angeles, California.

Proposal Would Transform L.A.’s ‘Freeway to Nowhere’ Into Park, Housing

A never-completed freeway segment could see new life as a mixed-use development with housing, commercial space, and one of the county’s largest parks.

September 26, 2023 - Los Angeles Times

Blue and green city bus blurred in transit on New York City street.

How to Measure Transit Equity

A new report highlights the need to go beyond traditional equity metrics to assess how public transit systems are serving the lowest-income and most disadvantaged riders.

7 minutes ago - Mineta Institute

Sketch of proposed city with buildings, trees, and people.

Why Brand New Cities Won’t Solve Our Urban Problems

Building cities takes time and resources. Why not spend them on fixing the ones we have?

1 hour ago - The Atlantic

Historic brick sugar refinery building redeveloped with glass office tower inside and yellow Domino Sugar sign

Former Brooklyn Sugar Refinery Reopens as All-Electric Office Tower

A historic building was reimagined as a 15-story office tower powered by renewable energy.

2 hours ago - Untapped Cities

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.