Friday, June 23, 2017

Why Brexit Matters: 5 Things That Might Change When Britain Leaves the EU

By Bryn Jansson

Map of the European Union, including all member countries, official candidate countries, and potential candidate countries, as 2017 (colorblind accessible).
Map of current and future EU member countries

Brexit Process Finally Begins

The United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU) began formal divorce negotiations in Brussels last Monday, June 19, starting a 21-month sprint to the March 2019 Brexit deadline. ("Brexit" is short for "British Exit" from the EU, since "Britain" is another name for the UK.)

UK voters’ surprise choice to leave the EU happened exactly a year ago, on June 23, 2016 - but it didn’t automatically trigger the two-year countdown clock on exit negotiations necessary for departure under Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Syrian Civil War Map & Timeline: Kurds Enter "Islamic State" Capital - June 2017

(To see other maps in this series, view all Syria updates.)

Map of Syrian Civil War (Syria control map): Fighting and territorial control in Syria in June 2017 (Free Syrian Army rebels, Kurdish YPG, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), Jabhat Fateh al-Sham / Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (Al-Nusra Front), Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL), and others). Includes Russia-Turkey-Iran agreed de-escalation zones and US deconfliction zone. Includes recent locations of conflict and territorial control changes, such as Raqqah, Maskanah, Arak, Tanf, Sabaa Biyar, Bir Qassab, and more. Colorblind accessible.
Base map by Koen Adams of, with territorial control by Evan Centanni and Djordje Djukic.
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Timeline by Djordje Djukic

Syria: Where Things Stand Now

In the four weeks since our previous Syrian Civil War map report, the US-backed, Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have advanced all the way into Raqqah, capital city of the so-called "Islamic State" (IS; formerly ISIS/ISIL). Meanwhile, Syrian government forces have also been pushing hard against IS, nearing Raqqah themselves, while making even more major advances in the southern desert. Clashes between rebels and government forces have also continued across Syria's south, even as the US enforces a rebel safe zone around its base in Tanf.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Iraq Control Map & Timeline - June 2017 (Subscription)


(To see other maps in this series, view all Iraq updates.)

Research by Djordje Djukic. Map by, Evan Centanni, and Djordje Djukic

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Detailed map of territorial control in Iraq as of June 15, 2017, including territory held by the so-called Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL), the Baghdad government, and the Kurdistan Peshmerga. Shows developments in the ongoing coalition battle to recapture the city of Mosul. Includes key locations from recent events, such as Baaj, Al-Hadar, Qayrawan, and the Safouk and Jayar Ghalfas border crossings. Colorblind accessible.
In the past three months, Iraqi government forces have made slow but steady progress against the so-called "Islamic State" in the city of Mosul, while pro-government militias have pushed westward from the city all the way to the Syrian border.

See all this and more on the latest update to PolGeoNow's concise, professional map of control in Iraq's civil war, including a timeline of changes since our previous Iraq map report of March 2017.

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  • Up-to-date map of current territorial control in Iraq, color-coded for the Iraqi government, "Islamic State" (ISIS/ISIL) fighters, and Kurdistan's Peshmerga forces. Colorblind accessible.
  • Detailed indication of town-by-town control, including all major cities and many smaller ones, as well as major roads and provincial boundaries
  • Markers for key areas of recent fighting such as Baaj, Al-Hadar, Qayrawan, and the Safouk and Jayar Ghalfas border crossings
  • Timeline of changes to the situation since mid-March, compiled by our Iraq-Syria specialist, with links to sources

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

How Many Countries Are There in the World in 2017?

This article, originally from 2011, has been revised and updated to June 2017.

How many countries in the world?
A world political map published by the US government (public domain)
One of the most basic questions for map-lovers is, "How many countries are there in the world?" But anyone who replies with just a number is leaving out part of the story. It actually depends a lot on how you define a "country".

Here are six of the most common answers, each correct in its own way: