Berlin Wall – Maps With Gaps

Welcome to Map Men – We’re the men
– And here’s the map (♫ ♫ ♫ ) Map Men, Map Men
Map Map Map, Men Men Men. This is a map of Berlin from 1988, with lots of normal map things as well as 400 hectares of white. – That seems awfully suspicious.
– It is awfully suspicious! ohhhhhh! The area highlighted in BLANK was West Berlin, which was sealed off from the rest of East Germany by the Berlin Wall… and guns. The last thing the government wanted was a map of a thriving capitalist splodge with airports, shopping centres and family members they used to be able to visit. I just really want to fill it in. Never draw on a map! But just because this map has a great gaping hole in the middle of it doesn’t mean it’s right to say it’s wrong. – Because no map is wrong.
– And no map is right. – And all map is map.
– Exactly. Allow us to explain. All maps have to make decisions about what they do and don’t include, depending on what they’re for. Here’s Mark standing in Berlin. He’s looking for the straßen heißen spitzen blaser cafe. Hallo! But here’s Mark in Berlin as it appears on a map of the sewer system. Ach! Wohin sind den buildings? And here’s Berlin as it appears on Google maps. Was?! Ich habe einen blau dot bekommen? And here’s Berlin as it appears on a map of violent crime. Luckily, Berlin’s very safe. You see, no map can possibly contain all the information. If it contained all the information it would look like this. Now that’s a map! So, for East Germans who couldn’t visit West Berlin, this map was accurate. West Berlin didn’t exist. – Just like Rutland.
– Rutland is real! *whispers* Rutland’s a conspiracy. So, we’re not saying that this map is wrong. What we’re saying is, it’s extremely silly. But this is not the only curiously BLANK map in the world. So here’s our round-up of our favourite maps with gaps. This atlas of France can’t be bothered to show the densely packed roads around Paris, so it looks like a massive empty field. And this Google Maps image of East Asia suggests there are no roads or settlements in North Korea. Because somebody wouldn’t let the cartographers in. *child’s voice* I won’t let the cartographers in. And this map makes it look like there’s nothing in Greenla… oh. The Berlin wall came down in 1989 in a classic episode of the news. Germany have successfully erased any trace of the Berlin Wall. Just as they did with Hitler’s bunker car park. That’s what makes this creepy gap map so interesting. It tells the story of a bygone era, when citizens’ freedom of movement was restricted. But today, all the people of the world can go wherever they please and everything is fine. I’ve drawn a wizard.

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Reader Comments


    Totally lost it when he spoke german 😀
    Did anyone of my fellow germans get what he was saying ? I'd love to know that 🙂

  2. jasongnome

    Here's another nice map with a huge gap. 2gis didn't map Northern Cyprus. This is particularly obvious if you zoom in on Cyprus' divided capital, Nicosia (Lefkosia).

  3. ham dog

    Zer (tsair) = the chemical element cerium.
    sie (zee) = she (can be they/You but not in the is context).

    I understand where you where going for, germans drop th for s/z, but mixing German words/phonotactics is just confusing. This is how people form and reinforce incorrect notions about how languages work.

  4. taftEdawdaw

    i had the chills when you showed the location of Hitler's bunker as i've been there and stop right next to where the people are in this video

  5. C Smith

    1:13 “bekommen” sounds like it should mean “become” but it actually means “receive,” so what you (kinda) said there was “I received a blue dot,” not “I became a blue dot.”

    Aren’t false cognates fun?

  6. Ron S

    Germany’s started deleting the U.K. from the map. No more freedom of movement, an Irish wall. So much fun.
    Peace and harmony in all the world.

  7. Evergreen Tree

    The part about Hitler's bunker looks like a joke but I've been there, that's exactly where it is. Also the 'German' in this was… interesting.

  8. Fabian R

    Love your channel! Thank you very much for all the information. One suggestion regarding Berlin: The communist dictators actually had many more places on East-German maps being blank as they would try to hide their secret jails or other top secret areas – such as Höhenschönhausen Jail (the creepiest of them all). Maybe you want to make a video on that sometime … regards from south German!

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