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O’Kelly, M. E. (2011). "The Role of Geographic Expertise in International Border Disputes: A Study of the Middle of Lake Erie Through Historical and Cartographic Perspectives." Annals of the Association of American Geographers 102(1): 67-83.

A great deal of consequence attaches to the placement, marking, mapping, and monitoring of borders and the lines that separate nations. Throughout the article attention is drawn to the role of geographic regional expertise and map analysis in providing the background for territorial and related disputes over sovereignty. This article traces, through maps, the evolving story of the international boundary between the United States and Canada in the vicinity of Lake Erie. Between the Treaty of Paris in 1783 and the delimitation of the actual boundary between the United States and the Dominion of Canada in Lake Erie in the 1820s, the depiction of the boundary was prone to two types of error: the gross inaccuracy of the base maps on which the lines were drafted and the imprecision of the words and methods used to describe or compute the location of the boundary. Although much less controversial than in the Northeast United States, where settlement was delayed until the Webster-Ashburton Treaty in 1842, the issues were nevertheless quite significant in Lake Erie. A series of partial efforts to describe the boundary, culminating in a fishery dispute, finally led to a definitive effort by the International Waterways Boundary Commission. Perhaps surprisingly, given the date of the original declaration in 1783, this did not happen until 1908. This article provides an opportunity to review both historical and cartographic aspects of the problem of defining a boundary in a water area and uncovers a forgotten gem - a paper that exactly described an appropriate analytical cartographic technique - the medial axis.

Professor O'Kelly may be contacted through the Department of Geography of The Ohio State
University -

Dr. Duane F. Marble		Email:  dmarble at
2226 Primrose Lane		Telephone:  541.902.8837
Florence, OR  97439		Cell:   541.991.1730
Emeritus Professor of Geography -- The Ohio State University
Courtesy Professor of Geosciences -- Oregon State University

 "Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to walk from here?"
 "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.
 "I don’t much care where," said Alice.
 "Then it doesn’t matter which way you walk." 
         -- Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
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