What Is a Geometric Boundary?

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A geometric boundary, or geometric border, is one that is formed by arcs or straight lines irrespective of the physical and cultural features of the land it passes through. Examples include the U.S.-Canada border and the borders of some African states that evolved from colonial holdings.

Geometric cartography, also called scientific cartography, advanced in Europe from after the 1500s. The process involves drawing borders on the map before implementing them on the ground.

The following are examples of other types of boundaries.

  • Physical boundary: Defined by physical features like rivers, mountain ranges or deserts.
  • Religious boundary: A border that separates different religions, such as Northern Ireland and Ireland.
  • Language boundary: Boundaries based on languages, such as most borders in Europe.