World map for the Cold War period (and beyond)

This map attempts to show all border changes during the Cold War period and beyond.

  • The changing boundaries of the international system are represented with a "lifetime" for each country, i.e. a start and end year.
  • To make sure that each country's changing borders are shown only once, the state of the borders at the end of each year (31/12/XXXX) is used.
  • For example, Germany was reunified on 3 October 1990 and consequently was already Germany at the end of 1990, so the previous states have an end date of 1989 and the new unified one has a start date of 1990.
  • It depicts core territories of the given states, and excludes colonies and other dependent territories. So, for many states the only change is their naming, usually after declarations of independence.
  • For example, Algeria achieved independence from France on 3 July 1962, so it is named as a French Colony until 1961, and as Algeria from 1962 onwards.

Select layout for the user interface:


wide layout with map on the top and tools below

Simple ⚡

simplified layout with map on the right and tools on the left

Simple - Reversed ⚡

simplified layout with map on the left and tools on the right

Your selection will be saved for your next visits to this map page. You can always change this back.


mouse wheel : Zoom in/out

mouse wheel : Move Map

You can also use W,A,S,D,I,O on your keyboard or the controls on the right.

You can still switch colors, click on countries to paint them, etc.

Step 1: Coloring/Editing the Map

Select the color you want and click on a country on the map. Right-click on it to remove its color, hide it, and more. Advanced...

More Options

Step 2: Choosing the Legend

Add the title you want for the map's legend and choose a label for each color group. Change the color for all countries in a group by clicking on it.

Drag the legend on the map to set its position or resize it. Use legend options to customize its color, font, and more.

Color Label Remove
Step 3: Getting the Map

When ready, select Preview Map. To download the map: Right click > Save image as... or select Download Map.

If you want to change something, select Edit. To start over, select Clear All.

Download Map