Often I look at a map and wonder when it was created.

How do I figure out the age of an undated world map?

If I have a vector file of world political boundaries, but I am not sure of the date, then what resources can I use to determine the date?

Is there a map service on the web that allows me to enter a date and get a map of world boundaries for that date?

Assuming there is, what process would I use to determine how close the match is?

Are there any rule based systems that are specific to map dates?

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    You can get an approximate by looking at the names (and shapes) of landmasses and comparing against maps of the same period. This mostly works for ancient cartography, with maps produced by modern methods you need to look at significant features, like 'this map doesn't have highway 1, which was built in 1950, so it's older than 1950'. Modern maps will usually have a compilation date somewhere... now the hard question is: given the known (approximate) date what coordinate system is it in? – Michael Stimson Jun 2 '16 at 0:27
  • @MichaelMiles-Stimson Sounds like a good answer. – Kirk Kuykendall Jun 2 '16 at 0:54
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because its nothing to do with GIS (its more like geopolitics) and far too coincidental with the XKCD comic on the same subject! – Spacedman Jun 2 '16 at 7:16
  • To advertise a museum exhibit you could place a Community Ad via Meta GIS SE but also, as per the Tour there should be only one question asked per question, so to observe site protocols I think that this is too broad. – PolyGeo Jun 4 '16 at 1:15

A good way to figure out the age of a World Map would be to look at the Political Boundaries of the countries. For eg you can look for the boundaries of the newest formed countries such as South Sudan (formed in July, 2011), Montenegro and Serbia (formed in June, 2006), East Timor or Timor Leste formed in 2002 and so on.
You can also look for changed city/country/place names for eg Bombay changed to Mumbai in 1995, Calcutta to Kolkata in 2001. Most recently in a rare request Cape Verde changed the country name to Cabo Verde in 2013.
However this change of name hasn't really caught on, but is changing slowly.
Apart from this the font styles used on the map can help to some extent.

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