I am developing a global real-time strategy game that uses Google Maps to represent the earth. I am cutting up the globe into 32 squares with each square exactly 45 degrees latitude and longitude. The squares are also aligned to the grid starting from 0,0.
I would like to give each square a nice name that meets the following criteria (in order of priority):
- Every square name must be unique
- Best representation of the land and water contained in the square. Any name is acceptable (country, continent, significant geology, significant body of water) but it must be the most prominent thing in that square
- A combination of names is acceptable if there are 2 or more prominent / recognisable elements in the square
- As short as possible so it can be easy to remember / type
- Exacting precision is not important - this is a game, so the names should be major things in those squares that most lay people on earth would immediately recognise or at least be familiar with
- If possible, the least offensive / non-contested / most globally accepted name of the main region in the square
I have come up with the following, but I would like to know if there is a system already out there that better meets my needs (note that I've accidentally swapped my lat/lngs - sorry!). Alternatively, if anyone has much more knowledge of geology/geography than I do, please suggest a better naming convention and names as some of the names are too long and many contain more country names than I'm happy with (I'd prefer neutral region names):
Here is a map of the world with the 45 degree grid squares shown to help you to visualise the problem:
Edit: Influenced by Phillip's answer, I have revised the approach using continents and oceans to be as neutral as possible:
The only grid squares I'm not 100% sure about are "Middle East" (is this still PC, or is there a better term - Arabia perhaps?), and the Antarctic territories (but since no-one lives there permanently and most countries seem to dispute Antarctic ownership anyway, I think I'm less concerned about this one). Please let me know if this approach is now as appropriate and neutral as possible.
Edit: Further updated based on Theraot's comments: