Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Maps of the World

     You probably wouldn't be surprised to find out (maybe you already know) that the geographic center of the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, is figured to be at 44.58 degrees N, 103.46 degrees W, which is in the tiny city of Belle Fourche in far western South Dakota.

     But do you know where the geographic center of Europe is? I would have guessed somewhere in France or Switzerland. But the fact is . . . well, these are Europeans, remember, so they argue about it. Various calculations have put it in Poland, in Slovakia, in the Ukraine. But the latest, most authoritative estimate places it in a little town called Purnuskes, a few miles north of Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania (the red dot farthest to the northeast).

     Go figure. I guess there's more Russia in Europe than first meets the eye. (Please excuse the map bleeding into the right column, but I thought you'd want the map large enough so you could see it.)

     There are a few other interesting maps I found on website called Twisted Sifter, through a friend on Facebook. For example, here is a map showing, in white, the countries that have never been invaded by England.

     How about a map that shows, in red, the countries where bribery is most common, where it is an expected way to do business and deal with the government. Nigeria, the reddest country, is riddled with the most bribery. But I'm surprised at Canada. I thought they were clean, honest people. Apparently, not quite so much.

     Then there's a map of countries in the world with the most researchers. The deeper the purple, the more researchers. So if researchers earn their keep, the U. S. and Canada should be able to compete with Europe and Japan for the medical, scientific and technological advances of the future.

     But that doesn't mean we Americans necessarily have our priorities straight. Here's a map of the U. S. showing the highest paid public employees in each state. For the most part, they are not researchers.

     I hope this gives you a little different perspective on the world. If you want to see more maps check out 40 Maps that Will Help You Make Sense of the World at Twisted Sifter.


Juhli said...

What interesting maps! Thanks for posting this.

Stephen Hayes said...

Very interesting. I knew England had invading a lot of countries but I had no idea it was THAT many.

DJan said...

This is VERY interesting! I had no idea England had invaded so many countries, and I was appalled by the US map of most highly paid jobs. It's disgraceful, to me at least.

a said...

I am disappointed that we (Canada) do not do so well with bribery. At least we seem to be the same color as England and paler than Germany and France!

schmidleysscribblins.wordpress.com said...

You can't talk about Demography without talking about geography. As a demographer, I spent my career with maps. I am always intersted in the data behind the maps, and I would find some of the "data" used for these maps questionable.

As for the center of Europe, one must include Vladivostok. Dianne (spelling is not my forte)

Dick Klade said...

Paying football coaches at the levels we do is insane.