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Here are the rest of the maps.

Meanwhile, I must say that I find the first of these (#21) to be very ironic considering the fact that I am posting this in the wake of the capture of Dionisio Loya Plancarte, a Mexican Knights Templar drug gang boss also known as ‘El Tio’; a nom de plume that other Breaking Bad fans like myself will find delightfully droll 🙂

But I digress. Enjoy the maps!

21. What territory Mexican drug cartels control

Click to go to source. (Farhana Hossain and Xaquín G.V. / The New York Times)

Click to go to source. (Farhana Hossain and Xaquín G.V. / The New York Times)

This infographic shows which Mexican drug cartels control what territory. It’s a staggering indication of how powerful these groups have become, as well as a glimpse into the vast cartel economy they collectively run – one in which territory is especially important.


AFRICA

22. The empires of Africa, before colonialism

Click to enlarge. (Wikipedia)

Click to enlarge. (Wikipedia)

This map of indigenous African empires is not exhaustive. It spans two thousands years from 500 B.C. to 1500 A.D., so these empires were not concurrent; some existed centuries apart. But it shows that, like with North America and perhaps even more so, sub-Saharan Africa was rich with vast and powerful empires long before the Europeans arrived. (One of the biggest, Ethiopia, was actually unusually and perhaps uniquely successful in resisting European imperialism.) The Songhai Empire, at its peak in the 14th century, was a global center of culture and learning, based in the still-famous mosques of Timbuktu.


23. What Africa might look like if it had never been colonized

Click to enlarge. (Nikolaj Cyon)

Click to enlarge. (Nikolaj Cyon)

Historical counterfactuals aren’t much more than informed speculation, but this one is still awfully interesting. Made by the Swedish artist Nikolaj Cyon, the map asks what Africa would look like today if colonialism had never happened. (Africa’s present-day borders were determined largely by colonialism, which continues to create lots of very big problems.) Cyon drew these boundaries based on a study of political and tribal units in 1844, the eve of Europe’s “scramble for Africa.” He oriented it with south at the top to subvert the traditional Europe-on-top orientation. You can see it here with north on the top, if that’s easier for you to read.


24. The amazingly diverse languages of Africa

Data source: World Language Mapping System/Ethnologue. (Steve Huffman/WorldGeoDatasets)

Data source: World Language Mapping System/Ethnologue. (Steve Huffman/WorldGeoDatasets)

This is another way of looking at and thinking about Africa’s divisions, without seeing them through the European-imposed colonial borders that we have today. Each shade is a language; each color is a group of languages. Yes, there are an awful lot of languages in Africa, reflecting the continent’s deep history and its diversity. You can see that a number of the borders, such as in Kenya or Cameroon or Nigeria, overlap big swathes of people who speak entirely different language families.


EUROPE

25. Europe, as mapped by tweets

Each color represents a different language. See global version linked below. (Kalev H. Leetaru, Shaowen Wang, Guofeng Cao, Anand Padmanabhan, and Eric Shook)

Each color represents a different language. See global version linked below. (Kalev H. Leetaru, Shaowen Wang, Guofeng Cao, Anand Padmanabhan, and Eric Shook)

This shows tweets made in Europe in location and language between Oct. 23 and Nov. 30, 2012, with each language shown in a different color. It’s no surprise that more populous and richer countries have more tweets. But what’s most interesting is places where languages don’t quite line up with national borders. Look at all those German-language tweets in the parts of the Poland that once belonged to the German Empire. Or look at how Belgium seems to disappear, the French- and Dutch-speakers merging into France and the Netherlands. More on the findings here; click here for a much larger version that shows the whole world and with the languages labeled.


26. How the Barbarian Invasions reshaped Europe

(Wikimedia commons)

(Wikimedia commons)

Europe was completely reshaped in the third, fourth and fifth centuries. The Huns of far-Eastern Europe and Central Asia invaded Central Europe, destroying the Gothic kingdoms. Germanic tribes conquered much of Spain and North Africa. And, of course, the Visigoths of southeastern Europe sacked Rome in 410 A.D. All of this destroyed the Roman Imperial system, starting the dark ages. But it also sparked mass migrations throughout Europe that reshaped the continent in ways that are still with us.


27. When the Vikings spread across Europe

Click to enlarge. (Max Naylor/Wikimedia Commons)

Click to enlarge. (Max Naylor/Wikimedia Commons)

A few hundred years later, the Vikings had their turn. We often forget just how far they spread. Red, orange and yellow shows areas under their control. Green shows areas where they frequently raided. The word “Russia” actually comes from the Rus tribe, who were descendants of Viking settlers. The “Vikings” who took over Sicily and southern Italy were actually Normans, Vikings who had conquered parts of Northern France, settled in, and then later sailed to Italy. Their descendants also included William the Conqueror.


28. World War II in Europe, day by day

press play

This one speaks for itself and is a fascinating watch; there are countless stories embedded in these frames. If you enjoyed this, I would encourage you to watch this version that includes Asia and the Pacific as well.


29. The word for “bear” in European languages

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

The Cold War taught us to think of Europe in terms of East-versus-West, but this map shows that it’s more complicated than that. Most Europeans speak Romance languages (orange countries), Germanic (pink) or Slavic (green), though there are some interesting exceptions.


30. People who die trying to immigrate to Europe

Click to enlarge. Data source: UNITED For Intercultural Action (Olivier Clochard/Migrinter)

Click to enlarge. Data source: UNITED For Intercultural Action (Olivier Clochard/Migrinter)

This shows where and how people die trying to migrate into Europe. In October, when 300 would-be African immigrants to Europe died when their boat capsized off the Italian island of Lampedusa, it was seen as a sign of how dangerous and deadly migration paths into Europe had become. It’s a result of wide economic disparity between Africa and Europe as well as European policies to prevent immigration. It’s an ugly issue and, as this map shows, it kills many, many people every year.


THE MIDDLE EAST

31. The Islamic states of the world, from 1450 to today

(M. Izady/Gulf 2000 Project)

(M. Izady/Gulf 2000 Project)

This doesn’t show all Muslim-majority countries – southeast Asia and parts of Africa aren’t included – but it does show the history of political borders and nation-states in most of the Islamic world from 1450 though today. You’ll notice themes of invasion and occupation, or empires rising and falling.


32. The 1916 European treaty to carve up the Middle East

Data source: The Gulf/2000 Project and United Nations ReliefWeb (The Washington Post)

Data source: The Gulf/2000 Project and United Nations ReliefWeb (The Washington Post)

In 1916, French, British and Russian diplomats signed an agreement to divide up the Ottoman Empire into areas of direct control and “spheres of influence.” It’s easy to overstate how big of a role this treaty actually played in designing modern Middle East borders; in many ways, those divisions had already organically occurred during Ottoman rule. Still, it did fall along the Middle East’s problematic present-day borders, and you hear about that a lot today, so here it is.


33. The religious lines dividing today’s Middle East

Data source: The Gulf/2000 Project and United Nations ReliefWeb (The Washington Post)

Data source: The Gulf/2000 Project and United Nations ReliefWeb (The Washington Post)

Religious distinctions are deeply important for many of the problems in today’s Middle East, particularly between Sunni and Shia Muslims in Syria and Iraq. This map shows not just that those divisions cross of national borders, but that they’re all over the place. This is one of many reasons why these conflicts can be so persistent.


34. How the 1948 Arab-Israeli war helped lead to Israel’s borders

The leftmost map shows, in blue, Israel as established by UN resolution in 1947. Red shows the initial Arab state; green is the Arab state after the 1949 armistice. The center map shows the advance of Arab armies in the 1948 War. The right-most map shows the advance of Israeli armies in that war. (Wikimedia commons)

(Wikimedia commons)

Lots of maps show Israel’s territory from the 1967 Israeli-Arab war to the present, but I thought I’d show this map from the country’s 1947 founding onward. The leftmost map shows, in blue, Israel as established by United Nations resolution in 1947. Red shows the initial Arab state; green is the Arab state after the 1949 armistice. The center map shows the first months of the 1948 Israeli-Arab war and the advance of Arab armies to retake what they saw as rightful Arab land. The right-most map shows the advance of Israeli armies in the latter half of that war. At the end of fighting, Israel occupied much of what is considered Israeli land today.


ASIA

35. Percentage of Indian homes with toilets

Data source: Indian census, 2011 (Avinash Celestine / Data Stories)

Click to enlarge. Data source: Indian census, 2011 (Avinash Celestine / Data Stories)

India’s ongoing rise as a new economic powerhouse continues to be an amazing story. But much of the world’s second-most-populous country still lives in poverty or in otherwise difficult conditions. This map, created from census data by the designer Avinash Celestine, shows what percentage of families in each district have a toilet in their homes. As you can see, it’s less than half in huge swathes of the country, a reminder of how far India still has to go.


36. The languages of China and the surrounding area

Each shade is a different language; each color is a language group. Click to enlarge. Larger version linked below. (Steve Huffman / World GeoDatasets)

Each shade is a different language; each color is a language group. Click to enlarge. Larger version linked below. (Steve Huffman / World GeoDatasets)

This map, for me, is a wonderful way to observe China’s very long history of expansion and consolidation. Remember that each shade is a different language. Even after thousands of years, Chinese itself remains remarkably diverse, particularly in the country’s dialect-rich southeast. And there are many entirely different language families: Mongolian in the north; the Turkic language Uighur in the West and; in southern Guangxi province, the Zhuang language that’s closer to Thai. This is another of Steve Huffman’s amazing creations; see a larger version here.


37. The WWII firebombing of Japan

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

This map shows each Japanese city that was bombed during World War II, an American city of equivalent size, and the percentage of the city estimated destroyed by the bombings. All Americans learn about the two atomic bombs the U.S. dropped on Japan at the end of the war, and we’re starting to become more aware of the firebombing campaigns that wiped out much of Germany, including civilians. But we are nowhere near confronting the U.S. firebombing of Japan, which killed several times as many people as the atomic bombs and devastated Japan’s wooden-constructed cities. By the time the war ended, 30 percent of the residents in Japan’s largest 60 cities were homeless.


38. Territorial claims in the South China Sea

(Voice of America)

(Voice of America)

It’s no secret that China claims islands and maritime territory in the South China Sea that other countries see as theirs. But this map shows just how assertive China’s claim is – Beijing claims everything in red, a giant scoop of an area way, way beyond Chinese soil. China’s neighbors are very, very conscious of feeling a bit bullied, and this map shows why.


39. The naval firepower in the Pacific

Click to enlarge. (Cameron Tulk)

Click to enlarge. (Cameron Tulk)

The Pacific Ocean, after being set on fire by World War II, is still heavily militarized. Japan, even though its U.S.-imposed constitution bans warfare and codifies pacifism, still has a pretty substantial navy. So does Russia, a legacy of the Cold War. And China’s is, of course, growing substantially. All of this combines with rising nationalism in East Asia, China’s not-misguided fear that the United States is attempting to contain them and growing concern about China itself.


40. Every airline flight in the world over 24 hours

Original video source here. Data source: AirTraffic LIVE. (Zurcher Hochschule school of Engineering)

Original video source here. Data source: AirTraffic LIVE. (Zurcher Hochschule school of Engineering)

This map shows every airline flight around the world during a single 24-hour day, looped endlessly. To me, it’s the perfect way to end. Even with no borders, you can still see so much of how the world is shaped. Where people are connected and not, where they are wealthier and not, how and where people have made social and economic connections and how deep they go.

Next up; “Feeding Souls”.

Source: The Washington Post- Max Fisher.

 

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