Welcome back to Map Monday. A few interesting maps have landed in my email this past week that I thought I’d share. If you’d like to explore any of the topics more, I encourage you to follow the links.
Coronavirus updates with an interactive map. The first map to pop up on my email was an article in the New York Times describing the current state of the coronavirus outbreaks around the world. Interestingly, this article is up to date as of June 13, but within a few hours of being published a new lockdown was announced for Beijing. This is a perfect example of how difficult it is to stay on top of the status of COVID-19. It’s constantly changing. This is definitely not the time to let down our guard.
You can take a closer look at each country and its cases-trending graph, as shown by hovering over Sweden in this map capture, by clicking on the NY Times Coronavirus interactive map.
Where the people aren’t. The second unexpected world map that came my way was from National Geographic, with the intriguing title of “A map showing where on Earth people aren’t”. How could I not be attracted to that? This is National Geographic, and this map is not meant to attract tourists to these areas nor to suggest that there are no people there or that these areas are not vulnerable to human exploitation and climate change. Their labeling of parts of the world as where humans have ‘low impact’ is not intended to deny the damage being done by humans in those regions. The map, just published in the journal Global Change Biology, knits together four independently developed models for determining where humanity leaves its fingerprints, each using different indicators of activity. It’s a complex undertaking, bringing together different approaches to trying to best determine how to protect our planet and life as we know it. Now that I think about it, it might make a good topic for a Map Monday of its own before long. If you can’t wait for my post, checkout the full article at the link above.
And now for a few maps that don’t fall into any one category. But, of course, each one contributes to understanding our world a little better.
Writing systems around the world. Diversity around the world isn’t limited to humans, flora, and fauna; diversity also includes our writing systems, big time. Writing systems can be divided into two main types: those that represent consonants and vowels (alphabets), and those which represent syllables (syllabaries), though some do both. And these systems don’t include hieroglyphics. Which systems do you think would be easiest to learn? Hardest?
Median ages in countries around the world. This map shows just how much the ‘western’ countries are aging. As well, this map is a few years old; as an example, Canada’s median age has risen to 42.2 years in the past few years.
These age differences will really matter in so many ways. A rapidly aging country like mine, Canada, really needs immigrants. Good thing we’re by and large an immigrant-welcoming country. Multiculturalism is one of our foundational principles, along with universal healthcare.