Map Monday: from COVID action to where the people aren’t, for starters

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.


Where COVID cases are rising fastest in the world as of June 12, 2020 (Click on map to zoom in)

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.

Example of the map’s interactive capability (Click on map to zoom in)


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.

Click on map to zoom in


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?

Click on image to zoom in. Image credit:

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.

Image credit: (Click on map to zoom in)




This entry was posted in Map Monday and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Map Monday: from COVID action to where the people aren’t, for starters

  1. A fascinating set of maps Jane, Thank you


  2. Yes, fascinating! I was particularly struck by the world’s friendliest countries. Although Canada is a huge red blast of welcome, there really aren’t that many of them around the world, are there?


    • Jane Fritz says:

      No, it’s pretty sobering. I think there are 21 red spots, and some of them are exactly that – spots – like Barbados, Singapore, Malta, and Bahrain. An intriguing collection of places with seemingly little common bond. One hopes that it at least means there is less internal discrimination in those places.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. iidorun says:

    Canada wins as the largest “spot” of welcoming people! 😍 The sobering thought behind the map of “median age” is that it means for countries with a younger median age (like in parts of Africa where the median age is in the teens), that people are dying quite young – which is a tragedy if you think about what the possible reasons are for this are.

    Glad you’re feeling well enough to get back into your regular posts. Will continue to send healing vibes and hoping you’re able to get your hair washed! 😉 ❤️


    • Jane Fritz says:

      Oh, Irma, you are so right about the reason the median age is so young in many developing countries, especially in Africa. People are dying from wars, famines, and preventable diseases. Soon climate change will make it even more inequitable, with Africa and parts of SE Asia no longer able to grow enough food. One tragedy after another. 😥🥵

      Thanks for your vibes. The one thing I can do with little difficulty is write and type with my good hand. Hurray!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Roy McCarthy says:

    How on earth did ‘they’ measure welcoming? By the hula girls draping you with garlands at the airport, or the local guys at the bar shaking your hand and buying you drinks and not shooting you? Good talking points as always Jane.


    • Jane Fritz says:

      Lol. It looks like it’s calculated from surveys and other data on an annual basis. I found one analysis in the Washington Post re the map I used, but this one from Forbes, a little more up to date, is somewhat clearer. I know when we moved to London (a long time ago) our neighbours introduced themselves and then said – really – that they already had a lot of friends so we probably wouldn’t see much of them! Having spent lots of time in York years later, it was an entirely different, welcoming place. I can’t help thinking that having political leaders who feed anti-immigration sentiment don’t help.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.