Map Monday: an eclectic mix of maps

This week’s maps present an eclectic assortment of facts about our world, many of which I was introduced to by Map Monday friends (thanks, Peter and Francine). Hopefully there’s something in this collection that piques your interest and maybe gives you pause for thought.

I usually try to stick to maps that include the entire world, but a few of these U.S.-focused ones are particularly interesting, especially to Canadians as winter approaches. I think you’ll see why.

How much snow does it usually take to cancel schools? Boy, this is a controversial one in my neck of the woods. Mind you, now that virtual learning is being forced into existence by the pandemic, there will be options for school closures. Just because school buses can’t roll doesn’t necessarily mean that school can’t proceed remotely. That won’t be popular with lots of kids, who when they see snow falling automatically think – NO SCHOOL!!


Size comparison between Australia and the United States. It turns out that the two countries are very similar when comparing just the contiguous states rather than including Alaska and Hawaii (especially Alaska). And yet, the difference in population is staggering: 25 million Australians versus 327 million Americans in mainland U.S.A. That’s 13 times more people in the States; gives you an idea of how “empty” much of Australia is.


But, of course, huge variations in population densities exist all over the world. For example, these two areas of Africa have roughly equivalent populations.


Passenger railway networks 2020. These maps say a lot about public policy and how challenging it will be for countries that have sparsely distributed regional populations and/or long-term public policies supporting passenger cars over public transit to re-introduce accessible and convenient rail travel as an environmentally-friendly alternative.


And speaking of environmentally friendly policies, do you know which countries in the world are actually carbon negative, in other words remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than add to it? There are a few who have made that a goal, but currently there is one who has actually made it. Bravo, Bhutan!!


All the nations that have to be combined to equal Brazil’s homicide rate. I have been to Brazil, and was hugely taken with its beautiful landscapes, fascinating history, vibrancy, and its warm people and multicultural flavour. Brazilians should have so much going for them; I wish this map’s data were not part of their story.


Most common country of birth for foreign-born residents in the U.S., excluding Mexico. This one really surprised me. I wonder why so many Canadians who moved to the U.S. stayed in cold-weather states. They’re clearly not all snowbirds!


Countries mentioned or referred to in the Bible. This one also intrigued me. I’m going to guess that the countries shown in this world map didn’t necessarily have the same names or borders in biblical times as they have now!


Reduction in world hunger. This map shares some good news with respect to the reduction in world hunger across the world in the past 20 years. Very sadly, this reduction is likely to lose ground as a result of the fallout from the global COVID-19 crisis. This is one reason why it is so important for the wealthy countries not to be pulling back on international aid at this time.


And now, for the final map, a look at where your car might have been made. I wonder how many of these manufacturers are starting to switch their productions to electric vehicles. The sooner the better.

I hope you enjoy perusing this map trivia!

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27 Responses to Map Monday: an eclectic mix of maps

  1. K E Garland says:

    The one map that shows where immigrants are from based on what state they choose to live is very telling. I may use it for a class I teach on diversity, where I’ve created an assignment to show students not all immigrants are from Mexico or Guatemala :-/

  2. You find the most interesting maps 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

  3. Is my memory deceiving me? I don’t think so, I remember walking to school as excavators removed snow from the roads………….. now my nieces have a day off from their studies if the paths are a bit frosty! (Not the schools fault that people will sue for anything these days 😦 )

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Aha, so it’s not just in Canada. I think you may be onto something about the threat of lawsuits entering into these decisions, A.S. I’m looking forward to seeing what changes may be in store now that “hybrid learning” has become a reality, thanks to our friend COVID.

  4. Yes, excellent post! I am a firm believer that facts do matter, and these maps show the facts in fascinating ways.

  5. bernieLynne says:

    Snow days! I grew up in the 60’s in rural Saskatchewan and if the roads were bad my dad put us all in the cab of the tractor and drove us to school. My teenage sister used to make him let her off a block away so she could walk and not be seen getting out of a tractor! I also remember going via Bomadeer’s in the early years.
    Your narrative along with the maps is very educational. Diverse range of topics in this maps!

    • Jane Fritz says:

      These days, here at least, because so many students are bussed in from outlying areas, and it’s considered unsafe for kids to stand at the edge of a country road in snow or freezing rain, school gets cancelled a lot. Too much. Meanwhile, of course, the parents are expected to get to work on the same roads. What’s wrong with this picture?!

  6. AMWatson207 says:

    Snow days vs. Remote Learning? There’s a whole generation that will never know the sweet, sweet feeling of a magical day off.

  7. I always feel smarter after Map Monday. Excellent post!

  8. Yikes. I had no idea the homicide rate in Brazil was so scary.

  9. Fascinating stuff and not about COVID

  10. Roy McCarthy says:

    Another beautifully produced post, and fascinating indeed. You could wonder and speculate for hours about some of them. The rail network in the USA, for example, is virtually non-existent these days, elbowed aside by road transport and motor car interests. By contrast, the UK is well served, even after the wholesale cuts in the 1960s.

    Oh, and Jersey only has to have snow forecast to have the schools closed 🙂

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Lol re snow days in Jersey. Here we’ve had winters where the question was whether the kids would ever get back to school – because of snow and ice, not COVID. Re the rail networks, I agree. The difference between NA and Europe/UK just screams difference in lobbying power of automotive and oil industries in NA. There’s an advantage in Europe of population density, but still.

      • Roy McCarthy says:

        And in Jersey we had two railway lines, we closed them, our German friends kindly re-laid them only for us to rip them up again. Now we wish we had them back 😦

        • Jane Fritz says:

          You can’t win! In moue neck of the woods one of the major rail lines got torn up and replaced by walking/biking trails, which are beloved by all and heavily used. These extensive trails on old rail beds have undoubtedly contributed massively to improving the physical well-being of our population, so it’s pretty hard to complain about! We’ll just have to start hitching rides on the freight trains on the remaining line. 😏

  11. barryh says:

    Fascinating, Jane

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