Map Monday: from Santa to animals to everything in between

In keeping with the season, I tried to find accurate maps of the round-the-world routing of Santa and his reindeer on Christmas Eve, but that proved very difficult. He is an elusive fellow. However, I did find some links to Santa Trackers that are active on Christmas Eve, including one that is undertaken by NORAD, I kid you not. If any of you have kids or grandkids who might be interested, one such online source is I Spot Santa. [As usual, you can click on the maps to zoom in on details.]

Some time ago, while exploring national animals for a blog series, I was surprised by the large number of countries that have adopted the lion as its national animal, considering that only one or two of the countries have resident lions, except in zoos. This map shows that, in fact, lions once roamed most of Africa, and well beyond. The jury is out on just how far afield. Amazing.

The lions’ retreat was undoubtedly related to the masses of human beings spreading across historical lion habitat. Since then the descendants of those lion-purging humans have been up to a lot of good … and a lot of not so good. It’s a continual struggle to get it right. Some snapshots of human activity at the moment:

The map of democracy around the world is based on a review by The Economist Intelligence Unit, in which they reviewed factors related to pluralism, civil liberties, and political culture to determine if a country is a full democracy, flawed democracy, hybrid regime, or authoritarian regime (Wikipedia). The map moves from dark red (least democratic) to dark green (most democratic). Hmm.

By the measures of this study of corruption below, Denmark turns out to be the least corrupt nation. Globally speaking, though, it’s not a pretty picture: More than two-thirds of countries score below 50 on the scale going from 0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (very clean).

And now let’s leave the humans to sort things out for themselves and get back to animals to round out our maps for the week. We started with reindeer and lions; to add a little cheer to our lives, let’s close it out by thinking about flocks of colourful parrots!

Hmm, I guess I can stop looking out for parrots in my neck of the woods and concentrate on getting more women elected to parliament instead!

Images sources: Wikipedia, Wikipedia Commons,, and

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33 Responses to Map Monday: from Santa to animals to everything in between

  1. iidorun says:

    Eclectic indeed! Makes me wonder if there is some sort of correlation that we must discover. There does seem to be a connection with the middle three – democracy, women and education and corruption. We have the Santa Tracker by NORAD bookmarked on our family computer!

  2. bernieLynne says:

    That’s an eclectic mix of maps this week!

  3. Corrupt nations! A fascinating map except the UK’s score is tooo high or was this map produced prior to Brexit? (A fun post as always 🙂 )

  4. You mean to say you believe in Santa Claus?

  5. Wow, Denmark! Who knew? Well, apparently not me. Fascinating. – Marty

  6. I love your Map Mondays as it gets me thinking and researching a little more! I know we don’t have parrotts and travelling to warm countries where I can birdwatch is not on the list right now so we have to make do with our less colourful resident birds.

    • Jane Fritz says:

      I’m glad to provide thinking ammunition for you, Wayne! I know what you mean about the less colourful birdwatching. I guess our cardinals reign supreme in that regard.

  7. dfolstad58 says:

    I appreciate your Monday maps so much. Amazing really and all the research. – best wishes, David I have a niece who has five kids I am sharing the links for tracking santa. ♥

  8. Fun to see where Santa goes. Too bad about the parrots. What beautiful birds!

  9. LA says:

    Very interesting. My daughter has some theory about lions which I can’t recall, but when she’s out of class I’ll ask her

  10. AMWatson207 says:

    I hope you haven’t inadvertently spoken into reality the next plague of 2020, because I am now thinking ‘free range lions’.

  11. You and your maps! I always find your maps interesting to see, even of they are on things I don’t normally think about (such as where parrots are).

    • Jane Fritz says:

      Gosh, Brendan, I can’t imagine that you’ve never spent any quality time thinking about where parrots live! 😏 It is astounding to see what you can find when looking for maps. A cathartic respite from reading the news!!

  12. Nice interesting and fun one Jane

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