The first week of this new year has been a week like no other, just as this past year was a year like no other. Increased COVID cases nearly everywhere, with tightening restrictions being put in place, dashing the hope that by now the threat would be lessening. The U.S. dealing with an unprecedented situation of political upheaval and violence. The UK awakening to the two-edged sword of a done-deal Brexit. So much angst in the world. It doesn’t seem like a good week to present readers with maps that remind us of just how fragile our world is, whether through maps reminding us of the violence throughout history, maps that highlight the world’s challenges in overcoming inequality, or maps showing the realities of climate change and our harm to the environment. This week let’s try to distance ourselves from as much angst as possible by looking at maps that are hopefully 100% judgment-neutral. [As usual, click on any map or diagram to zoom in on details.]
If these were all puzzle pieces, could you put them together in a map of the world?!
The 100 smallest countries in the world. From visualcapitalist.com
The 52 largest countries in the world. From visualcapitalist.com
I lied at the beginning when I said that these maps were 100% judgment-neutral. Most references place Canada ahead of China in geographic size, with China having 96% of the size of Canada, which is not what is presented here. However, I resisted trying to rearrange their order with Photoshop; what the heck. Also, Americans may well wonder why Alaska and Hawaii were left out of the size calculations and Alaska given its own place in the categories. We’ll have to ask the people at Visual Capitalist, I guess.
And, last but not least, a special map for you runners out there, just to remind you of what bucket-list items you can keep in reserve for when travel and crowd activities are available to us again. Just take a look at those 26.2 mile (42.2 km) routes through those wonderful cities, past all those inspiring landmarks, and dream.
The World’s Marathon Majors!
I admit to having had hopes of completing all of these at one point in my life – well, except for Boston (I was too slow to ever qualify). However, after completing NYC and Chicago, we just couldn’t manage to get our names drawn for the other races – so many people wanting to run so far. Then my body got older and older, and I had to come to terms with the fact that we can’t always do everything we want, including running 26.2 miles for no apparent reason! 😉 But whatever your dream, it’s worth pursuing.