Map Monday: from the smallest countries to the largest

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.

 

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23 Responses to Map Monday: from the smallest countries to the largest

  1. candidkay says:

    I’m in awe of people who can run long distances! I’ve always been short sprints and fast. Kudos to you for your persistence and stamina!

    • Jane Fritz says:

      It was definitely a retirement project. And having a destination race to train for, knowing your husband and brother were doing the same thing, was a great motivator!

  2. I hadn’t heard of some of the smallest countries!

  3. Roy McCarthy says:

    Looks like they lumped all the Channel Islands in with the UK, GB or the British Isles. Granted, their status can appear a little obscure. Like you Jane I always fancied Boston if ever I was to travel that far, but I was never good enough to qualify.

    • Jane Fritz says:

      I know, Jersey should push for full sovereignty! Actually, with Brexit a lot of UK bits are finding their status more obscure than previously, including N.Ireland and Gibraltar. Interesting times! Gosh, if you couldn’t qualify for Boston either then it’s no wonder I’d never stand a chance. I only needed to clip about 1:10:00 off my time! 😂

      • Roy McCarthy says:

        Indeed the subject of possible Jersey independence crops up from time to time. Certainly the island of Ireland will be peacefully reunited in some form in the next 10-20 years. Scotland continue to agitate for independence too.

  4. OmniRunner says:

    I’ve often wondered how those little countries survived.
    With all of the empire building that went on in Europe, how did they stay independent?
    I have a friend who ran several of the World Majors in 2019. I think she finished all five and it’s a good thing she did it when she did.
    I’ve pretty much given up on completing the World Majors.
    Over the past three years I’ve come to really enjoy half marathons. The fact that most have great parties afterwards certainly helps!

    • Jane Fritz says:

      I think a number of those small countries were, as you say, “conquered” by various of the European countries during their times of empire, and have within the past several decades regained their independence. What we do to each other!

      I’m excited that someone sides me gets pleasure in race route maps, OmniRunner. I agree about half marathons being the best distance. Eventually we had to switch to 10Ks – and now to 5Ks when my hip gives permission – but the half gives you a huge challenge that you can still recover from fairly quickly. Our first was the Disney World Half in 2010; our last was the London Royal Parks Half in 2014, with lots in between. What fun!

  5. Great Post! Very interesting 🙂

  6. Always look forward to your map posts, thanks Jane. Hope you all are well, stay safe, healthy and have a great week.

  7. AMWatson207 says:

    Thank you for a much needed palette cleanser for my brain.

  8. Much needed respite from the all the bad news!

  9. Very cool, and nice to think of something other than dramatic events and pandemics…thanks, eh

  10. LA says:

    Fun as always!

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