Saturday, April 02, 2005

Maps make me happy

I was meaning to make this map when Violet posted it, but then forgot about it. Here is my map of the world with places I have visited (but not counting places I've only been in the airport in). I'll have to go to a big country next - Brazil, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, maybe Russia? - to make the map more impressive.

create your own visited countries map

As a comparison, here is a map of where people come from who have read my blog (or possibly not read but only clicked on randomly and then rapidly navigated away from). It's intriguingly similar. Some of the overlaps aren't surprising, because obviously I have friends in countries I've been to and I've told some of them about my blog. But still.

create your own visited countries map

I actually took quite a while to make these maps because I stopped to read the comments. There's some great ones like: "Why isn't Brussels on the list of countries?" Then there's all the debate on whether places like Palestine and Greenland are countries, Americans wanting US states separate but Europe as one country, and the Australian disclaiming Tasmania. Some comments are tongue in cheek but some are just hilariously dumb.

My favourites though are the series of comments debating whether Mexico is part of North America or part of Central America. This is an issue I vaguely mentioned in my PhD thesis; I was doing some socio-economic and biophysical comparisons of different countries in Central America, and ended up not including Mexico, and I stated quite clearly why I didn't include it, so it wasn't even an issue, and yet comment number two from examiner number one says: "Mexico is really a part of North America - not Central".

I think I ignored that comment in the end.