Map #6: September 19, 2016

Difficulty Level: 7

Click here for a full-size version of this week’s map.

This map is a proportional symbol map of the world. (Do you need a refresher on what a proportional symbol map is? Visit our “Basics” page for a quick primer.) On this map, each circle represents a particular city. Cities with larger circles have more of a particular statistic than do those with smaller circles. Your job for this week: figure out what statistic is represented by this proportional symbol map

Stumped? Check back Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday for hints about where to focus your investigation. The answer will be posted on Monday, September 26. Good luck!

Tuesday’s hint: One thing to note about this map is all the dots in the former Soviet Union. These include many provincial cities in Russia (Kazan, Nizhny Novgorod, Novosibirsk, Samara, and Yekaterinburg) as well as quite a few capitals or other major cities of former SSRs (Tashkent, Almaty, Baku, Tbilisi, Yerevan, Minsk, Kiev, Dnipropetrovsk, and Kharkiv). You might conclude from this list that the solution to this map involves something that the government of the Soviet Union took especially seriously.

Wednesday’s hint: Take a look at the United States on this map. There are some fairly large circles on the East Coast, but very little in the western part of the country—just a small navy circle for Los Angeles and a medium light blue circle for San Francisco. One conclusion you might draw from this discrepancy is that dots on this map are more prevalent in places where populations are less spread out. In the western United States, where populations are not especially dense, there are fewer dots. If you figure out why that is the case, you can probably come up with the correct solution to this map.

Thursday’s hint: This map was produced in summer 2016. Today’s hint is to tell you what the same map have looked like if it had instead been produced at the end of the year 1900. It would have a green dot for London, a light blue dot for Chicago, navy blue dots for Glasgow and Paris, and a purple dot for Budapest. That’s it!

Friday’s hint: Yesterday’s hint told you what this map would have looked like in 1900. Today’s hint is a list of the cities that will receive new dots on this map (if all goes according to plan) before the end of 2017: Changchun, Hefei, Guiyang, Shijiazhuang, Xiamen, Xuzhou, and Lanzhou in China; Lucknow, Noida, Hyderabad, Kochi, and Navi Mumbai in India; Taoyuan and Taichung in Taiwan; Ahvaz, Karaj, and Qom in Iran; and Lahore in Pakistan. Note that every new dot to be added in the next fifteen months will be in Asia.

General warning: Remember that the dots for Beijing, Shanghai, New York, Paris, and Madrid are larger than those for London and Seoul. There’s a good reason for this—so do your research and be precise in your answer. If your answer is close but not quite right, you’ll only get half credit this week.

Answer: Click here to see an explanation of the answer to this week’s map question.

Next map: Click here to try out our newest map question.