Map #34: April 10, 2017

Difficulty Level: 5

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

This map is a dot map of the world. (Do you need a refresher on what a dot map is? Visit our “Basics” page for a quick primer.) There are a lot of dots on this map; their placing should be reasonably accurate, but it is probably least trustworthy in the areas where a lot of dots overlap. Your job, as always, is to figure out what this dot map represents.

Stumped? Check back Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday for hints about where to focus your investigation. The answer will be posted on Monday, April 17. Good luck!

Tuesday’s hint: For the most part, the dots on this map are in populated areas, and they tend to include the biggest cities in the countries where they are concentrated. Moreover, of the countries that have dots, there isn’t a single one that doesn’t have a dot in its capital. (And South Africa, which has three capitals, has a dot in each) The dots are spread widely around each country, covering a wide array of different areas within the country. In Sweden, for example, there are dots up and down both the eastern and western coasts. In South Korea and Italy, there are dots on those countries’ most populous islands. In Japan, there are dots on three of the four main islands. But there are two countries in which the dots are not widely spread around to all parts of the country. Which two? And what explains those patterns?

Wednesday’s hint: Here’s the answer to the first of the questions at the end of yesterday’s hint: Uruguay and the United Kingdom. There’s only one dot in Uruguay, in the capital city of Montevideo. Can you figure out what is special about Uruguay? And in the United Kingdom, the dots are spread around many cities of England (London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Sunderland, and Middlesbrough), but there are no dots in Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland. Can you think of a circumstance in which England would be unlikely to involve the other constituents of the United Kingdom?

Thursday’s hint: The only African country with dots on this map is South Africa. If history had played out a little bit differently, there might have been some dots in Morocco and no dots in South Africa. In fact, it is likely that the only reason those dots are in South Africa rather than Morocco is because of a famous case of bribery and corruption.

Friday’s hint: The next time this map will have to be revised is next year, when we will have to add dots in eleven cities of Russia.

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.