Map #48: July 17, 2017

Difficulty Level: 4

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

July is Cal Poly Month here at Weekly Map. This map was made by an undergraduate student in Cal Poly’s data science program.

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.) On this map, each dot (well, each cross symbol) represents one data point out of a total of around 3,000. This particular data set comes from 2015. Your job 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, July 24. Good luck!

Tuesday’s hint: As mentioned above, this map uses data from 2015. If the student who made it had been able to get the most current data from 2017, then this map would have a dot in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Wednesday’s hint: There are relatively few countries on this map with dots. The U.S., obviously, has the most dots. And when you dig into some of the dots in other countries, you’ll find that they actually indicate a connection to the United States. Take Saudi Arabia, for example. There are dots in Dammam and Dhahran, two adjoining cities that are the center of the Saudi oil industry. These cities have huge American expatriate communities. And that dot in the middle of the Pacific? That’s Guam, an American territory. And then there’s that dot on the island of Borneo—another place with a significant oil industry and, as a result, a small American expat community.

Thursday’s hint: Perhaps the most dramatic pattern on this map is the distribution of dots in the Caribbean. There are lots of dots in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. But there are hardly any dots at all in Haiti and Jamaica. In general, you are much more likely to find dots in Spanish-speaking countries than in English- or French-speaking countries. What might a young kid growing up in Bermuda or St. Lucia or Jamaica do for fun? And how might this kid’s choice of recreation differ from what the kids are doing in Puerto Rico or the Dominican Republic?

Friday’s hint: Yesterday’s hint asked what the kids in the British Caribbean are doing for fun—and the main answer is that they’re outside playing cricket.

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.