Map #69: December 11, 2017

Difficulty Level: 8

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.) We have added a blue border to each dot so that it is slightly easier to distinguish one dot from another. Where dots are close together, we have moved them ever so slightly so that you can see how many dots are there. Obviously, it gets difficult to see all the dots in the densest areas, but this map should help you to appreciate the overall pattern of dots. As always, 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, December 18. Good luck!

Tuesday’s hint: Many (but not all) of the dots on this map are in university towns. In the U.K., these include both Oxford and Cambridge. In the U.S., you can find dots in Cambridge, Massachusetts; New Haven, Connecticut; Princeton, New Jersey; Austin, Texas; and Bloomington, Indiana. Leaving aside Bloomington for the moment, let’s think about what the other cities have in common: they’re the homes of the four richest universities in the U.S. in terms of their total endowments. So we’re talking about rich, well established universities with lots of tradition and lots of money.

Wednesday’s hint: On this map, there are more dots in Germany than in any other country (13 in Germany as compared with 11 in the U.S. and 8 in the U.K.). The plethora of dots in Germany should be a strong indication that the correct solution is closely linked with German history and culture.

Thursday’s hint: One of the cities on this map home to two dots is Mainz, a city in the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate. Since Mainz is much smaller than all of the other places with multiple dots, it’s worth your attention. Can you find anything about the history of Mainz that might help explain this map?

Friday’s hint: This map shows the distribution of a particular group of cultural artifacts that originated in Germany in the fifteenth century.

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.