Map #75: January 29, 2018

Difficulty Level: 8

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.) Some of the dots on this map overlap a lot, especially in Southeast Asia. We have slightly shifted a few of the dots so that you can see how many there are when there have been multiple dots of the same size in the same city. Otherwise, however, we have generally just let them overlap. You may find that it’s useful to zoom in for closer inspection (and the resolution of the map should allow you to do so). The many overlaps are actually a nice way to visualize the general pattern of the dots on this map. Note that there are a total of one hundred dots on this map, which was an arbitrary cutoff. As always, your job is to figure out what this proportional symbol 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, February 5, 2018. Good luck!

Tuesday’s hint: Perhaps the first thing you should notice about this map is that a fair number of the dots on it can be found in places with extreme weather—either hot and humid weather, such as in Southeast Asia; extremely hot weather, such as in the Persian Gulf region; or very cold weather, such as in parts of Canada and the northern U.S. You may have noticed that Erie, Pennsylvania, is on this map. Erie was in the news a lot last month because it received 83 inches of snow in the last week of December.

Wednesday’s hint: Since there are so very many dots on this map in the Philippines, let’s focus on that country. One interesting fact about the Philippines is that the vast majority of people who live there do not have air conditioning at home, even though the weather is extremely hot and humid in the summer. (The percentage of people with air conditioners has actually been rising rapidly in the past few years, especially in the biggest cities. One study showed that the percentage of households with air conditioning in the Manila area surged from 12% to 30% from 2014 to 2016. Still, that’s a pretty low rate.) Imagine for a moment that you live in the Philippines and it’s a weekend day during the summer and you don’t have air conditioning. What are you going to do for the day?

Thursday’s hint: The largest dot in the U.S. and Canada is one in the vicinity of Edmonton, Alberta. You might want to consider learning about Edmonton—specifically, where would you want to go visit if you arrived in Edmonton as a tourist?

Friday’s hint: The largest dot on this map, the red dot in southern China, indicates a building in the city of Dongguan that is mostly empty.

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.