Map #76: February 5, 2018

Difficulty Level: 4

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

This map is a cartogram of the countries of the world. (Do you need a refresher on what a cartogram is? Visit our “Basics” page for a quick primer.) As always, the colors on this map are only there to help you tell the various countries apart. But be aware that we did color it fairly carefully! Also, the cartogram-making algorithm we use continues to have some trouble with the world’s smallest countries. For some reason, Monaco and San Marino, both of which ought to be visible, have not been properly enlarged. At least you can see Andorra and Liechtenstein if you look closely. As always, your job is to figure out what this cartogram 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 12, 2018. Good luck!

Tuesday’s hint: Let’s start by making a few observations about the various countries that were formerly part of Yugoslavia. Slovenia has been expanded a lot on this map. Croatia has been expanded a little bit. And the rest of the countries are fairly small. Think for a moment about the physical geography of these countries. What would you find a lot of in Slovenia, some of in Croatia, and less of in the other former countries of Yugoslavia?

Wednesday’s hint: One obvious thing that all of the countries that appear especially large on this map have in common is that they’re all places with cold climates.

Thursday’s hint: We could have chosen to make a slightly different cartogram that might be more appropriate tomorrow, and tomorrow only. Such a cartogram wouldn’t have Russia represented at all. It would also show North and South Korea as a single country, rather than two distinct countries.

Friday’s hint: Whew! We might have needed to make a dramatic revision to this map to make Russia a lot larger, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled today that our cartogram is just right as it is.

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.