Map #87: April 23, 2018

Difficulty Level: 7

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.) This map was made for us by Kris H., one of our regular submitters, whom you might remember as the winner of one of the first of our five-week challenges and the co-winner of the second. Thanks very much to Kris for coming up with the concept for this map and putting it together. 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, April 30, 2018. Good luck!

Tuesday’s hint: It’s good to start by identifying which countries stand out most on this map. The top four, rather obviously, are the United States, France, Japan, and China. Note that all four of these countries are fairly wealthy and technologically advanced. What else do these countries have in common?

Wednesday’s hint: By now you have likely noticed that very few of the dots on this map correspond to big cities. In fact, most of these dots are in less populated areas. That big red dot in Japan is in the Niigata Prefecture. The orange dot in Canada is on the eastern shore of Lake Huron. And the orange dot in South Korea is in a suburb of Busan. Trying to figure out the precise cities that these dots are in won’t help you much; instead, your best bet is to learn about the general areas.

Thursday’s hint: The northernmost of the green dots in Japan is an interesting case. A mapper in the past would have needed to put two dots there in close proximity. But since 2011, only one dot has been needed. Can you figure out what happened in that year?

Friday’s hint: Yesterday’s hint mentioned the demise of a dot in Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture in April 2011. In that month, that region was hit by an earthquake and a tsunami.

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.