Maps are no longer simply an outline drawing of various countries, towns and cities of the world. Nowadays, they present a huge variety of information and often it is far more useful than having the information presented in a text format. View some of these world maps to learn a few things about the world you probably didn’t know before!
This map of the most popular surnames used in each European country could be useful to those studying languages, but it also has many other uses. This map was put together by a user on Reddit and it could hold a few surprises for those who think that the most popular surname in Scotland is MacDonald!
Health professionals around the world would be interested to see this map. Put together by the World Health Organisation it indicates the different drinks consumed in countries. In some cases it might seem obvious which drinks are popular in which locations – such as beer in the USA and Australia, and a preference for spirits in Russia – however, few people are aware that the preference in Argentina and Chile is for wine.
A few years ago a cargo ship accidentally offloaded 29,000 rubber ducks in the Pacific. An enterprising individual on Reddit has been mapping where the ducks have come ashore since. Not a map that is useful to everyone but definitely one that is going to attract a little interest, particularly for scientists interested in current tidal movements.
Anyone who has a fear of being struck by lightning would probably find this map of the world’s lightning strikes useful. It can’t predict a lightning strike but it will show which areas of the world are best avoided! Available on Wikimedia Commons this map shows heading to the northern hemisphere could help you avoid a possible lightning strike disaster, but you would have to sacrifice warmer climes for cooler temperatures.
These examples clearly show you can do so much more with a map. It is such an easy way to present data to get a message across to the viewer. Most people who need this type of information do not have the time needed to read lengthy reports but the relevant points can be seen at a glance when information is presented in map form.