Why East Germany is a map zombie

Three decades after the demise of the GDR, its familiar contours keep coming back from the dead.

Credit: Pixabay
  • East Germany has been dead for a little more than three decades.
  • But the former GDR just keeps popping up on all kinds of maps.
  • It's a sign that life in the east of Germany is still very different from the west.
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How Europeans wear wedding rings, and what it says about them

For a purely binary choice, wearing a ring either on the left or right hand can say a lot about the wearer.

Credit: Reddit/MapPorn
  • Europeans are getting married less, but wearing a wedding ring is more standardised than ever.
  • Standardised doesn't mean homogenised: some countries prefer rings on the left, others on the right.
  • However, this map does not capture the range of subtleties that wearing a ring on either side can convey.
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Be like Anastasia: Life in a New Age Slavic homestead

Anastasia lives alone in perfect harmony with nature – or so the story goes – and nature serves her devotedly.

SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP via Getty Images
Far, far away there lives a little girl who spends entire days playing in the forest.
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End gerrymandering? Here’s a radical solution

Why not just divide the United States in slices of equal population?

Image: u/curiouskip, reproduced with kind permission.
  • Slicing up the country in 10 strips of equal population produces two bizarre maps.
  • Seattle is the biggest city in the emptiest longitudinal band, San Antonio rules the largest north-south slice.
  • Curiously, six cities are the 'capitals' of both their horizontal and vertical deciles.
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The horror of the air war, in one stark map

This graph shows how badly German cities were hit by Allied bombing raids.

Image: G.W. Harmssen, Reparationen, Sozialprodukt, Lebensstandard (1947), in Deutsche Geschichte in Dokumenten und Bildern.
  • Despite Göring's assurances they wouldn't get through, Allied bombers rained destruction on Germany in World War II.
  • This 1947 map takes stock of the devastation: Berlin and Hamburg half destroyed, some smaller cities wiped out.
  • The history of the air war over Germany is a chilling reminder of the peculiar horror of mechanized warfare.
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