Maps showing every country, state, and county I have ever been in

Every few years, I have posted maps of every country, U.S. state, and U.S. county I have ever been in. It is time for an update.

Since I last posted, in August 2009, I have added one country (South Korea), zero states, and thirty-one counties (in Kansas, Nebraska, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Arizona). I do not have any airport-only countries or states, but I do have one airport-only county (Queens, New York), and one port-only county (Norfolk, Virginia).

World map — 11 countries:

from http://douweosinga.com/projects/visited?region=world
from http://douweosinga.com/projects/visited?region=world

U.S. map (states) — 46 states:

http://douweosinga.com/projects/visited?region=world
http://douweosinga.com/projects/visited?region=usa

U.S. map (counties) — 931 out of 3109 counties (excluding Alaska and Hawaii):

Created with ArcGIS 10.1
Created with ArcGIS 10.1 — Click for larger image

I believe that this is pretty accurate, especially after about age ten. I can remember, for example, the route my family took for family vacation from Montana to California and back in 1973 when I was twelve years old. I also remember the routes of some long bus rides: Billings, Montana to New Orleans for a national Lutheran youth gathering in 1976 (?), and Bozeman, Montana to Daytona Beach, Florida for a Campus Crusade for Christ conference in 1982.

I have lived in Montana, Utah, Montana again, Washington, Missouri, Romania, Colorado, Missouri again, and Montana again.

Since I was in my early twenties, I have kept track of my travels with a highlighter in Rand McNally road atlases. I’m on my second highlighted atlas, and it is getting rather worn.

RandMcnally3
Page from my Rand McNally “every place I’ve ever been” atlas

I was able to create the “Counties I’ve Been In” map by looking at which counties had highlighted roads in the the atlas.

Grace and Peace, from a map nerd.

Earth at Night

NASA recently released Earth at Night, a global view of the planet at night, with city lights, oilfield flares, night time fishing fleets, and auroras.

Google has created a wonderful viewer for this data, which can be found at its Earth at Night 2012 site.

Earth at Night zoomed out to show the entire planet
Earth at Night zoomed out to show the entire planet
Northeast United States
Northeast United States
Montana, where night skies are always black
Montana, where night skies are always black
Netherlands, Belgium, and northern France, where you would be lucky to see Jupiter on a cloudless night
Netherlands, Belgium, and northern France, where you would be lucky to see Jupiter on a cloudless night
Korean Peninsula. Note the lights from fishing fleets off the coast of South Korea. Note also how dark North Korea is.
Korean Peninsula. Note the lights from fishing fleets off the coast of South Korea. Note also how dark North Korea is.

Grace and Peace

New England under water

From the ESRI Map Book Online volume 25: What if all the polar ice melted?

Credit: Paul Jordan, University of Rhode Island

The description from the ESRI Map Book:

This map is a depiction of Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts/Cape Cod inundated by a 67-meter (73-yard) sea level rise resulting from a total melting of the polar ice caps. Although an unlikely scenario, the map was created as an attention grabber for display at the University of Rhode Island 2008 Honors Colloquium Lecture Series on Global Warming.

A good map can be artistic as well as informative; in fact the two often go together. The annual ESRI map books are available online or in book form (I am happy to own a couple editions).

Grace and Peace

Video: 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes

A four minute video on world wealth and health that is a more interesting presentation of statistics than the norm:

The video ends on an optimistic note: everything is getting better and better, even for those down at the bottom. I would be more cautious: while life expectancy has improved for all but the poorest of the poor, there are still a billion people down at the bottom who have been left behind. And there is no guarantee that the trend will continue, as development runs into the walls of energy and water shortages, and with the ever-present risk of conflict, disease, and general human folly.

HT: Don R


This graph, along with many others, is available in an interactive format at gapminderworld.org. For example, the GDP per capita/life expectancy graph from the 200 Countries video can be stopped or run backwards, and you can point to individual dots to see what country is represented. For example, I followed the “South Africa” dot and watched it move from 61 years life expectancy in the mid-1980s to 50 years at present (a result largely of the ongoing AIDS crisis).

The X and Y axes of the chart can be changed to all sorts of things related to health, population, economics, education, the environment, and others. For example, here is a graph showing the relationship between adult female literacy rates and child mortality rates. The graph shows that Chad has the lowest adult female literacy rate (21%) and the highest infant mortality rate (209 child deaths per 1000 births).

Data can also be portrayed as a map. This map can run showing population changes from 1555 to 2030:

Grace and Peace

Arthur C. Clarke and GPS

Science fiction author Arthur C. Clarke was not only one of the first persons to conceive of geostationary communications satellites, he may have also been the first to come up with the idea of the Global Positioning System (GPS). From the Winter 2010/2011 issue of ArcNews: Rendezvous with Reality — Arthur C. Clarke Sees the Future.

Author and futurist Arthur C. Clarke was known worldwide for his science fiction writings, such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and Rendezvous with Rama, but he was also one of the most important visionaries of the last century-most notably, he originated the concept of the geostationary communications satellite in 1945. In 1956, however, Clarke wrote a letter to Andrew G. Haley, president of the American Rocket Society, where he described one potential use for a geostationary communications satellite, to create a “position-finding grid whereby anyone on earth could locate himself by means of a couple of dials on an instrument about the size of a watch”-what we now know as GPS.

The print edition of ArcNews contains a copy of the origin letter along with a transcription. Here’s part of what Clarke wrote:

My general conclusions are that perhaps in 30 years the orbital relay system may take over all the functions of existing surface networks and provide others quite impossible today. For example, the three stations in the 24-hour orbit could provide not only an interference and censorship-free global TV service for the same power as a single modern transmitter, but could also make possible a position-finding grid whereby anyone on earth could locate himself by means of a couple of dials on an instrument about the size of a watch. (A development of Decca and transistorisation.) It might even make possible world-wide person-to-person radio with automatic dialling. Thus no-one on the planet need ever get lost or become out of touch with the community, unless he wanted to be. I’m still thinking about the social consequences of this!

I like that: “No-one on the planet need ever get lost… unless he wanted to be.”

For some reason, the PDF version of ArcNews has a couple of advertisements on page 27 in place of the article on Clarke.

Grace and Peace

P.S. Note that the link to Global Positioning System above takes you to a U.S. Government site written in Chinese. A sign of the times.