The main purpose of this map is to show the 8 territorial claims in Antarctica. At first, I found this rather comical, since Antarctica has no permanent residents (although it has 1,000-5,000 non-permanent residents). Such claims thus seem rather old-fashioned in my opinion. But of course, Antarctica is an important region for scientific investigation; countries set up research stations (represented by black squares) in the sectors they have claimed. This research is allowed by the Antarctic Treaty (1961); the treaty also prohibits military activities, nuclear explosions, nuclear waste disposal, and mineral mining. According to the map, Australia has two claims in Antarctica, while France, New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, the United Kingdom, and Norway each have one claim. It is interesting that the claims of Britain (gold), Argentina (green), and Chile (red) overlap. It surprises me that these countries cannot agree on who controls which sector! I am also fascinated that the United States does not have a territorial claim in Antarctica; I wonder why this is the case. Finally, it is important to note that each claim contains research stations from other countries, including South Africa, Russia, India, Germany, Ukraine, Japan, Italy, and the United States. This suggests that the territorial claims are simply a vestige of the past; after all, the last claim (that of Argentina) was made 70 years ago!
This map is unlike the previous ten because it does not focus on a particular aspect of culture, economics, politics, etc. Rather, it simply shows the states, major cities, and neighbors of India; I chose it so that I could learn more and talk about India. India is made up of 28 states and 7 union territories (administrative divisions ruled directly by the federal government). The most populous state by far is Uttar Pradesh, which is home to about 200 million people! Its capital is Lucknow. The largest state by area is Rajasthan, whose capital is Jaipur. Jaipur, Agra (in Uttar Pradesh), and Delhi form the Golden Triangle because they are so popular among tourists. India is often roughly divided into North India and South India. If you look at the map of language families (the first post of this blog), you can see that the people of South India speak primarily Dravidian languages, while North Indians speak primarily Indo-European languages. Northeast India is essentially cut off from the rest of the country by Bangladesh; this has contributed to its very unique cultural development. So much more could be said about the geography of India, but I’ll conclude by pointing out the diverse countries that border India: Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. The fact that these countries are so culturally different highlights India’s own diversity and size.