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India: Milk in the Northwest; Meat in the Northeast

By Martin W. Lewis | February 8, 2016 |

But milk drinking and the consumption of other dairy products is by no means uniformly distributed across India. Instead, as the maps posted here indicate, the country has a strong longitudinal gradient in this regard.

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Tatarstan: A “Hostage of Freezing Relations between Russia and Turkey”?

By Asya Pereltsvaig | February 4, 2016 | 4 Comments

[Many thanks to Ekaterina Lyutikova for most helpful discussions of some of the issues discussed in this post, as well as for the photos, some of which are used as illustrations below. I’m also grateful to Martin W. Lewis for helpful discussions and edits and for modifying the Wikipedia map of Percentage of Ethnic Tatars, used below.]

Tatarstan has not been …

Population History, Population Density, and Cultural Values in the Philippines

By Martin W. Lewis | February 3, 2016 | One Comment

Owing to this long history of internal migration, the population distribution of the Philippines has become somewhat more even. Mindanao is no longer a frontier zone, and is now moderately populated by Philippine standards

The Geography of Poverty and Social Development in the Philippines

By Martin W. Lewis | February 1, 2016 | 5 Comments

As the map indicates, poverty is pronounced in several widely scattered parts of the Philippines. Overall, the poorest part of the Philippines is the Muslim-majority area in the southwest, which I have therefore outlined in red

Chavacano: A Spanish-Based Creole Language of the Philippines

By Martin W. Lewis | January 29, 2016 | 5 Comments

Chavacano is interesting from both linguistic and historical-geographical perspectives. To begin with, it is widely considered to be one of the world’s oldest creole tongues, with a history dating back some 400 years.

Base-Maps of the Philippines & Linguistic/Regional Controversies in the Archipelago

By Martin W. Lewis | January 27, 2016 | 10 Comments

GeoCurrents is continuing its distribution of customizable base-maps, constructed in easy-to-use presentation software. (The files are found at the bottom of this post, in both PowerPoint and Keynote [preferred] formats.) Today’s contribution is a province-level map of the Philippines. This map is available in several versions (with province names and without them, in color and in grey, aggregated into regions, …

Maritime Linkages in the Linguistic Geography of the Philippines

By Martin W. Lewis | January 25, 2016 | 2 Comments

The best example of seas connecting opposing shores is probably the Philippines, a quintessentially archipelagic country composed of more than 7,000 islands.

Mapping Crime and Substance Abuse in Russia

By Asya Pereltsvaig | January 20, 2016 | 2 Comments

In the previous post, I examined regional differences in demographic issues across Russia. As many sources note, alcoholism is one of the biggest factors contributing to low life expectancy and high rate of death from non-natural causes. In fact, Russia ranks at the top in terms of both alcohol consumption (especially by men), as discussed in detail in my earlier …

Mapping Russia’s Demographic Problems

By Asya Pereltsvaig | January 18, 2016 | 7 Comments

[Note to readers: customizable maps of Russia are now available in Russian here.]
Much has been written about Russia’s demographic problems, particularly in the 1990s and 2000s. The country as a whole is characterized by low birth rates and high abortion rates; high death rates, especially from non-natural causes; rather low life expectancy, especially for men; and skewed sex ratios. This …

Mapping Regional Differences in Economic and Social Development in Russia—A GeoCurrents Mini-Atlas

By Asya Pereltsvaig | January 14, 2016 | 12 Comments

Generalized indicators of economic and social/human development, such as GDP per capita or HDI, typically place Russia into a medium-high category. However, such ratings overlook regional differences in economic and social development, which are highly pronounced in Russia. To examine these regional patterns, GeoCurrents has created a mini-atlas of Russia, designed using GeoCurrents customizable maps, which are available for free …

The Regionalization of California, Part 2

By Martin W. Lewis | January 13, 2016 |

Today’s post continues and concludes the discussion of the county-level regionalization of California. We begin here with the Central Valley, one of the most distinctive aspects of the state’s physical geography. “Valley” is perhaps not the best term to describe this feature. I will never forget the words of Jung-man Lee, now a professor of geography at Seoul National University, …

The Regionalization of California, Part 1

By Martin W. Lewis | January 12, 2016 | One Comment

Like all US states—and indeed, virtually political units—California is divided into a number of informal and special-purpose regions. Regional designations in California are used ubiquitously in the media, in academic reports, and in everyday conversation. They are unavoidable and necessary. But as is generally the case with regionalization schemes, the numbers, names, and spatial outlines of California’s regions vary widely …

Surprising Patterns in Geography of Crime in California

By Martin W. Lewis | January 9, 2016 | 2 Comments

Mapping crime rates by county in California shows few easily explicable patterns. At first glance, the map of violent crime (which is unfortunately somewhat dated) appears almost random.

Using GC Customizable Maps in the Classroom: Population Density in California

By Martin W. Lewis | January 8, 2016 | 2 Comments

The customizable maps that GeoCurrents is releasing to the public have many potential classroom uses, as this post will seek to demonstrate. Manipulating such maps is a good way to learn some of the fundamental elements of cartography, and can be useful as well for gaining basic geographical knowledge. It is one thing to merely look at a map, and …

Mapping the Extraordinary Cost of Homes in California

By Martin W. Lewis | January 6, 2016 | 6 Comments

Housing prices in parts of California have reached a level so astronomical as to provoke widespread despair (coupled, however, with a certain degree of concealed glee among of the beneficiaries). The geography of housing costs can be easily grasped by juxtaposing a map of median home prices in USA Home Price MapCalifornia with a similar map showing all of the United States

Mapping Early Modern Japan as a Multi-State System

By Martin W. Lewis | January 3, 2016 | One Comment

As numerous GeoCurrents posts have noted, the basic world political map is a misleading document, as it implies that the geopolitical order is much simpler than it actually is. The deceptive simplicity of the standard view is doubly problematic when applied to earlier times, when sovereignty was generally even more slippery than it is at present, and when clearly demarcated …