GeoQuiz

Answers to Last Week’s Geo-Quiz

Pacific Test MapThe correct answers are in bold.

1. The area marked A:

a. is a major agricultural region, marked by large sugar and cotton plantations in the north and intensive sheep and cattle ranching in the south.

b. is an Australian territory rather than state (owing largely to its small population) that has a relatively high proportion of Indigenous Australians (Aborigines) in its population.

c. is an Australian state characterized, like the rest of the country, by low population density overall, but with high density in its capital city – which contains over one million people.

d. is a large Aboriginal reserve; Australians of European or Asian descent are encouraged to visit, but they are not allowed to live there.

2. The area marked B:

a. is the core area of Australia, containing most of its major metropolitan areas, much of its agriculture, as well as most of its population.

b. is a very sparsely populated area that contains huge and highly valuable mineral deposits.

c.  is culturally distinctive from the rest of Australia owing to its location; whereas the rest of the country plays Australian rules football, it favors rugby.

d. is economically declining due to drought and the exhaustion of its mineral resources; as result, people are leaving the area for other parts of Australia.

3. The country, with two main islands, marked C:

a. is the most economically successful country in the region, thanks to its mineral wealth and high tech industries.

b. is almost entirely English in its cultural and genetic background, with fewer than 3%  of its population derived from other parts of the world.

c. has a majority population of British and Irish background, but also has a substantial and growing indigenous (Maori) population, as well as significant populations derived from Asia and from other Pacific islands.

d. is a largely rural society (unlike Australia), with few major cities, and a large (45%) indigenous minority.

4. The area marked D is:

a. an independent country, in Free Association with the United States, that contains large U.S. military bases.

b. a dependent territory of the United States; a strong independence movement here has threatened U.S. interests, leading to the withdrawal of military forces.

c. an independent country that maintains a highly traditional way of life; immigration is not allowed, and even tourism is discouraged.

d. a “commonwealth” of the Unites States (like Puerto Rico): the people of the islands are US citizens and can freely migrate to the mainland, but they do not have US voting rights.

5. The area marked E is:

a. a self-governing, “sui generis” dependency of France that is scheduled to vote on independence within a  few years; its population is mostly divided between the indigenous “Kanaks” and the “Caldoche” European settlers.

b. an independent country that that has experienced pronounced political turmoil due to the tensions between its main island and its smaller islands.

c. an overseas department of France, and hence as much a part of France as Hawaii is part of the United States.

d. an independent country that that has experienced pronounced political turmoil due to the tensions between its indigenous population and its population of Indian ancestry.

6. The area marked with three Fs:

a. is one of the more populous and prosperous countries of the Pacific, owing to its combination of large, fertile, volcanic “high” islands and numerous atolls.

b. is an American dependency – and is the site of numerous U.S. military bases.

c. is an independent country with a small (roughly 100,000) population concentrated in its western atolls  — presenting it with a major problem in patrolling its huge “exclusive economic zone” of oceanic territory.

d. maintains strict control over its ocean territory through the use of its powerful navy –- much to the distress of its neighboring countries.

7. The country marked G:

a. is an independent country that has experienced intense struggles between its main island and its outer archipelago, leading to Australian military occupation in 2004.

b. is more prosperous than most of its neighboring Oceanic countries owing to tourism and to its successful development of an off-shore banking industry.

c. is noted for its extreme linguistic diversity; its unifying language, Tok Pisin (“Pidgin English”) is mostly based on English.

d. was a former French colony that maintains close ties to France, especially in terms of its economy (it is a major exporter of nickel).

8. The large triangular area marked H at each apex:

a. is differentiated from the rest of the Pacific-island world by the fact that most of its people are of European or Asian descent, with indigenous populations everywhere forming a relatively small minority.

b. is called “Polynesia,” but this term has little meaning, as the so-called Polynesian peoples actually speak a number of very different languages and follow very different cultural traditions.

c. was uninhabited before the coming of Europeans, hence it has no truly
indigenous peoples.

d. is called Polynesia; before the coming of the Europeans, similar languages and customs were found throughout this huge region.

9. The area marked I:

a. is an independent country that was formerly under joint British and French rule; it is also noted for its “cargo cult” religions.

b. is a “sui generis” dependency of France, noted for its mineral riches and ethnic conflict.

c. is the last remaining monarchy of the Pacific, noted for its highly traditional Polynesian culture.

d. has experienced much ethnic tension between its indigenous population and its population of South Asian (Indian) background.

 

Non-Map Questions

10. The initial human settlement of Polynesia:

a. dates back some 50,000 years; early human migrants were able to able to take advantage of lower sea-levels to “island hop” as far as Fiji, Samoa, and Tahiti, and New Zealand.

b. dates back some 10,000 years in the core area (French Polynesia), but migrants did not reach New Zealand, Fiji, and Hawaii until about 5,000 years ago.

c. began several thousand years ago by Austronesian-speakers (originally from Taiwan or south China) who first moved though the coastal areas of Melanesia and then spread through all of Polynesia, reaching New Zealand roughly 1,000 years ago.

d. is thought to have involved several streams of migrants, one coming from Southeast Asia, one from Australia, and one from South America.

11. Current Australian immigration policy:

a. is highly restrictive; although many educational and tourist visas are granted, only a few hundred people a year are allowed permanent residency.

b. allows large numbers of skilled immigrants to settle permanently, but is highly restrictive when it comes to unskilled workers and to people trying to enter the country without a visa.

c. is based heavily on area of origin, with English-speaking people from Britain, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada given favored treatment.

d. is based on the notion that Australia is under-populated; unskilled people are allowed to immigrate in large numbers provided that they agree to live in lightly populated portions of the country.

12. From the late 1700s to the mid 1800s, European mariners often regarded the islands of Polynesia as:

a. a tropical paradise where the living was easy and men could easily obtain sexual relations with indigenous women.

b. with very mixed feelings: Polynesia is characterized by pronounced cultural diversity, which was well understood by Europeans – as a result, some islands were viewed positively (Tahiti) and others negatively (Solomon Islands).

c. as relatively dangerous and uninviting, in part because cannibalism was reputed to be widespread.

d. as relatively dangerous and uninviting, largely because strong Polynesian kingdoms and chiefdoms were able to keep European ships out of their harbors until the late 1800s.

13. (one point question). What is the name of the island marked K? ­­­­­­­­­__Tasmania________________

 

Answers to Last Week’s Geo-Quiz Read More »

How Does Your Knowledge of the Pacific Compare to That of a Stanford Geography Student?

Dear Readers: Blogging has been light recently due to the demands of reading student essay, writing exams, and grading exams as the autumn academic term comes to an end. In my two-term class on Global Human Geography at Stanford University, I give both multiple-choice and essay exams, the first being easy to grade but difficult to write, and the second being easy to write but difficult to grade.
Pacific Test MapIn lieu of a regular post today, I am putting up a portion of my recent multiple-choice geography exam, focusing on Australia and the Pacific. Most of these questions are based on a map of the region, which is posted here.

I will put up the answers to these questions in a separate post within a day or two.

MAP 3.

1. The area marked A:

a. is a major agricultural region, marked by large sugar and cotton plantations in the north and intensive sheep and cattle ranching in the south.

b. is an Australian territory rather than state (owing largely to its small population) that has a relatively high proportion of Indigenous Australians (Aborigines) in its population.

c. is an Australian state characterized, like the rest of the country, by low population density overall, but with high density in its capital city – which contains over one million people.

d. is a large Aboriginal reserve; Australians of European or Asian descent are encouraged to visit, but they are not allowed to live there.

2. The area marked B:

a. is the core area of Australia, containing most of its major metropolitan areas, much of its agriculture, as well as most of its population.

b. is a very sparsely populated area that contains huge and highly valuable mineral deposits.

c.  is culturally distinctive from the rest of Australia owing to its location; whereas the rest of the country plays Australian rules football, it favors rugby.

d. is economically declining due to drought and the exhaustion of its mineral resources; as result, people are leaving the area for other parts of Australia.

3. The country, with two main islands, marked C:

a. is the most economically successful country in the region, thanks to its mineral wealth and high tech industries.

b. is almost entirely English in its cultural and genetic background, with fewer than 3%  of its population derived from other parts of the world.

c. has a majority population of British and Irish background, but also has a substantial and growing indigenous (Maori) population, as well as significant populations derived from Asia and from other Pacific islands.

d. is a largely rural society (unlike Australia), with few major cities, and a large (45%) indigenous minority.

4. The area marked D is:

a. an independent country, in Free Association with the United States, that contains large U.S. military bases.

b. a dependent territory of the United States; a strong independence movement here has threatened U.S. interests, leading to the withdrawal of military forces.

c. an independent country that maintains a highly traditional way of life; immigration is not allowed, and even tourism is discouraged.

d. a “Commonwealth” of the Unites States (like Puerto Rico): the people of the islands are US citizens and can freely migrate to the mainland, but they do not have US voting rights.

5. The area marked E is:

a. a self-governing, “sui generis” dependency of France that is scheduled to vote on independence within a  few years; its population is mostly divided between the indigenous “Kanaks” and the “Caldoche” European settlers.

b. an independent country that that has experienced pronounced political turmoil due to the tensions between its main island and its smaller islands.

c. an overseas department of France, and hence as much a part of France as Hawaii is part of the United States.

d. an independent country that that has experienced pronounced political turmoil due to the tensions between its indigenous population and its population of Indian ancestry.

6. The area marked with three Fs:

a. is one of the more populous and prosperous countries of the Pacific, owing to its combination of large, fertile, volcanic “high” islands and numerous atolls.

b. is an American dependency – and is the site of numerous U.S. military bases.

c. is an independent country with a small (roughly 100,000) population concentrated in its western atolls  — presenting it with a major problem in patrolling its huge “exclusive economic zone” of oceanic territory.

d. maintains strict control over its ocean territory through the use of its powerful navy –- much to the distress of its neighboring countries.

7. The country marked G:

a. is an independent country that has experienced intense struggles between its main island and its outer archipelago, leading to Australian military occupation in 2004.

b. is more prosperous than most of its neighboring Oceanic countries owing to tourism and to its successful development of an off-shore banking industry.

c. is noted for its extreme linguistic diversity; its unifying language, Tok Pisin (“Pidgin English”) is mostly based on English.

d. was a former French colony that maintains close ties to France, especially in terms of its economy (it is a major exporter of nickel).

8. The large triangular area marked H at each apex:

a. is differentiated from the rest of the Pacific-island world by the fact that most of its people are of European or Asian descent, with indigenous populations everywhere forming a relatively small minority.

b. is called “Polynesia,” but this term has little meaning, as the so-called Polynesian peoples actually speak a number of very different languages and follow very different cultural traditions.

c. was uninhabited before the coming of Europeans, hence it has no truly
indigenous peoples.

d. is called Polynesia; before the coming of the Europeans, similar languages and customs were found throughout this huge region.

9. The area marked I:

a. is an independent country that was formerly under joint British and French rule; it is also noted for its “cargo cult” religions.

b. is a “sui generis” dependency of France, noted for its mineral riches and ethnic conflict.

c. is the last remaining monarchy of the Pacific, noted for its highly traditional Polynesian culture.

d. has experienced much ethnic tension between its indigenous population and its population of South Asian (Indian) background.

 

Non-Map Questions

10. The initial human settlement of Polynesia:

a. dates back some 50,000 years; early human migrants were able to able to take advantage of lower sea-levels to “island hop” as far as Fiji, Samoa, and Tahiti, and New Zealand.

b. dates back some 10,000 years in the core area (French Polynesia), but migrants did not reach New Zealand, Fiji, and Hawaii until about 5,000 years ago.

c. began several thousand years ago by Austronesian-speakers (originally from Taiwan or south China0 who first moved though the coastal areas of Melanesia and then spread through all of Polynesia, reaching New Zealand roughly 1,000 years ago.

d. is thought to have involved several streams of migrants, one coming from Southeast Asia, one from Australia, and one from South America.

11. Current Australian immigration policy:

a. is highly restrictive; although many educational and tourist visas are granted, only a few hundred people a year are allowed permanent residency.

b. allows large numbers of skilled immigrants to settle permanently, but is highly restrictive when it comes to unskilled workers and to people trying to enter the country without a visa.

c. is based heavily on area of origin, with English-speaking people from Britain, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada given favored treatment.

d. is based on the notion that Australia is under-populated; unskilled people are allowed to immigrate in large numbers provided that they agree to live in lightly populated portions of the country.

12. From the late 1700s to the mid 1800s, European mariners often regarded the islands of Polynesia as:

a. a tropical paradise where the living was easy and men could easily obtain sexual relations with indigenous women.

b. with very mixed feelings: Polynesia is characterized by pronounced cultural diversity, which was well understood by Europeans – as a result, some islands were viewed positively (Tahiti) and others negatively (Solomon Islands).

c. as relatively dangerous and uninviting, in part because cannibalism was reputed to be widespread.

d. as relatively dangerous and uninviting, largely because strong Polynesian kingdoms and chiefdoms were able to keep European ships out of their harbors until the late 1800s.

13. (one point question). What is the name of the island marked K? ­­­­­­­­­__________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How Does Your Knowledge of the Pacific Compare to That of a Stanford Geography Student? Read More »

Mapping the Terms Used for First-Order Administrative Divisions

Term Used for First-Order Administrative Divisions MapIn examining the various countries of the world, I am often unsure what to call their main administrative divisions. Recently, I found myself writing about Peruvian departments but then wondered whether they might be called provinces instead. As it turns out, Peru is split into regions. Other countries are divided into districts, counties, governorates, divisions, and so on. Around twenty such terms are listed on Statoids, the most authoritative website on the matter. As a result, it is easy to get confused.

As can be seen on the map posted here, and as was discussed in yesterday’s post, these terms are scattered over the globe in a largely haphazard manner, compounding the confusion. The main reason for the lack of clear patterns is the fact that little differentiates the various entities denoted by these terms. To be sure, sovereign states that call their primary divisions “states” are generally organized in a federal manner, devolving considerable authority on these constituent units. Most countries with states are correspondingly large in territorial extent (but not all: exiguous Palau is divided into sixteen states). Otherwise, I see little holding together the various categories. I have considered examining the etymologies and usages of the terms in question, but it hardly seems worthwhile. If any readers have different ideas on this matter, I would be interested to hear them.

One of the main problems is that of translation, as can be seen in the case of Poland. The Polish term for Poland’s own divisions is województwa, directly translated into English as voivodeship. Although this term appears in the OED and Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, it is not viewed as being “in common English usage.” As a result, “province” is more commonly used, as can be seen in the map posted above. But as the Wikipedia article on “voivodship” tells us, “depending on context, historic voivodeships may also be referred to as ‘duchies’, ‘palatinates’ … ‘administrative districts or ‘regions’”.

Ethiopia is another interesting case. In Amharic, its first-level divisions include nine kililoch and two astedader akababiwoch. The term “kililoch” (kilil in the singular) is usually translated either as “state” or as “regional state,” but other English terms would work just as well. The Astedader akababiwoch, on the other hand, are “chartered cities” (Dire Dawa and Addis Ababa, in the Ethiopian case). Globally, it is fairly common for important cities to escape the regular hierarchy of administrative divisions, generating an intrinsic problem for classification.

In the GeoCurrents map posted here, Ethiopia falls into the “state” category. It does so because the map closely follows the Statoids website. (I highly recommend the site, particularly its “factoid” section.)  Statoids’ tables list the primary divisions of almost every country on Earth, and most of the secondary ones as well. They also cover dependencies. As a result, it is easy to slot countries into clear categories based on the terms used for their primary divisions.

I am not ready to follow the website in habitually referring to these divisions as “statoids,” but the term is certainly less cumbersome than “first order administrative division.” As the author of the Statoids, Gwillim Law, argues:

The land area of the world is divided into countries. Most of the countries are, in turn, divided into smaller units. These units may be called states, provinces, regions, governorates, and so on. A phrase that describes them all is “major administrative divisions of countries”. I will use the term “statoid” for short. Since the word has no other accepted meaning, it can be used as a search term on search engines to target this site. The ‘a’ of statoid is long.

This page is a guide to Internet sites about the statoids of each country. It can be used independently, but it is meant to be an update to the book “Administrative Subdivisions of Countries”, by Gwillim Law (McFarland & Company, Jefferson, North Carolina). The international standard ISO 3166 is the source for the list of countries. As a result, some dependencies, and a few integral parts of larger countries, are listed as if they were separate countries.

In making the GeoCurrents map, I deviated from Law’s scheme only by ignoring dependencies. Had I included Greenland, Montenegro would not be the only country divided into “communes.” But I do have a few minor quibbles with his classification system. In particular, it seems to me that the internal divisions of a number of countries are too ambiguous to be so neatly ordered. In the remainder of this post, I will examine two of the more troublesome states: Italy and the United Kingdom. On the map posted above, the former is placed in the “province” category while the latter is in that of the “county,” but I remain dubious in both cases.

On the Statoid webpage, Italy is said to be divided into “provinces” at the primary level and “communes” at the secondary level. Italy is indeed divided into 110 provinces, which are in turn subdivided into numerous comuni (singular comune). But “commune” is usually translated as “municipality” rather than “commune,” a term that has a very different connotation in colloquial English. More important, Italian provinces are grouped together at a higher level into regions, which are usually considered to be the country’s highest-order administrative level, and are so regarded by the European Union through its NUTS system (Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics). When I recently mapped Italian elections, I did so on the basis of regions not provinces, largely because the country’s provinces are too numerous. Italian provinces, moreover, are going to change dramatically in 2014; as a result, the Wikipedia maintains two lists of them, noting that many are “being reorganized.”

British Administrative Divisions Map DetailMuch greater complexities are encountered in regard to the United Kingdom. One could argue that the primary division of this state is the “country,” as England, Scotland, and Wales are “constituent countries” of the UK. (Northern Ireland’s status in this regard is not so clear; the Wikipedia claims that it is “variously described as a country, province or region of the UK, amongst other terms.”). Below this level, diversity prevails. As a different Wikipedia article puts it:

The administrative geography of the United Kingdom is complex, multi-layered and non-uniform… Consequently, there is “no common stratum of administrative unit encompassing the United Kingdom”. … Historically, the subnational divisions of the UK have been the county and the ecclesiastical parish, whilst following the emergence of a unified parliament of the United Kingdom, the ward and constituency have been pan-UK political subdivisions. More contemporary divisions include Lieutenancy areas and the statistical territories defined with the modern NUTS:UK and ISO 3166-2:GB systems. … The highest level subdivisions of England are the nine regions. … Below the district level, civil parishes exist, though not uniformly. Parish or town councils exist for villages and small towns; they only rarely exist for communities within urban areas. They are prevented from existing within Greater London. … Commonly, though not administratively, England’s geography is divided into ceremonial counties, which in most areas closely mirror the traditional counties. Each ceremonial county has a Lord Lieutenant, who is the monarch’s representative.”

British Administrative Divisions ChartAs a result of such administrative intricacy, the map of the UK’s internal divisions is a marvel of cartographic complexity. I have therefore posted a detail of an excellent Wikipedia map on the issue, as well as a chart from the same webpage showing the relationships among these various divisions.

 

Mapping the Terms Used for First-Order Administrative Divisions Read More »

Fiendishly Difficult One-Question Map Quiz

Map QuizAfter making the map posted here I realized that its patterns are so odd that it would make an extremely difficult GeoQuiz. Just one question: what does the map show?

The topic being mapped is commonplace, familiar to all readers. The categories are relatively precise, with almost no overlap or gradations, and they derive from an authoritative website devoted to the topic under consideration. A few countries, however, do not fit easily into any of the categories used. I have thus put question marks on two of the most problematic countries, Ethiopia and the United Kingdom.

The groupings on the map are oddly patterned. What might link Japan, Guinea, and the Central African Republic? Why would Bangladesh and Fiji be in a category of their own? Only a few of the categories fit within traditional world regions. The yellow countries are all in the greater Middle East, and the light blue aggregation is found only in the Caribbean. Medium green is mostly confined to Latin America, and light brown is concentrated in northern and southeastern Europe—but includes Kenya as well. A few  size correlations are evident. The mid blue category covers a group of large countries, while the light blue grouping includes only small ones. A number of countries occupy categories of their own: Russia, Greece, Montenegro, the United Arab Emirates, Switzerland, and the Comoros.

On the GeoCurrents map, non-sovereign states, such as Greenland, Puerto Rico, New Caledonia, and the Palestinian territories, are unmarked, and the Western Sahara, mostly occupied by Morocco, is left in the same neutral gray. On the website that provides the source material, however, these areas are classified as well, as are many other dependencies. No information is available on that website, however, for Kosovo.

The actual map, with an explanatory title and full key, will be posted tomorrow — or earlier than that if someone figures it out.

Fiendishly Difficult One-Question Map Quiz Read More »

Answers to the Geo-Quiz

As predicted, the quiz proved difficult, based on the answers provided by those brave readers who gave it a try. The actual answers are as follows:

1=F

2=D

3=B

4=A

5=C

6=E

1. Reliability of Police Services (“To what extent can police services be relied upon to enforce law and order in your country?”)  MAP F

2. Hotel Rooms (Number of hotel rooms per 100 population, 2011 or most recent). MAP D

3. Broadband Internet Subscribers (Fixed broadband Internet subscriptions per 100 population, 2011 or most recent) MAP B

4. Sports Stadiums (Sports stadium capacity per million population, 2011 or most recent) MAP A

5. ATMs Accepting Visa Cards (Number of automated teller machines (ATMs) accepting Visa credit cards per million population, 2012 or most recent) MAP C

6. Road Traffic Accidents (Estimated deaths due to road traffic accidents per 100,000 population, 2007 or most recent). MAP E

Reliability of Police Service World MapMap F, on the reliability of police services, is especially problematic, as it is based on highly subjective personal judgments. But that said, I do find it surprising that respondents in countries such as China, India, and Vietnam would provide such high ratings for their police services. The disparities between such neighboring countries as Rwanda and Burundi, Ghana and Ivory Coast, and Chile and Argentina are striking. The low ranking for the Czech Republic is also surprising.

 

Hotel Rooms World Map Hotel Rooms World Map Hotel Rooms World MapMap D, showing per capita hotel rooms, contains several surprises. Why would the figures for Latin America be so much higher than those for Asia? South Korea’s low rating is especially odd, as is that of the Philippines; according to another list found in the report, the Philippine government spends more money, proportional to its GDP, to promote tourism than almost any other country in the world.

 

 

Broadband Internet Subscribers World MapMap B, showing broad-band internet access, makes more sense, correlating relatively well with overall levels of economic development.

 

 

 

 

 

Sports Stadiums World MapMap A, showing sports stadiums per capita, is strongly tilted toward Europe, with even relatively poor countries in the southeast making a strong showing (Montenegro ranks fourth). The strong showing for South Korea and Uruguay (which ranks sixth in the world) are also surprising. Intriguingly, Hong Kong and Singapore make strong showings on all of the maps in the series except this one.

 

 

ATMs Accepting Visa Cards MapMap C, showing ATMs accepting visa cards, also has some odd features. Why would the Netherlands and Belgium have such different rankings? The contrast between Thailand and the Philippines is also notable, as is the low ranking of Uruguay.

 

 

 

 

 

Traffic Accidents World MapMap E, showing traffic fatalities per 100,000 people, is probably the strangest map in the set. Why would Cambodia, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Tajikistan have such relatively low figures? Not many people drive in these countries, but the same can be said of many African countries that have high fatality figures. Why would Azerbaijan be so much safer than Iran? Why would Bahrain be so much safer than the United Arab Emirates? The UAE ranks second from the bottom, its traffic fatality rate exceeded only by Egypt. It would be interesting to see a map of traffic fatalities per mile driven, rather than by population. I imagine that many African countries would have an even lower ranking on such a map.

Of course all such speculations are based on the idea that the data used in the report are accurate. On that issue, one can never really be sure.

 

 

 

Answers to the Geo-Quiz Read More »

A Fiendishly Difficult Geo-Quiz

After mapping a number of the indicators found in the World Economic Forum’s Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report, I realized that the results could make a particularly challenging geo-quiz. Many of the results seemed surprising to me, and as a result I am not sure if I would have done very well on the quiz.

At any rate, I have included six world maps, all of which use a color scheme ranging from dark blue to dark red. On every map, blue shading indicated conditions favorable to tourism, the darker the better, whereas red indicates conditions disfavorable to tourism, the darker the shade, the worse the conditions. As the World Economic Forum’s report includes data for only 140 countries, many states are left in grey. I cannot vouch for the data quality, and I must note that one map, that of the “reliability of police service,” is based on highly subjective survey data.

The maps, labeled A though F,  show the following features.

1. Reliability of Police Services (“To what extent can police services be relied upon to enforce law and order in your country?”)

2. Hotel Rooms (Number of hotel rooms per 100 population, 2011 or most recent)

3. Broadband Internet Subscribers (Fixed broadband Internet subscriptions per 100 population, 2011 or most recent)

4. Sports Stadiums (Sports stadium capacity per million population, 2011 or most recent)

5. ATMs Accepting Visa Cards (Number of automated teller machines (ATMs) accepting Visa credit cards per million population, 2012 or most recent)

6. Road Traffic Accidents (Estimated deaths due to road traffic accidents per 100,000 population, 2007 or most recent)

See if you can match the map letters with the answer numbers, and post your responses if you would like in the comment section of the blog.

 

MapAMapB

 

 

MapCMapD

Map EmF Map F

A Fiendishly Difficult Geo-Quiz Read More »

Oceania GeoQuiz Answers

Yesterday’s GeoNote introduced this Oceania GeoQuiz. This page shows the answers in bold, so if you would like to first take the quiz without seeing the answers, see yesterday’s post before scrolling down.

 

 

 

1. The area marked A:

a. is a major agricultural region, marked by large sugar and cotton plantations in the north and intensive sheep and cattle ranching in the south.

b. is an Australian territory rather than state (owing largely to its small population) that has a relatively high proportion of Aborigines in its population.

c. is an Australian state characterized, like the rest of the country, by low population density overall, but with high density in its capital city – which contains well over one million people.

d. is a large Aboriginal reserve; Australians of European or Asian descent are encouraged to visit, but they are not allowed to live there.

With only 230,000 people, the Northern Territory is not a state. But is population is expected to cross the half-million mark by mid century.

2. The country, with two main islands, marked B:

a. is the most economically successful country in the region, thanks to its mineral wealth and high tech industries.

b. is almost entirely English in its cultural and genetic background, with fewer than 5%  of its population derived from other parts of the world.

c. is primarily British and Irish in its cultural background, but has a substantial and growing indigenous (Maori) population, as well as significant populations derived from Asia and from other Pacific islands. 

d. is a largely rural society (unlike Australia), with few major cities.

According to the Wikipedia, “67.6 percent of the population [of New Zealand] identified ethnically as European and 14.6 percent as Māori. Other major ethnic groups include Asian (9.2 percent) and Pacific peoples (6.9 percent), while 11.1 percent identified themselves simply as a “New Zealander””

3. The island group marked C is:

a. an independent country, in Free Association with the United States, that contains large U.S. military installations, used mainly for missile testing.

b. a dependent territory of the United States; a strong independence movement here has threatened U.S. interests, leading to a withdrawal of military forces.

c. an independent country that maintains a highly traditional way of life; immigration is not allowed, and even tourism is discouraged.

d. a “Commonwealth” of the Unites States (like Puerto Rico): the people of the islands are US citizens and can freely migrate to the mainland, but they do not have U.S. voting rights.

The Marshall Islands, a former U.S. “Trust Territory,” is now independent, but “Free Association” status means that islanders can emigrate freely to the U.S.  Kwajalein Atoll, site of the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Defense Test Site, is the world’s largest target.

4. The area marked D is:

a. a self-governing, “sui generis” dependency of France, with major ethnic conflicts, that is scheduled to vote on independence within a  few years.

b. an independent country that has experienced pronounced political turmoil due to the tensions between its main island and its smaller islands.

c. an overseas department of France, and hence as much a part of France as Hawaii is part of the United States.

d. an independent country that has experienced pronounced political turmoil due to the tensions between its indigenous population and its population of Indian ancestry.

New Caledonia is a French dependency of ambiguous status. Conflicts between the indigenous Kanaks, the Caldoches (those of European descent), and Polynesian immigrants from the French islands of Wallis and Futuna can be heated.

5. The area marked E:

a. is one of the more populous and prosperous countries of the Pacific, owing to its combination of large, fertile, volcanic “high” islands and numerous atolls.

b. is an American dependency – and is the site of numerous American naval bases.

c. is an independent country with a small (roughly 100,000) population concentrated in its western atolls  — presenting it with a problem in patrolling its huge “exclusive economic zone” of oceanic territory.

d. maintains strict control over its ocean territory through the use of its powerful navy –- much to the distress of its neighboring countries.

Kiribati (pronounced “Kiribas”) is an independent country that covers a vast oceanic expanse. It was formerly a British colony.

6. The area marked F:

a. is an independent country that has experienced intense struggles between its main island and its outer archipelago, requiring Australian military occupation in 2004.

b. is more prosperous than most of its neighboring Oceanic countries owing to tourism and to its successful development of an off-shore banking industry.

c. is noted for its extreme linguistic diversity; its unifying language, Tok Pisin (“Pidgin English”) is based on English.

d. was a former French colony that maintains close ties to France, especially in terms of its economy (it is a major exporter of nickel).

Papua New Guinea is said to contain some 850 indigenous languages. Tok Pisin is an increasingly successful national language.

7. The large triangular area marked H at each apex:

a. is differentiated from the rest of the Pacific-island world by the fact that most of its people are of European or Asian descent, with indigenous populations everywhere forming a relatively small minority.

b. is called “Polynesia,” but this term has little meaning, as the so-called Polynesian peoples actually speak a number of very different languages and follow very different cultural traditions.

c. was uninhabited before the coming of Europeans, hence it has no truly indigenous peoples.

d. is called Polynesia; before the coming of the Europeans, similar languages and customs were found throughout this huge region.

Although Melanesia and Micronesia have little if any cultural unity, Polynesia is a coherent cultural unit. Polynesian languages and cultures are found outside of the triangle, however, on so-called Polynesian outliers found in Melanesia areas. 

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GeoQuiz on Oceania

Oceania Quiz

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. The area marked A:

a. is a major agricultural region, marked by large sugar and cotton plantations in the north and intensive sheep and cattle ranching in the south.

b. is an Australian territory rather than state (owing largely to its small population) that has a relatively high proportion of Aborigines in its population.

c. is an Australian state characterized, like the rest of the country, by low population density overall, but with high density in its capital city – which contains well over one million people.

d. is a large Aboriginal reserve; Australians of European or Asian descent are encouraged to visit, but they are not allowed to live there.

2. The country, with two main islands, marked B:

a. is the most economically successful country in the region, thanks to its mineral wealth and high tech industries.

b. is almost entirely English in its cultural and genetic background, with fewer than 5%  of its population derived from other parts of the world.

c. is primarily British and Irish in its cultural background, but has a substantial and growing indigenous (Maori) population, as well as significant populations derived from Asia and from other Pacific islands.

d. is a largely rural society (unlike Australia), with few major cities.

3. The island group marked C is:

a. an independent country, in Free Association with the United States, that contains large U.S. military installations, used mainly for missile testing.

b. a dependent territory of the United States; a strong independence movement here has threatened U.S. interests, leading to a withdrawal of military forces.

c. an independent country that maintains a highly traditional way of life; immigration is not allowed, and even tourism is discouraged.

d. a “Commonwealth” of the Unites States (like Puerto Rico): the people of the islands are US citizens and can freely migrate to the mainland, but they do not have U.S. voting rights.

4. The area marked D is:

a. a self-governing, “sui generis” dependency of France, with major ethnic conflicts, that is scheduled to vote on independence within a  few years.

b. an independent country that has experienced pronounced political turmoil due to the tensions between its main island and its smaller islands.

c. an overseas department of France, and hence as much a part of France as Hawaii is part of the United States.

d. an independent country that has experienced pronounced political turmoil due to the tensions between its indigenous population and its population of Indian ancestry.

5. The area marked E:

a. is one of the more populous and prosperous countries of the Pacific, owing to its combination of large, fertile, volcanic “high” islands and numerous atolls.

b. is an American dependency – and is the site of numerous American naval bases.

c. is an independent country with a small (roughly 100,000) population concentrated in its western atolls  — presenting it with a problem in patrolling its huge “exclusive economic zone” of oceanic territory.

d. maintains strict control over its ocean territory through the use of its powerful navy –- much to the distress of its neighboring countries.

6. The area marked F:

a. is an independent country that has experienced intense struggles between its main island and its outer archipelago, requiring Australian military occupation in 2004.

b. is more prosperous than most of its neighboring Oceanic countries owing to tourism and to its successful development of an off-shore banking industry.

c. is noted for its extreme linguistic diversity; its unifying language, Tok Pisin (“Pidgin English”) is based on English.

d. was a former French colony that maintains close ties to France, especially in terms of its economy (it is a major exporter of nickel).

7. The large triangular area marked H at each apex:

a. is differentiated from the rest of the Pacific-island world by the fact that most of its people are of European or Asian descent, with indigenous populations everywhere forming a relatively small minority.

b. is called “Polynesia,” but this term has little meaning, as the so-called Polynesian peoples actually speak a number of very different languages and follow very different cultural traditions.

c. was uninhabited before the coming of Europeans, hence it has no truly indigenous peoples.

d. is called Polynesia; before the coming of the Europeans, similar languages and customs were found throughout this huge region.

 

Answers tomorrow!

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Africa GeoQuiz Answers

Yesterday’s GeoNote introduced this Sub-Saharan Africa GeoQuiz. This page shows the answers in bold, so if you would like to first take the quiz without seeing the answers, see yesterday’s post before scrolling down.

 

 

 

 

 

1. The island marked A:

b. has a unique mixture of Southeast Asian and African cultural influences; all of its closely related indigenous dialects are Austronesian, linked to those of Insular Southeast Asia.

(Madagascar was first settled by people from what is now Indonesia a little more than a 1,000 years ago)

2. The green coastal strip labeled B:

d. is mostly Muslim, and is noted for the fact that most of its people speak Swahili as their first language.

The coastal strip of Kenya and Tanzania is sometimes called the Swahili Coast; although the Swahili language is used over much of East Africa, it is the dominant first language only on the coast, a strongly Muslim area.

3. The yellow area marked C:

d. was the historical core of a series of Abyssinian (Ethiopian) kingdoms; this largely malaria-free region has been mostly Christian for some 1,700 years.

North-central Ethiopia and much or Eritrea formed the core area of historical Abyssinia, long a largely Christian area, its faith linked to the Coptic Christianity of Egypt.

4. The country marked D:

b. is noted for its well-run government, relatively high social indicators, and political stability – as well as for its high rate of HIV-AIDs.

Botswana is well known in development studies for its well-run government and low levels of corruption, which have allowed resource wealth (diamonds especially) to be translated into broad social gains. AIDs is a huge problem, however.

5. The blue area marked E is:

b. demographically dominated by the so-called Coloured population – a people of mixed ancestry (largely Khoi [Hottentot] and European, but with some Indonesian and Bantu) who speak Afrikaans (a Dutch-derived language).

Most people in western South Africa belong to the mixed-race Coloured population, which is generally Afrikaans speaking.  Much of this area, however, is quite sparsely populated.

6. The orange area marked F:

b. is mostly Yoruba-speaking, but is religiously divided among Muslims, Christians, and practitioners of the  traditional Yoruba faith.

Southwestern Nigeria is the heart of Yorubaland, a culturally distinctive although religiously mixed area.

7. The purple country (including the island) marked G:

b. is one of Africa’s richest countries on a per capita GDP basis, but most of its people are poor, owing in part to high levels of governmental corruption.

The term “kleptocracy,” or “government by thieves,” was probably coined in reference to Equatorial Guinea, sub-Saharan Africa’s richest state on the basis of per capita GDP.

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Africa GeoQuiz

Yesterday’s GeoNote criticized a Christian Science Monitor Africa Quiz. Today’s gives an example of the way in which I test my students in multiple-choice exams (I also give essay-format exams).  Answers tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

1. The island marked A:

a. is culturally a mélange of South Asian and African influences; partially as a result, it is one of  the more economically successful countries of this  region.

b. has a unique mixture of Southeast Asian and African cultural influences; all of its closely related  indigenous dialects are Austronesian, linked to those of Insular Southeast Asia.

c. is largely Muslim in religion and Swahili in language, owing to its crucial position in Indian Ocean maritime trade networks.

d. was the site of intense colonial rivalry between Britain and France that ended in British colonization; it was later destabilized by a long “proxy war” pitting forces aligned with the Soviet Union against those aligned with the U.S.

2. The green coastal strip labeled B:

a. is largely Christian, and is one of the more economically and socially developed parts of Sub-Saharan Africa.

b. has been the site of a long-standing insurgency, as the people of the region seek to create their own country.

c. is noted for the fact that its residents speak the Bantu language; it also has extremely low levels of social development.

d. is mostly Muslim, and is noted for the fact that most of its people speak Swahili as their first language.

3. The yellow area marked C:

a. has an extremely low population due to its desert climate, and is populated by Somali-speaking people.

b. is officially part of Ethiopia, but has successfully rebelled and thus forms its own insurgent state.

c. is mostly Muslim and animist in religion, and contains a wide variety of languages, including Somali and  Oromo.

d. was the historical core of a series of Abyssinian (Ethiopian) kingdoms; this largely malaria-free region has been mostly Christian for some 1,700 years.

4. The country marked D:

a. is the only African state in which the official language belongs to the Khoisan family (famous for its “clicks”); its largely nomadic cultures, however, have prevented it from achieving  economic success.

b. is noted for its well-run government, relatively high social indicators, and political stability – as well as for its high rate of HIV-AIDs.

c. is noted for its high per capita GDP, which is based mostly on its oil and diamond deposits; most of its people remain extremely poor, as its wealth in monopolized by a narrow elite.

d. is resource rich but politically chaotic and increasingly impoverished, mostly because its commercial farms have been expropriated by its repressive government.

5. The blue area marked E is:

a. demographically dominated by Zulu-speakers, but also contains a significant number of people of South Asian background; English is widely used as a common language.

b. demographically dominated by the so-called Coloured population – a people of mixed ancestry (largely Khoi [Hottentot] and European, but with some Indonesian and Bantu) who speak Afrikaans (a Dutch-derived language).

c. demographically dominated by White Afrikaners who speak the Afrikaans language (Dutch derived); its leaders are actively seeking to separate it from the rest of South Africa.

d. demographically dominated by English-speaking people largely of British and Irish descent; as a basically White area, it is quite distinct from the rest of the country.

6. The orange area marked F:

a. is noted for its high levels of social development, owing to its vast oil deposits, effective government, and religious uniformity.

b. is mostly Yoruba-speaking, but is religiously divided among Muslims, Christians, and practitioners of the  traditional Yoruba faith.

c. is mostly Christian, has large oil deposits, but is the poorest part of its country; it is also noted for its ethnic  tensions and small-scale insurgency.

d. is the Ibo-speaking area that formed a strong kingdom before British colonialism; it remains the center of  political, economic, and military power in Nigeria.

7. The purple country (including the island) marked G is noted for:

a. its high levels of economic and social development, as well as for its well-run government, thanks largely to its massive oil deposits.

b. is one of Africa’s richest countries on a per capita GDP basis, but most of its people are poor, owing in part to high levels of governmental corruption.

c. has low levels of economic development but relatively high levels of social development, owing to the  successful health and education efforts of Christian missionaries.

d. is a country in name only, as it is actually controlled by its much larger neighbor to the north.

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