Focused Series »

Indo-European Origins
Siberia
Northern California
The Caucasus
Imaginary Geography
Home » Archive by Category

Articles in Geography in the Media

Geographical Fantasies in Foreign Policy Magazine

By Martin W. Lewis | May 23, 2012 | 5 Comments

Warnings about the impending “decline of the West,” which date back at least to 1918*, have grown increasingly common in recent years—as have works debunking such predictions. The most recent entry in the latter category is an article in the current edition of Foreign Policy by Bruce Jones and Thomas Wright entitled “Meet the GUTS,” the wordy subtitle of which …

NY Times The Geography of Government Benefits Map

By Martin W. Lewis | February 24, 2012 | 3 Comments

GeoCurrents reader Brett Lucas recently brought to my attention a fascinating interactive New York Times map of “The Geography of Government Benefits,” which shows the share of income in each county that derives from government benefits (social security, medicare, medicaid, etc.). Brett also makes some interesting observations about the map. As he notes, “In the Pacific Northwest, the counties with …

GeoCurrents Advertising Policy AND British Slang in The Economist

By Martin W. Lewis | October 17, 2011 | 9 Comments

Attentive readers may have noticed a small “advertise on GeoCurrents” banner on the website. This feature was added after the blog was approached by several firms interested in posting ads on specific pages that pertain to tourism. In accommodating advertisers, GeoCurrents seeks not to become a profit-making venture, but rather merely to

Global Economic Convergence? The Economist’s Unfortunate GDP Map

By Martin W. Lewis | September 30, 2011 | 24 Comments
Map of global GDP from The Economist Magazine

Last week’s (Sept. 24, 2011) issue of The Economist magazine featured a special report on the world economy, the central thesis of which is that the globe is currently undergoing a “great convergence in living standards,” pushed forward as “poorer countries speedily adopt the technology, know-how, and policies that made the West rich” (page 3)

Problems with Global Infrastructure Rankings

By Martin W. Lewis | September 26, 2011 | 6 Comments
World Economic Forum's Infrastructure Criteria

September 17th 2011 article in The Economist stresses the inadequacy of Colombia’s transportation system, arguing that poor roads hold back the country’s economic growth. As evidence of the severity of the problem, the author notes that in terms of overall infrastructure, Colombia comes out “79th of 139 countries’ networks ranked by the World Economic Forum.”

India’s Second Most Dangerous Border?

By Martin W. Lewis | May 26, 2011 | 3 Comments
Map of the India-Bangladesh Border

The May 21-27 issue of The Economist describes the line separating India from Pakistan as “the world’s most dangerous border,” an assessment difficult to deny. But India’s 4023-kilometer (2,500-mile) border with Bangladesh is perilous as well. The Indo-Bangladeshi boundary is in some respects more barricaded than that between India and Pakistan. Half of the

The New York Times Misleading Map of Religion in Syria

By Martin W. Lewis | May 1, 2011 | 7 Comments

I was delighted to find in the New York Times this morning a large, colored map of cultural diversity in Syria and neighboring areas, focusing on religion but including some linguistic information as well. It was immediately apparent that the map was based on M. Izady’s work at the Gulf 2000 project, the best available

Disparate Interpretations—and Misinterpretations—of the Conflict in Ivory Coast

By Martin W. Lewis | April 25, 2011 | 5 Comments
Map of the Division of Ivory Coast in 2007

Understandings of the recent conflict in Ivory Coast (officially, Republic of Côte d’Ivoire) vary significantly among different sectors of the news media. Mainstream sources in the United States often mention the Ivorian Civil War of 2002-07 that effectively divided the country in two (see map), but they focus primarily on the presidential election of 2010

The Simplistic World-View of Thomas L. Friedman

By Martin W. Lewis | April 14, 2011 | 13 Comments

In his April 13, 2011 column in the New York Times, Thomas L. Friedman argues that the recent uprisings in the Arab world will probably not lead to the kind of mass democratization that occurred in eastern and central Europe after 1989. Although I must agree with Friedman’s basic thesis, I reject his reasoning, which

The Economist’s “Shoe-Thrower’s Index”: A Success?

By Andrew Linford | April 5, 2011 | One Comment

As revolution in the Arab World spread from Tunisia, The Economist magazine developed a “Shoe-Throwers Index” (STI). The STI combines available data for most of the Arab League to gain insight into what countries are at the greatest risk for revolution. Originally published on February 9th, the STI came out two days before the

Uses and Misuses of the Mercator Projection

By Martin W. Lewis | December 10, 2010 | 8 Comments

The World Bank is not the only organization to misemploy the Mercator projection for basic world maps. In a Google image search of “world map,” roughly a third of the initial set of maps returned greatly inflate the high latitudes. Not all, however, grotesquely exaggerate Greenland; one particularly unsightly map, reproduced above, solves

?php get_sidebar(); ?>