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Answers to the Geo-Quiz

Submitted by on April 9, 2013 – 3:12 am 6 Comments |  
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. 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.




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  • I would not have gotten any of these right, but I may not be as surprised as you are. Map F probably has to do with whatever has been in the news lately, whether stories of police corruption or successful prosecutions, so I would guess it is a map that is quite changeable and unpredictable. Map C simply records the various caprices of bank regulators and banks in their negotiations with Visa, Inc., so I imagine it would be quite familiar to anyone in the financial industry, but nobody else. Map E strikes me as very vulnerable to the ability of national governments to keep accurate statistics, so that issue of questionable data explains it to me. The only map that really puzzles me is Map D; I never would have thought there were more hotel rooms per capita in Ecuador than in Poland. That’s an interesting one.

    • Excellent points. I am fascinated by such data, but also highly skeptical. Different governments record basic data in different ways.

  • Verpadoro

    For map A : “The strong showing for South Korea and Uruguay (which ranks sixth in the world) are also surprising”
    These 2 countries have very large stadium for football (Uruguay) & mixed (Baseball/Football for South Korea). For Korea, this is a little bit strange. When you watch a K-League match, the stadium can be big (around 30-50 000 seats) but 3/4 are empty. The link between seats and the “sports fervor” isn’t directly link. I guess that it’s full for the Korean baseball championship.

    • Interesting points. I wonder if South Korea has over-invested here. I would also have thought that the presence of so many large college sports stadiums in the United States would have placed it higher in the rankings.

      • It looks like joining the elite ranks of Iceland, Ireland, Norway and Uruguay would require a similarly small population.

        • That’s a good point, James! Indeed, when it comes to stadiums, the only large country in the top ten is Australia (about 23 million). The rest are much smaller…