Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Something educational

After Moses' outburst yesterday I think it is turn for something bit more intellectual than canine complaints. As part of the lectures I am doing we will have the opportunity to choose between some exiting options for the second half of the modules, these include mutlivariate analysis & regression, lognitudal data collection, one I can't remeber and one on geographical deprivation measures. The lecturers who are doing the options have come in the begining of our lectures to do little sales speeches for their option. Today it was the turn of the geography guy and he showed us this cool website.

It's basically a collection of world maps where the countries are resized according to subject of interest. When I got home I had some fun looking through the maps. They are done by some cartography geeks at Sheffield university whose aim was to create one map a day for a year on various topics.

So here is assorted selection of information you can use to amaze others:

Tourist origins
The international tourists that made 665 million trips in 2003 were primarily residents of Western Europe, North America and Eastern Europe. Very few tourists came from Central Africa, South Eastern Africa and Southern Asia. International tourism includes both crossing into a neighbouring country and taking a trans-oceanic flight.

On average the residents of Antigua and Barbuda left their islands 3.66 times per year – at the other extreme residents of Angola left on average 0.0002 times per year. In other words less than 0.02% of the Angolan population made tourist visits abroad in 2003.

Fish ImportsEight of the ten territories with the lowest per person net fish imports are landlocked territories. Of the other two, Senegal has some coastline, and Haiti is half of an island. Only three of the ten territories with the highest per person net fish imports are landlocked. So distance from the coast is not the main determinant of the value of fish imported. As with almost all trade, rich countries tend to either import the most, or make the most money from their exports.

The highest net fish imports are to Japan, followed by Western European territories, followed by the United States. Together net imports to these territories constitute 89% of net fish imports to all territories.

Wood and paper exportsEarnings from wood and paper exports are 4.2% of world export earnings. This category includes prepared timber, wooden and cork items, paper, pulp and plywood.

Canada, Finland, Sweden and Indonesia export the most wood and paper (US$ net). These territories export almost two-thirds of all net wood and paper exports. Most territories have net imports of wood and paper.

Per person, Finland exports (net) almost twice as much US$ worth of wood and paper than does Sweden, the territory exporting the second highest value of wood and paper per person.

Patents grantedIn 2002, 312 thousand patents were granted around the world. More than a third of these were granted in Japan. Just under a third were granted in the United States.

A patent is supposed to protect the ideas and inventions that people have. Patenting something will then allow the owner of the patent to charge others for the usage of an idea or invention. The aim is to reward the creator for their hard work or intelligence. But patents can prevent people from using good ideas because they cannot afford to do so.

A quarter of all territories had no new patents in 2002, so will not profit from these in future years as others will.

The range of maps they have is amazing ranging from natural disasters (Europe seems to be the place to be if you don't want to die because of natural disasters) to education levels in various countries.

PS: I thought Finnish ate lots of fish but look at the Japanese (the big purple blob)

PPS: the text underneath the maps is from the wordlmapper website in case you were wondering not the product of my brain

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