Messing Around With Maps

I’m a big fan of maps.  I like how they convey details and information but also I just like maps themselves.  Over the last 5 years or so I have posted qutie a few popular posts on maps and so I thought it was high-time I did a few more.

I hope you like them.




So whereabouts in England is Scotland?


I’m not quite sure what the difficulty is but so many people get confused by ther terms used for the country where I live.  Admittedly its more complicated than Canada being Canada or Peru being Peru but it isn’t that hard.

The British Isles is a georgraphic term for all the islands in the locality.  There is no such country as Britain and getting these terms confused would be like getting North America and the USA confused…. mostly upsetting Canadians.

We are a number of Home Nations, England, Scotland, Wales and what was Ireland.  All once indepedent nations that over the long history came together either by conquest or mutual treaty.  In the 20th Century what is now the Republic of Ireland voted to separate and becmone an Indepedent country.

The United Kingdom is the name given to the combined nations of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.  For Americans, think of them as states.  Our nation is the United Kingdom and this large entity is made up of its component parts just as Florida, California and Delaware are their own territories with similar but different laws under the umbrella of a larger USA nation.

Great Britain covers the main and largest island.  The word ‘Great’ isn’t mean’t to imply we are fantastic, brilliant or amazing though believe that if you like!  Again this is a geographic term to identify the biggest island from the others such as Ireland and the thousands of smaller islands, not forgetting Brittany in NW France.

Is that clear?  Didn’t thin so, let’s go onto something more straight forward like Nazis.



Nazi occupied Europe


The map above shows the maximum extent of Nazi German expansion in Europe during WW2.  Nearly all of Europe has been conquered except for neutal Sweden and Switzerland and Nazi sympathising Spain.  Britain stood alone and occupied Iceland to prevent Nazi invasion.  Russia which along with Germany has invaded and occupied Poland was finding itself under a terrible invasion.



Would you fight for your country?


I think this is a fascinating map.  It shows that the countries most affected by war are the least likely to have citizens who want to fight.  Obviously Germany here heads the list and not on this map, Japan likewise has a very low figure.

Those countries that are more keen on fighting include neutral Sweden, ex Communist states of eastern Europe and Turkey and Russia where their dubious governments often use patriotism and false historical narratives to keep populations happy and under control.   Generally speaking Europe is the only continent with such low readings, the USA, Africa, Middle East and Asia are all much more happy about fighting.  Perhaps indicating that the experience of having your country destroyed by war understandably makes people want to avoid fighting at all costs.



Gas Pipelines


This map shows the network of natural gas pipelines in Europe.  Generally speaking, most of Europe is heavily dependent on Russian supplies which causes major geopolitical headaches.   The North Sea is a gas an oil producing area and as such Norway, the U.K. and Low Countries have enjoyed greater energy security.



Would you mind if your child married a….


These maps demonstrate ingrained racist attitudes within European populations. The top two maps show what percentage of people would be comfortable if their child became involved with a Black or Asian person.  The bottom two maps ask the same question but for whether adults would be comfortable with their children becoming involved with Muslim or Jewish people.   The Netherlands, Sweden and the U.K. are signifcantly less racist in their attitudes compared to Western Europe generally and hugely more relaxed compared to Eastern European countries.  These maps also go someway to show that despite Brexit, British people are about the least racist people in Europe whilst many eastern countries that protest about the Brexit decision and want their people to travel freely to richer nations are not at all comfortable with black or Muslim people themselves.




The Palestine Archipelago


We’re all used to seeing maps of Israel and Palestine and how Palestinian land has been occupied for decades.  This clever maps illustrates what Palestinian territories would look like if they were in the ocean with their territories separated by water rather than Israelis and cleverly shows how disparate the lands are.



Status of Celtic Languages


Thousands of years ago, the Celtic languages dominated  Northern France and the British Isles.  Wave after wave of invasion gradually pushed the original Celts into the mountainous extremeties of the north and west.  Since then in many areas, people have simply stopped using these old languages and switched to English.

The map above shows where it is still possible to come across speakers of Celtic Languages.  In many places the languages have a protected status which some think is a good way of protecting heritage whilst others believe is a waste of money to invest into ‘dead’ languages that only a minority can read or speak.

In England, many districts have had old languages and dialetcs wiped out over the centuries.  Cornwall in the far southwest of the country with its Cornish language is the only county with a Celtic language though it is in doubt whether the language can survive following the deaths of the last generation who spoke Cornish as their first language.  It is estimated only a few dozen people at most can speak Cornish to any level of fluency.


Clans of Ireland

Clan Territories in Ireland


This colourful map highlights the various clans of Ireland as well as their origins and allegiances to the Vikings, Scottish and Norman (later English) powers.

If you’d like to see more of my posts on Maps then check out Map Madness   Still Lost In The World of Maps    Lost In The World of Maps   and the one that started it all back in 2012, Getting Lost In The world of Maps.




About Stephen Liddell

I am a writer and traveller with a penchant for history and getting off the beaten track. With several books to my name including several #1 sellers. I also write environmental, travel and history articles for magazines as well as freelance work. I run my private tours company with one tour stated by the leading travel website as being with the #1 authentic London Experience. Recently I've appeared on BBC Radio and Bloomberg TV and am waiting on the filming of a ghost story on British TV. I run my own private UK tours company (Ye Olde England Tours) with small, private and totally customisable guided tours run by myself!
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5 Responses to Messing Around With Maps

  1. What a fantastic selection. I particularly liked the” islands” of Palestinians and the old Irish map. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: A Multitude of Maps | Stephen Liddell

  3. ChrisH says:

    A delightful selection. I often find myself drawing a crude version of your British Isles one to explain to people I meet abroad what the difference is between the various names. However, my Manx neighbour would no doubt like to point out that the self-governing Crown Dependency of the Isle of Man is in the British Isles but is not in the United Kingdom, nor part of Great Britain. A status that the Baliwick of Jersey and the Baliwick of Guernsey also have. We also see yet another term as a consequence of this – “British Islands”. A Manx passport, for example, does not have United Kingdom of … ” on the front cover, instead it reads “British Islands Isle of Man”
    The individual parts of the still have no standardisation of nomenclature which is odd – some lists have England, Scotland, N.Ireland, and Wales as “countries”, some show N Ireland as a Province, Wales sometimes still gets the archaic term “principality”, and in recent years “constituent country” has been used.


  4. Pingback: The Facing Shores of Britain and Ireland | Stephen Liddell

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