Monday, March 12, 2012

Map of the Week 3-12-2012:The World According to...

The World as we know it....
OK, here is something sure to offend just about everyone - stereotyping maps - you know, "The World According to Texans," or "The World According to New Yorkers," etc. Many of these pertain to one or another of the United States, or else how the United States in general views the world.  I tried to get a more balanced picture, but you know, that's one of the troubles with stereotypes - they're not very balanced!  So even the stereotyping maps seem to be mainly from the US perspectives.  If anyone has seen other ones, please let us know!  I am particularly interested in seeing a stereotyping map of the different regions of the UK.  I've always been aware of how different areas of the UK look upon other areas of the UK, but now that I live here, I find it is even more pronounced than I imagined!

The World According to the USA - this is from a really clever series of these maps, stereotyping maps from a number of different points of view!  (The World According to the Turks, the Greeks, the French, the Swiss, Israel, etc.) See more at http://alphadesigner.com/project-mapping-stereotypes.html.


Detail of map above, showing Asia, as viewed by Americans


Stereotypes of Canadian Provinces




And, from the Canadian perspective: America is Canada's 
shorts! 






























The US according to Californians








Stereotyping Map of Massachusetts


A Chicagoan's view of the Midwest


The US as seen by a New Yorker (most of us think NYC should be its own independent country, anyway, since we have so little in common with other Merkins. We look at the rest of the country from an anthropological view.)


Another New Yorker view of the US


Stereotyping map of Texas


OK, this one has made the rounds (at least in my neck of the woods) and as they say, in every joke and satire, there is a glimmer of truth.  Need I say more.  And PS - I LOVE New Jersey!  My house is in the interstitial area between "lakehouses owned by New Yorkers" (yup, that's me), and "vast wilderness of rednecks and retired hippies" (yep, that's my neighbors and me, respectively).


The US according to Texans


The World according to Dubya (That's George W. Bush)


The World according to Reagan


The US according to Rednecks


The Iberian Peninsula, according to Spaniards
Couldn't resist adding another one from the Alphadesigner site. Europe, According to the Poles.


Of course, I am posting these maps with the huge caveat that MOST Americans, Texans, New Yorkers, etc., do not think in such a simplistic way about their neighboring states or other nations in the global community, and the maps are therefore quite fictional (well, perhaps all aside from the World According to Dubya! That one may bear some semblance to reality.  Only kidding, only kidding! Actually, though, I firmly believe that George W. Bush will go down in history). But the maps do poke fun at our prejudices and biases, and are meant to be more of an indictment against the viewpoint country than the country viewed.  What is being ridiculed or lampooned is the ignorance of the generalizing idiot, NOT the country being generalized about.
OK, so the moral of these maps?  Tribalism is alive and well in the 21st century.  Stereotyping is the easy, shorthand way of dealing with the complexities of the world, but not a very effective or accurate one.  However, on the bright side, it shows that the world is not a homogeneous bland place (yet!), and there are still recognized regional differences.  Now if only we could stop killing each other over those differences, and just appreciate them.

11 comments:

  1. I love the outlandish and over the top humor of these maps. My only exception is the New Jersey map which appears to be extremely accurate.

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    1. I know I live where the "old people and asians" and "blacks and corruption" meet, lol, it is so goddamn true

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  2. I KNOW, right? I couldn't agree more. Poor little New Jersey - the place where stereotypes (not dreams!) come true!

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  3. I was looking for a map of US viewed by New Yorkers that showed New York state to extend to about the missippi river, and everything pushed west accordingly.

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  4. Sorry - I haven't ever seen that one. And, to tell you the truth, it doesn't even make much sense. New Yorkers know their territory doesn't extend all the way to the Mississippi, we just think that after you cross New York City's western boundaries, the U.S. goes on and on in one big boring expanse of plains until you hit the Rockies. (haha, only kidding! We don't really think that!) Maybe you are thinking of the famous New Yorker cover cartoon that shows a New Yorker's view across the country, which you can see at http://geographer-at-large.blogspot.co.uk/2011/06/unconventional-yet-informative-maps-of.html - scroll towards the end of the post to see it (in a subcategory called Mental Maps). It's not strictly a map, but more of a geographic image. It was one of the originals of this type of map and set the bar high for subsequent such maps. Most of the others have been modeled after this one, in one way or another.

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  5. Wonderful article, thanks for putting this together! This is obviously one great post. Thanks for the valuable information and insights you have so provided here

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  6. geography is my favorite subject when i were in college , that's why i love to read this kind of article

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  7. I like the "World as we Know it" and the Canada's shorts one]

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  8. What ever happened to the original Map of the USA as seen by New Yorkers?

    It was a huge city with Jersey acros the river and then the remainder was the rest of the country with Wash Dc marked and florida after that? That one really expressed how New Yorkers thought. The one above is absurd.I know..I lived it and when my family moved to Baltimore I did not know where it was. I thought DC was nothing but giant white marble buildings.

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  9. The western part of alabama on the nj map should be ghetto and mexicans

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  10. đông trùng hạ thảo có tốt khôngMụn luôn là nổi ám ảnh của các chị em, mụn không chỉ khiến gương mặt trở nên xấu, khó nhìn mà theo năm tháng mụn còn để lại vết thâm, vết đen
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