Above is a map measuring solar radiation per square meter, averaged to each county within the lower 48 states of the US. The units are a little difficult to translate, but the difference between the extremes (dark purple to light yellow) is a factor of two. This means that cities such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Phoenix get about twice as much sunlight each day as Seattle, Portland, or Cleveland.
Australia is considered one of the world’s six continents, although some consider it the world’s largest island. If this is the case, the map above displays Australia’s land area compared with the next largest islands in the world. The next closest (in area) to Australia is Greenland with an area only 27% the size, followed by New Guinea at only 10% the size of Australia. The top 20 largest islands by area are displays and listed on the right.
The map above displays the western hemisphere and shows with extending a horizontal line (longitudinal) which country is across the ocean from it. This is an interesting perspective from which to view the world given that these matching countries are likely to share the same climate and culture based on their position in the world. It’s amazing to see the north-south size of Africa projected onto the Americas – Its northern reach with Morocco across from (approximately) Washington DC in the United States to its southern point with South Africa across from Buenos Aires. Another stunning display is the north-south size of Japan which it the closest country to virtually the entire west coast of the US.
The United States has various regional quirks, one of which is what do you call a carbonated soft drink. Where I grew up in Ohio, we called it a Pop. As in, can you give me a pop? When I moved to South Carolina, I noticed that everyone referred to it as a ‘Coke’ – even if they were talking about another soft drink. Now where I live in California, it’s called a Soda.
China is a large and diverse country with stark geographic differences. One particular regional difference is religion. The Communist Party of China is officially atheist and party members are strongly discouraged from holding religious faith, however, China does officially sanction five religious organizations – Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Protestant Christianity, and Catholicism (the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association is not recognized by the Vatican). Above are six maps of China, each showing the regional concentration of the largest faiths in China. The northwestern desert region is Islamic, the southwestern mountainous region is Buddhist, the northeast is Chinese folk religions, and the southeast Taoist.
The above maps may be a little misleading as they display the percentage for various religions, but the scale on each map is different and the population in the western provinces are much smaller than the eastern ones. For example, the Christianity scale only goes up to 7% (for the darkest shade) whereas Buddhism reaches a high of 70% and Islam 50%. Overall, the majority of Chinese are unaffiliated with any religion or practice some ancient folk religion (73% of the population). The other major religions are Buddhism 16%, Taoism 7%, Christianity 2%, and Islam 0.5%.