Fun with Maps 317&318

Sometimes I’m browsing Facebook and come across a link. The link is about travel or other countries so I click on it hoping to find a really cool map. On many occasions I find an article, some nicely written, but no map. Then, every once and awhile, when the planets are in the perfect position, that link includes not only a well written article filled with great, informative details but also a super awesome map! This is not one of those times (I guess the planets were uncooperative). Map 317 was made by me. It’s not super awesome. It’s not especially creative, beautiful, or even well designed (I thought about adding numbers but the text box in Photoshop was being annoying on the first one so I gave up and decided to roll with it anyway). I made this map using a blank map outline and Photoshop in about eight minutes. It would have been so easy for Yahoo to make their own map. Just imagine what a professional could have done in an hour?! Beyond them being lazy, their article was titled, 20 Places Where You Can Retire on $200,000 and Feel Rich but there was only 15 countries listed. Oversight? Perhaps. Laziness? Likely. Check out my map.

The 15 countries highlighted (Malta is highlighted but it’s really, really small) are supposedly very friendly to those looking to retire on a low budget. The article is filled with good financial data, background information on what life is like for retirees in these foreign lands, and actual instructions on how to move to these places. Despite how I feel about the lack of map, I can respect the content they did provide. If you want to know more about these places I recommend you hop over, read the article, and then come straight back!


Oh, you actually came back! Thank you, I needed your attention and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Of the countries listed I would rank Panama (#1), Malta (#9), Costa Rica (#2), Spain (#5), Portugal (#4), and Peru (#10) as my favorites. Some of these countries use English as their second language so I could transition easily. I took Spanish throughout High School so I know I could handle life in a place that speaks one of the romance languages (I was able to read a newspaper article in Portuguese once). I’m sure the countries in Asia would be nice as well but I know the language barrier would be more difficult. My boss wants to move to Costa Rica, actually. Her and her husband want to semi-retire by buying a functioning farm that will pay for their usual expenses so they can just relax. She’s in her forties and I know they want to move in the next six years so it would be an early retirement for them. I have a bit longer to wait.


Map 318 shows the total nitrogen yield delivered to the Gulf of Mexico. I found it when I went to a CNN article that had a map as the click-bait but I went there to see the map but it was nowhere to be found (shame on you CNN). So, I Googled the topic discussed in the article, the growing dead zones in our oceans, and found a 2017 report to Congress from the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force. It’s a dense document but I did my best to skim it while looking for maps and found this one. Check it out.

Nitrogen and phosphorus in the Mississippi River Watershed ends up in the Gulf of Mexico where the river has its delta. Apparently these elements cause certain microorganisms to thrive thus causing problems with the food chain and thus, dead zones where the entire ecosystem is thrown off from the usual (which is bad). Balance is the key and these chemicals, increased unnaturally by humans, is throwing that off.

As you can see, the USGS maps contain concentration data (this one just shows nitrogen, not phosphorus). I’m not knowledgeable enough to explain how the EPA got this data but I am a big fan of how they presented it. The darker areas of the map have higher concentration of nitrogen. The burnt orange areas, the highest concentration, are located primarily in the Midwest, especially most of Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana. The Western portion of the river’s watershed has the lowest concentration in whites and light yellow. I wonder if that is due to less farming in those states. If you want the answer feel free to read the report. It’s long and I have a toddler to put to bed for the night. Have fun.

Until next time,

Bryan Signature 2


Bonus Map Link: Ocean Trash Map Video (because Nitrogen and Phosphorus weren’t bad enough)

Bonus Non-Map Link: Most Social Media Users Over Time









Blank World Map

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