IT NEVER CEASES TO AMAZE me how much you can learn about the world from a map. After all, all maps are renderings of the same image, even if there are changes in format and scale: they are attempts at reflecting reality in an easy-to-understand way. By changing a few factors, you can make what is basically the same image say an infinite number of different things. Good maps can tell you a lot, while bad maps can help make you just a little bit dumber.

The following maps are really awesome maps that have something to teach you about the world, its politics, its history, and the people in it. Well, 20 of the maps will teach you something. The last is just incredibly, incredibly bad.


Where does the world study abroad?

The country's main color shows the number of outbound students, the circle color the number of inbound students. Via MoveHub.


The World's Longest Flights

If, for some reason, you want to go on the world's longest flights, these are the way to go. Via


The Most Popular Sports in the World

Soccer is the unsurprising winner, and the US is actually pretty divided. Via


Which countries eat the most meat?

Who is eating the most meat? Via


The World's Most Emotional Countries

According to a 2009 Gallup poll.


The Best Places to be Born

There are at least 15 that are better than the US, according to the Economic Intelligence Unit.


What languages are on Wikipedia?

This map shows each of the geotagged articles on Wikipedia by languages. Via


Where is hunger the biggest problem?

According to the International Food Policy Research Institute.


The Most Popular Web Browsers

Chrome's takeover has been ruthless and swift. Via


Countries by Alcohol Consumption

Some countries are boozier than others. Via


Where are people the most undernourished?

Malaysia surprises as the best in Southeast Asia. Via


First Human Migrations to America

How did our first migrants get here? Via


The Nuclear Powers, Post Cold War

These are the countries to worry about. Via


How much you have to make to be in the 1%

Who knew North Dakota was so rich? Via


Where do the names of the Americas come from?

What language do the names of the Americas come from? Via


How much more men make in every state.

There is not a single state women make more money in. Via


The Loudest Places in America

If you want some peace and quiet, Wyoming's the way to go. Via


Defense Budgets Around the World

These are the countries that spend the most on their militaries. Via


The Five Uncolonized Countries

Only five countries have totally escaped ever being under European control. Via


Where the 20somethings are

More 20somethings live in the purple areas than in all of the brown area. Via


The Great No-France Map

This map, done by the LA Times, is inexplicably lacking France, and for whatever reason, inconsistently labels most countries as individual countries, but Africa inexplicably as Africa. The worst map ever? Possibly.