November 26, 2022

Balkan Travellers

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How a Finnish geographer’s challenge became a global social media phenomenon

November is a month full of all kinds of challenges like no alcohol month, no tobacco month, no moustache, no ejaculation month… Some people are more creative than others 30DayMapChallenge. Principle: Thirty themes, one per day, to be illustrated by a map that will then be published on social networks. “Space”, “Ukraine”, “The Color Red”, “A map in five minutes” … the list is imagined Topi Tjukanov, a Finnish geologist, defends open data, free access to data for the benefit of all. His challenge, launched in 2019, became a huge hit on Twitter.

“Where is food produced?”, “Where are the world’s largest consumers of coffee?”, “Or maybe you can make a map out of food?”. These are the tips Topi Tjukanov gave on his website for the theme “Food/Drink” on Tuesday 15 November.

On Twitter, this material inspires contributors around the world. So, on a map, the distribution of kebab sellers in the metropolises of France, Spain, countries with the most spicy food around the world, or even Ukrainian cities can find the most drinkers of Nalyvka. , a local brandy.

Most of these models are professors and researchers in geography or experts in data analysis who explain their working method in a few words and present their evidence almost systematically. The way they illustrate each theme is an opportunity for these map enthusiasts to draw attention to their areas of interest – cultural, scientific or political. For “hexagons” day, a Harvard student, for example, created a map of horror films made in the United States. In cinema, it allows you to see which US states have concentrated the most massacres.

For those who don’t like this kind of sketchy countdown, the 30DayMapChallenge When aesthetics and science meet, it offers beautiful exercises in style. Like this map of Ukraine, the meeting of the Pripyat and Dnieper rivers forms a striking and triumphant “V”. “The drawings people share are breathtaking” Toby Tjuganov was excited on day nine of his challenge, admitting that he couldn’t keep up with the rhythm of the daily card he had set for himself.

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