Laconic History Of The World: Martin Elmer Designs Typographical Map Using Countries' Wikipedia Words (PHOTO)

LOOK: World Map Reveals Some Startling Aspects Of Our Global History

A picture may be worth a thousand words, but what about a map?

Martin Elmer, a Wisconsin-based cartographer and graphic designer, has created a typographical map of the world featuring the most-used word in each country's Wikipedia history page. According to MapHugger, Elmer's blog, the map was created by running the countries' "History Of" pages through a word cloud, selecting the most common descriptive word (no "the" or "and"), and fitting it into each country's borders.

Titled "Laconic History of The World," the map represents 176 different countries and reveals some interesting, if not startling, aspects of our global history. A companion reader compiled by Elmer details the following tidbits, among others:

  • 16 percent of countries had "war" as their most common word, including nearly all of Western Europe.
  • One-fourth of all countries had their most common word be a colonial power. Of these, Britain had the most, with 16 countries.
  • Some countries' most common word was the name of a nearby country. For example, "Hungary" is actually Slovakia, while "India" is Pakistan.


(Click here for a full-sized, high-resolution version of the map. You can find Elmer's companion reader here.)

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