Vaguely Interesting Round-up | 27 January 2013

  • The etymological map of Europe – a nice spin on the familiar map which makes the old continent look a little bit like Middle Earth.
  • Decolonisation has reduced the list of non-self governing territories from over 100 to just 15. This chart from the Economist shows the distances between these territories and the capital cities of their ‘mother country’, whilst this webpage from the UN lists all the former colonies, their new names and statuses and the year of independence. A surprising number of former British colonies only gained independence in the 1970s, with some as late as the 1980s.
  • Urbanisation in China, India, Southeast Asia and Latin America is well documented. The move to the cities of Africa is less well known, but is an increasingly important phenomenon. This chart from the Economist predicts that Lagos, Nigeria will overtake Cairo, Egypt as the continent’s most populous city. Rapid growth in Kinshasha, Congo and Luanda, Angola has not been accompanied by development in infrastructure, creating some of the largest slums in the world.