Canada and the Atlas of the World - The Intrepid

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Canada and the Atlas of the World

Real World Atlas Wealth 2002 Map
GDP in 2002.

Worldmapper is a fantastic visual resource. Using data from UN agencies, researchers from the universities of Sheffield and Michigan have created over seven hundred unique world maps. In each map, area is substituted for a thematic value, like life expectancy or television ownership. While the maps are fascinating, there’s one thing that kind of troubles us: in almost every map, the U.S. completely obscures Canada. Sure, the U.S. is a more populous country, but there must be some category that Canada dominates in. We searched around, and eventually we came up with ten maps in which Canada is visually larger than the U.S.

Net Meat Exporters

Real World Atlas Meat Exports Map

The meat processing industry is the largest food industry in Canada. In 2007, Canada exported $2.4 billion of pork to over 130 countries, and $1.2 billion of beef to over 100 countries. Not surprisingly, Canada exports most of its meat to the U.S.

Net Fish Exporters

Real World Atlas Fish Exports Map

Canada is the world’s seventh-largest exporter of fish and seafood products. Again, most of the fish we catch goes to the United States, which in this case, has entirely vanished from the map.

Net Gas and Coal Exporters

Real World Atlas Gas and Coal Exports Map

No surprise here. Over 99% of Canadian oil exports are sent to the United States.

Net Refined Petroleum Exporters

Real World Atlas Refined Petroleum Products Exports Map

America needs Albertan oil.

Fuel Exports

Real World Atlas Fuel Exports Map

This map includes all fuel sources (oil, gas, coal, nuclear, etc...).

Net Valuables Exporters

Real World Atlas Valuables Exports Map

Canada produces about 15% of the world’s diamonds. Most of Canada’s diamonds come from the Northwest Territories, though there is some diamond mining in Nunavut and Northern Ontario.

Net Metals Exporters

Real World Atlas Metals Exports Map

The Canadian Shield is a rich source of minerals. Exports of minerals and mineral-based products are worth over $62 billion a year. Again, the majority of metal exports go to the U.S.

Net Wood and Paper Exporters

Real World Atlas Wood and Paper Exports Map

Canada is the world's largest producer of forest products. The industry is worth over $33 billion a year. Most of our forest products are exported to China and the U.S.

Net Car Exporters

Real World Atlas Car Exports Map

Although the auto industry is struggling, it still remains an integral part of the Canadian economy. Canada is a net exporter, which means that we export more cars than we import. The majority of these vehicles are sold in the U.S.

Hydroelectric Power

Real World Atlas Hydroelectric Power Map

Canada is the world’s second-largest producer of hydroelectric power. 59% of Canada’s power generation comes from hydroelectricity.

So, what does all this mean? Well, if you were to construct an image of Canada based just off these maps, you would probably picture endless mines, lumber yards, and slaughter houses. Not a pretty picture. There's obviously more to Canada than its resources, but we have to wonder: is this how the rest of the world sees us?

All maps are from Worldmapper.