European Union – Happy Birthday?

EU Flag

The birth of the European Union (EU), featuring a central bank and deep military alliances, created closer ties among the countries in Europe. The Maastricht Treaty came into force on November 1, 1993, organizing the European Union into a single internationally recognized entity.

The early part of the 20th century was a troubled time for Europe. Two World Wars within a span of 20 years emphasized the need to highlight the ties that bound the continent together. Robert Schuman, the Foreign Minister of France at the time, hoped to “make war not only unthinkable but materially impossible”.

By the mid-1970s, the European Community which shared close economic ties included France, West Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Denmark. Soon a discussion about formalizing the community heated up. In February 1992, representatives from the European Community announced a historic agreement: the Maastricht Treaty would establish a new EU with specific guidelines and a common currency – the Euro.

All member nations ratified the agreement, making the European Union an official body beginning on November 1, 1993. The 12 nations signing the Maastricht Treaty were Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Greece, Spain and Portugal. In the coming years, membership expanded to include another 16 countries, bringing the total number of participants to 28 with Croatia officially set to join in July 2013. Read the detailed history of the creation of the EU on MapsofWorld.com here.

EU Countries Map

Severe economic instability in the wake of worldwide financial turmoil in 2008 has, however, raised deep concerns on the continued existence of the EU in its current form. The European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) was set up by the Eurozone member states to safeguard the financial stability in the region by authorizing loans and financial assistance to the member states when in need, and by borrowing for the collective Eurozone economy. Standard & Poor ratings for most of the Eurozone national economies, however, tell us a different story. We analyzed the future of the Euro a few weeks ago. Those who missed the feature can read it here.

Will economies such as Greece and Ireland move to leave the Eurozone? Will the Euro depreciate at its current scale? Will it appreciate at a smaller scale with fewer countries? Are the bailouts adding undue pressure on the economically stronger nations? Even as we wish the EU a Happy Birthday, we wonder what the future holds.


What’s wrong with this World Map?

What's wrong with this World Map?

What's wrong with this World Map?

Few weeks back, we posted a world map on our Facebook page. It was a map from our massive collection on the website, with one little difference. There was an error we deliberately added to the map. It was an attempt to stir the pot, to challenge our community on geography skills and to make maps a little more fun. To our surprise, the response we got was overwhelming.

The post got a whooping 691 likes, 129 shares and 602 comments, at the time of writing this post. The map reached an audience close to 300,000 people. Check this map post, and without going through the comments, see if you can crack the error in under a minute. MapsofWorld.com is the world's largest thematic maps website with over 20,000 thematic maps for students, teachers, travelers and researchers. Stay connected with our page on Facebook or follow us on Twitter. We thank everyone who participated, and we're on to some more fun and games, while keeping our focus on building the world's best maps for education and reference.


Country Within Country

United Kingdom, Britain or Great Britain, England, the British Isles – these are terms which have quite often been used as synonyms, causing much displeasure to the culturally rich and distinct Welsh and Scottish people.

United Kingdom is a union of what were four distinct countries – England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland (the rest of Ireland is a separate sovereign country). The British Isles is a term used to describe all of the UK and the Republic of Ireland as well.

Great Britain refers to England, Scotland, and Wales put together; the official name of UK is the ‘United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland’. England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are all individual countries that make up part of the United Kingdom which is also a country.

The Scottish Government led by First Minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond, now intends to hold a referendum which will decide the matter of Scottish independence from the United Kingdom. This referendum is likely to be held in 2014.

UK Map If 2014 Scotland Referendum Is Passed

On October 15, 2012, an agreement was signed between the United Kingdom's Prime Minister, David Cameron, and the Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond. This agreement provides a legal framework for the referendum to be held. The principal issues on which the referendum will be centered are economic policy, defense, trade, and cultural relations with the UK, and membership of the European Union.

MapsofWorld brings to you a map that shows how the United Kingdom is likely to look if Scotland decides to vote in favor of secession from the UK in 2014. For this an other UK maps click here.


Book Fair In The Air – Frankfurt 2012

It is that time of the year again – our hearts turn to Frankfurt. Yes, MapsofWorld’s seventh year at the Frankfurt Book Fair – the biggest book and media fair in the world. More than 7,500 international exhibitors from 100 countries are attending the fair this year. Over 3,200 events are scheduled to be held here between October 10 and October 14, 2012.

Each October, representatives from the book and media industry gather here, in Frankfurt. Booksellers, agents, publishers, authors, digital media providers and a number of other professionals head to Frankfurt from all parts of the world.

MapsofWorld has made a significant mark in the world of tourism and travel publications including atlases, and travel guides. For over seven years we have represented the world of cartographic publications at this fair.

Team MapsofWorld @ Frankfurt Book Fair

This year our offerings at the fair include an attractive set of illuminated globes, clean and beautiful maps in all sizes and customized cartography services. But the show-stealer has been our collection of mobile apps. World Atlas Pro, our mapping app for iOS and for the Android platform has been a huge hit with those who have been visiting us. With three more days to go, we feel like we have just about gotten started.

Frankfurt Book Fair never fails to remind us of our love for the work we do – maps, data, research, technology, and most importantly designing what is important to you, the MapsofWorld family.

If you are in Germany this time of the year, drop in on MapsofWorld at –

Hall 3.1
Stall K681
Frankfurt Book Fair

Follow our live updates from the Frankfurt Book Fair on Twitter @mapsofworld

Here’s a snazzy video of Team MapsofWorld at the Frankfurt Book Fair on Day 1


Celebrating Travel – The MapsofWorld Way

Travel does what good novelists also do to the life of everyday, placing it like a picture in a frame or a gem in its setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear. Travel does this with the very stuff that everyday life is made of, giving to it the sharp contour and meaning of art” – Freya Stark

Travel is at the very heart of our work at Mapsofworld. Ever since we embarked on our cartographic journey in 2003, it has been our endeavor to make your travel easier and better. We have, to this end, featured a number of travel guides on MapsofWorld. With the number of tourists and globetrotters logging on to MapsofWorld increasing each day, we launched a new section – travel.mapsofworld.com.

World Travel Map

Travel introduces us to a variety of cultures and teaches us essential survival skills. In 2011, there were over 983 million international tourists. With such a phenomenal growth in tourism, we too have grown beyond maps and guides to add informative content about various languages, and unique guides to traveling in various parts of the world.

MapsofWorld.com celebrated the UNWTO World Tourism Day in September by featuring the top 20 most traveled cities of the world. To celebrate, we also started to revamp our Travel section and have now added a host of new maps and services. We now provide quick and easy hotel and flight bookings to make your vacations hassle free.

For those of you who are still in a fix over which part of the world to visit, we have a special gift – this very exciting map of the tourist attractions of the world.

For a website that addresses all your travel needs visit us here.


World Country Groupings – Looking At The World Differently

Nato Member Countries

What are World Country Groupings?

MapsofWorld’s latest offering is World Country Groupings – a collection of 12 clean and informative maps of the world. The countries of the world have been grouped together based on a number of criteria. The World Country Groupings are the perfect marriage of maps and data and perfect for students, teachers, researchers and just about anyone.

What criteria are these groupings based on?

The World Country Groupings group different nations based on geographic, economic, and political divisions. Some of these, such as the NATO, are also alliance based divisions. Depending on the area in question the EU functions as a federation, confederation or an international organization. Some of these groupings show member nations of arbitrary organizations such as the OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries).

Which country groups are featured on MapsofWorld?

The World Country Groupings section of MapsofWorld features 12 different maps –

• World Continents Map
• Map of European Union Countries
• World Commonwealth Countries Map
• OPEC Member Countries
• SAARC Member Countries
• NATO Member Countries
• EFTA Member Countries
• OECD Member Countries
• APEC Member Economies Map
• BRICS Countries Map
• World Map – G20 Member Countries
• Map of G8 Countries

Why are these groupings important?

Most of the country groupings have economic and trade implications. Other alliances such as the SAARC and NATO are political alliances which extend into socio-cultural cooperation for the member nations. The BRICS are an emerging group of economies of the world. The alliance based on mutual economic cooperation has transformed into political clout for the nations. Understanding these country groupings may be the key to understanding the political and economic developments of the world.

Find this excellent section on World Economic Groupings here.


Are You A Formula One Fan? Here’s a Map You’d Love

Formula One Racing Circuit - World Map

Formula One Racing Circuit

We made this map for the F1 fans, who'd print this out and paste it on their walls. With the F1 season heating up, we thought it would be cool to add all the F1 circuits on a world map. Did you know, that the Formula One cars are among the fastest circuit racing cars in the world? F1 cars race at speeds of upto 340 kmph. The F1 season consists of a series of races, known as Grands Prix, held on purpose-built circuits. The results of each race are added up to determine World Championships. Interestingly, the results are added up to determine two world championships, one for drivers and other for the circuit constructors.

World Map - F1 Circuits

World Map - F1 Circuits

World Map - F1 Circuits

Let us know what you think, RT this Tweet or Share this Facebook Post to spread the F1 love.

Image credit: Mark McArdle

Updated: World Physical Map

A physical map is utilized to depict the physical features on the planet. Like various landforms and water bodies on earth's surface. A World Physical map shows various landforms like mountains, deserts and plains. Different colors are used to distinguish landforms and elevations. For us at MapsofWorld.com, we want to be the best in the mapping business. We keep updating all our maps to keep the information current and relevant. We have a complete section devoted to physical maps of the world as well as physical maps pertaining specifically to the countries of the world. These maps are essential resources for students, teachers and researchers.

World Physical Map

Updated - World Physical Map

Updated - World Physical Map

World Physical Map depicts the main features of elevation and depression on the earth's surface. The map is also a graphic representation of the earth's various contours and its most prominent physical features.


World Map of Countries Where Women Call The Shots – Happy Women’s Day

Today is International Women's Day. On March 8th every year the world celebrates women's economic, political and social achievements. In many countries it is an official holiday. Our team thought of a way of showing our respect to women world over, typical to our style, we made a map. Find below the World Map of current women world leaders. To all the women in our lives - mothers, wives, girlfriends, daughters, colleagues and more.. Happy Women's Day :-)

World Map - Current World Women Leaders

World Map - Current World Women Leaders

World Map - Current World Women Leaders


The Last Remaining Rainforests, On a World Map

"Jewels of the Earth" - Tropical Rainforests

"Jewels of the Earth" - Tropical Rainforests

Did you know that around 40% to 75% of all species are indigenous to the rainforests? It is also estimated that there may be millions of species of plants, insects and microbes still undiscovered in tropical rainforests. Not just that, Rainforests are responsible for an astounding 28% of world's oxygen turnover and over one quarter of natural medicines have been discovered there. No wonder they have been called "Jewels of the Earth". If this is not fascinating what is! We plotted the tropical rainforests on a World Map, hope this would be useful in your research, studies or for curiosity.

World Map - Rainforests


World Rainforests Map

World Rainforests Map

World Map illustrates the tropical rainforests of the World. Located between 0° - 30° of both the hemispheres, tropical rainforest is the richest bio-diversity zone of the world.

Image credit - tauntingpanda