UPDATE: This is a new version (8th September 2014) – six country names have been changed and one capital has been moved. I think it’s probably still not finished, though – so please feel free to share any ideas about how it should be changed.
Last year there was a brief craze for maps of parts of the world divided into parts with roughly equal population. The best was a map of the 50 US states, which was partially intended as a proposal for electoral college reform. European versions so far keep the basic concept, but lack character. What I wanted to find was a version that at least tried to draw lines related to language, history and culture – one that at least had properly thought-through names and was worth more than an odd glance.
I couldn’t find one, so I decided to make one.
First I went to the Wikipedia page for Europe, took the population of Europe – 739,165,030 – the number of countries – 50 – and divided to get 14,783,300. Then I set to working on dividing up the land into chunks of approximately that amount. I thought it would take a few hours, but now it’s six months later and I’m still not sure if it’s done. I wasn’t working on it the vast majority of that time, of course, but have kept returning to it.
A few points before we get to it:
1. I can imagine that this will make some people very annoyed, so just to reassure everyone – this is in no way an actual proposal, and if it was carried out it may well lead to some of the bloodiest wars in history.
2. The original is based on an algorithm. Unfortunately this kind of uniform regional population data is unavailable for Europe, and I wouldn’t know how to start even if I had it. Population is therefore taken from Wikipedia, and should be treated with a pinch of salt.
3. It’s not really finished, and there are some bits I’m not happy with at all, but have no idea how to fix right now. So please leave me some feedback if you have any ideas on how to change it.
4. I really have no time to explain all the names, but it’s not hard to find out where any of them come from.
So, here it is. Click for big.
…and the details. This is just here to answer any easier questions about what’s made of what. Once again, click for legible.
Any comments / input are very welcome. Updates may be slow though.
Your Sibir has no Siberian lands, and your Suzdal doesn’t own the city of Suzdal.
These are historical names that existed in the same approximate areas, and can be improved – please give me better suggestions if you have any.
Well, even the names, besides the division itself, are controversial, which is mainly because you have never been in those areas or you don’t know them enough. So, I would just stick to naming them after their capital city? Well, Czechoslovakia is for sure a good name to name Czechoslovakia, but Krim Tartary or Hrvatska!?!!?! If it is a heterogeneous territory, just leave it unnamed or name it after the capital city. Because, even if Lutetia or The Three Sicilies do probably not annoy anyone, about half of the names is making this look stupid even. Which is a shame considering the amount of work you put into that and the quality of it…
Well, it’s still unfinished, you can consider the names to be placeholders – the best I can come up with until I find something else. I don’t know Russia that well, it’s true, so if you can think of better names they would be much appreciated. Along those lines I’ve already changed Hrvatska to West Balkans, and a few others too.
Very nice map. I think I can help you with iberian names… Portugal-Leon, you didn’t actually grab any piece of Leon, which is included in Castille. Instead, you added Galicia and Asturias, so I would name this “Portulicia” (but asturians would be annoyed), Portuceltia (as Galicia and Asturias are celtic lands) or better yet, Lusitania (as Portuguese, Galician and Asturian share a more-or-less common linguistic ancestor). Castille included very different cultural lands, including the kingdoms of Leon and Aragon which were natural rivals of Castille, so I would avoind problems calling this piece of land “Central Iberia”. Andalusia is a problem because it includes Valencia which is historically linked with Aragon and Catalonia, so there is no possible accurate name for it. Maybe a geographical name like “Mediterranea” or “South Iberia” would work. “Catalunya i l’Occità” is gramatically wrong, use instead “Catalunya i Occitània” (yet, this forgets the Balearic islands). One beautiful name for this region could be “Lemosinia” which refers to a medieval denomination for the languages spoken in the area (lemosin). Big part of Aquitaine is the french region of Gascogne, directly linked to Baskonia or the Basque Country, which is the Spanish territory you included in it, so either Baskonia or Cascogne would be an interesting name for the whole region. Even “Bizkai” or “Biscay” would work as the whole coast is part of the gulf of Biscay. Also, if you choose the capital cities by its population then it should be Bilbao (350k) instead of Bordeaux (240k).
Benevento does not have the actual region of Benevento in it. Dafuq?
“Zapadni Balkan” would never work for Slovenia. Most Slovenians consider their country to be a part of Central Europe rather than the Balkans, so the name would needlessly annoy quite a few people. And even if set that issue aside, “Zapadni” is a Croatian word; the Slovenian equivalent is “Zahodni.”