1-Dimensional Countries

Chile
N
Pacific
Pacific
Andes
Andes
Arica
Arica
Iquique
Iquique
Antofagasta
Antofagasta
La Serena
La Serena
Santiago
Santiago
Rancagua
Rancagua
Talca
Talca
Concepción
Concepción
Temuco
Temuco
Puerto Montt
Puerto Montt
Punta Arenas
Punta Arenas
500 km
Chilean coast
Egypt
N
Sahara
Sahara
Sahara
Sahara
Alexandria
Alexandria
Damanhûr
Damanhûr
Tanta
Tanta
Benha
Benha
Cairo
Cairo
Beni Suef
Beni Suef
El Minya
El Minya
Asyût
Asyût
Sohâg
Sohâg
Qena
Qena
Aswân
Aswân
Abu Simbel
Abu Simbel
200 km
River Nile
Australia
N
Australia
Australia
Pacific
Pacific
Cairns
Cairns
Townsville
Townsville
Brisbane
Brisbane
Gold Coast
Gold Coast
Newcastle
Newcastle
Sydney
Sydney
Wollongong
Wollongong
Canberra
Canberra
Melbourne
Melbourne
Geelong
Geelong
Adelaide
Adelaide
500 km
Australian coast
Canada
N
Canada
Canada
USA
USA
St. John's
St. John's
Halifax
Halifax
Fredericton
Fredericton
Québec
Québec
Montréal
Montréal
Ottawa
Ottawa
Toronto
Toronto
Thunder Bay
Thunder Bay
Winnipeg
Winnipeg
Regina
Regina
Calgary
Calgary
Vancouver
Vancouver
Victoria
Victoria
1000 km
Canada-USA border

Notes

Some countries are more 1-dimensional than they seem

Look at a traditional map of the world, and you'd think that all countries are 2-dimensional. They often seem that way on the ground, too: vast surfaces that roll over hills and mountains, and occasionally wrap into caves and craters, but remain more or less 2-dimensional.

If you've ever travelled the length of Chile, though, or even merely glanced at that country on a map, you might be forgiven for thinking that it's really 1-dimensional. Not only is the country clearly long and thin, but the vast majority proportion of the population lives on a narrow strip of land between the Andes and the Pacific.

The more you look, the more such countries you find. Egypt is one of the squarest-looking countries in the world, but look more closely and you'll find that its vaunted 2-dimensionality is a sham. Most of that square space is seriously empty Sahara Desert; most Egyptians live along the 1-dimensional lifeline of the River Nile.

Australia and Canada appear to be among the most boastfully 2-dimensional areas on the surface of the globe, each covering many millions of square kilometres. Once again, you'll find that most of this space is uninhabited desert or tundra. The Australian population is concentrated along the eastern coast of the continent, while Canadians seek respite from the Arctic winters by huddling along the border with the United States.

So if you ever glance at a road map of a country and find that it's dominated by just one road (Ruta 5 in Chile, Highway 1 in Australia or Canada), you'll know you've stumbled on another 1-dimensional country.

Comments

Sources

DistanceFromTo – distances between cities

Date

First published 13 October 2014

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