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Posted in the Washington Post.

1. A political map of the world, circa 200 A.D.

Click to enlarge. (Imgur)

Click to enlarge. (Imgur)

What’s more amazing: how much things have changed over the last 1,800 years, a major chunk of the civilizational history of humanity, or how many of this map’s divisions are still with us today?

2. Where people are the most and least welcoming to foreigners

Click to enlarge. (Max Fisher/Washington Post)

Click to enlarge. Data source: World Economic Forum. (Max Fisher/Washington Post)

This might be useful in planning your next vacation, although there are some big surprises in the results.

3. The world’s major writing systems

Click to enlarge. (Wikimedia Commons)

Click to enlarge. (Wikimedia Commons)

This map is a reminder that the world’s divisions and commonalities go much deeper than national borders. It also helps to tell the stories of a few major events that still shape the globe, the echoes of which you can see in almost every map on this page:European colonialism, the Arabic-speaking Islamic conquests of the 7th century, the Russian expansions of the 19th and 20th centuries, and the (still-ongoing!) unifications of India and China.

4. The best and worst places to be born

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