Friday, May 05, 2006

Geographic Research in the U.S.

An American magazine, National Geographic published a research result on May 2nd. They conducted a survey of geographic features on 18-24 American. According to the result, people who could point the exact place of Japan on a map were 49%, and that didn’t reach to half. Here is the survey of other countries.

People who can point…
China on the map are 69%.
India on the map are 53%.
North Korea on the map are 30%.
Iraq on the map are 37%.
Iran on the map are 26%.
New York (U.S.) on the map are 50%.

70% say that they haven’t traveled overseas, and 22% have passport.

In Japan case, I am sure most Japanese can point the U.S on the map because the U.S is huge country. Small islands like Japan are hard to be found in the map probably.

When I was in collage, I took American history class and I memorized the locations of whole states in America, however I almost forget it now except big and famous states. (I know where New York is!)

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How about you? Do you know where Japan is located?


jeremie said...

The city of New York or the State of New York? :-p

Here is the 2006 report:

The 2002 report was more interesting for me because it wasn't just the american students but there was a comparison between a couple of countries, including France and Japan.
Here you can find the 2002 report and a small test, to test yourself and to see the result of the students of Japan and other countries ^^:

Pierre-Yann said...

Placing Japan on the map is very easy.
I tried the 2002 survey, and for the map, it's very easy!
I have more trouble to have correct position between two countries without looking at a map(like South Korea and Japan: it's hard for me to think that Korea is positionned in the south part of Japan, and not north)

But I'm gratefull of my study, because in middle school, it was needed to learn all the countries of the world, and the corresponding capital! I have forgot the capitals.

Pierre-Yann said...

Just a test: where are the Kerguelen islands?

alex said...

When I was learning Japanese in the UK one of my classmates couldn't find Japan on the map. That was kind of embarrassing, don't you think? I guess the fact that quite a few Japanese people I have met didn't know where the UK was isn't so surprising.

By the way, I have absolutely no idea where the Keguelen Islands are...

erika said...

That's an interesting result!
I thought more Ameican could point Japan... We are close relationship, though...

juhis said...

Yes, of course i know where Japan is, im not american. :)
Honestly, something's wrong with those guys..

Fabi said...

Nice report you posted on the blog.
I think, here in Germany the most can point the European countries and other big countries on maps.

I'm interested in how many of you can find Germany on the map :)

Ragge said...

These surveys are always fun to read. The ignorance of some people is quite impressive. People always think Norway is the capital of Sweden.. but can't blame them. Norway isn't actually that important in world relations. That's probably the reason I have no clue where the Keguelen Islands is. Sorry... :-)

PS: Luckily I can point out the location of Japan

skipnkai said...


kayanon said...

Hi jeremie,
I tried the test. This is fun to take! and I could answer most questions fortunately. The answer I couldn't choose was El Nino because I have no idea what I should pronunce...This word is Spanish, right?

kayanon said...

Hello pierre-yann,
I also memorized whole countries in my junior high school, but I forget half of them, i think.

By the way, I don't know where is Kerguelen islands. (even I have never heard of the name before...)

jeremie said...

Yes, in Spanish niño means little boy or children. But with a capital letter El Niño means Christ Child.
The name of this meteorological phenomenon comes from the fact that it arrives around Christmas and it affects principally Latin America.

Oh and there is a little mistake in the test: it's not perfectly exact to say that the European Union "endorses the euro as the common currency for its members".
In fact it's just the members of the Economic and Monetary Union (or euro zone) that have the euro as a common currency. Only 12 of the 25 members of the European Union have the euro as a currency.

kayanon said...

Thank you for your comment, Alex. That is a little embarrassing story, but probably could happen to Japanese students who learn English.

kayanon said...

Hi erika,
I thought the same! The result was a little amazing for Japanese.

kayanon said...

Hello juhis,
Of course, you know where Japan is located because you can use Japanese well!! (and other funny words)

kayanon said...

Hi fabi,
I probably can point Germany, and I am sure the places of France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and countries in the Scandinavian Peninsula, I don't have confidence about pointing small countries in Europe though...

kayanon said...

勿論、オクラホマの位置は知ってますよ!skipnkaiさんのブログ見て、すぐに確認しましたから ww。 地図ってその国が中心にくるって言いますけど、私がカナダにいたときに見た地図はアメリカ大陸は中心に来ていなかった記憶があります。むしろ日本の世界地図と似ていました。(日本よりの語学学校だったからかな? 笑)

Pierre-Yann said...

Kerguelen islands
It's easy for me because it's french, but it is also easily spotted on a world map, because it's very isolated:
south-east of Africa, north of Antartica

kayanon said...

Thank you for your comment, ragge. "People always think Norway is the capital of Sweden.. " really? I think Norway is approved as one country in Japan, some of them may not know where it is located though.