A birthday gift brought me a new collection of maps - ones with stories to tell. Strange Maps, An Atlas of Cartographic Curiosities by Frank Jacobs (http://bigthink.com/blogs/strange-maps) is filled with fascinating bits of information. Want to know how many kisses to offer as a greeting in France? Check out his Turn the Other Cheek map (and visit the website http://combiendebises.free.fr)
Traveling to South Carolina in the United States and curious about the regional food BBQ or barbecue? Check the map May the Sauce Be with You: Battle Lines in the Barbeque Wars. You’ll quickly see whether vinegar, mustard are the preferred ingredient to this famous sauce.
And for another way at comparing countries of the world check a map that's not in the book. Countries in the world are overlaid on a United States map matching countries to US States based on the GDP of both countries and states.
Although a little dated, created in 2007, it’s fun to see the matches. California and France; Texas with Canada; Ohio and Australia, New York holds Brazil and Tennessee matches with Saudi Arabia. While the numbers have changed over the last seven years, the idea of the map offers a fresh way to consider the economies of the world.