A picture may be worth a thousand words, but what about a map?

Martin Elmer, a Wisconsin-based cartographer and graphic designer, has created a typographical map of the world featuring the most-used word in each country's Wikipedia history page. According to MapHugger, Elmer's blog, the map was created by running the countries' "History Of" pages through a word cloud, selecting the most common descriptive word (no "the" or "and"), and fitting it into each country's borders.

Titled "Laconic History of The World," the map represents 176 different countries and reveals some interesting, if not startling, aspects of our global history. A companion reader compiled by Elmer details the following tidbits, among others:

  • 16 percent of countries had "war" as their most common word, including nearly all of Western Europe.
  • One-fourth of all countries had their most common word be a colonial power. Of these, Britain had the most, with 16 countries.
  • Some countries' most common word was the name of a nearby country. For example, "Hungary" is actually Slovakia, while "India" is Pakistan.

LOOK:

(Click here for a full-sized, high-resolution version of the map. You can find Elmer's companion reader here.)

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  • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

  • A former Prime Minister <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/8536620.stm">triggered uproar</a> in the European Parliament when he suggested that Martin Schulz, a heckling German MEP who had criticised him, would be perfectly cast as a Nazi concentration camp guard in a forthcoming film.

  • Silvio Berlusconi

  • In remarks translated by Reuters, one world leader <a href="http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/03/06/ahmadinejad-calls-911-a-big-fabrication/">claimed</a> that the attacks on the World Trade Center was staged.

  • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

  • A president who routinely blames capitalism for many of this world's troubles, pointed elsewhere in the galaxy for his latest critique, <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704461304576217060217916894.html">saying</a> on state TV that the economic system may have destroyed life on Mars

  • Hugo Chavez

  • <a href="http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/newsdesk/2012/10/the-crisis-in-a-nutshell-quotes-of-the-week-15.html#ixzz2BlHOZTRn">Reacting</a> to the drawing of a bomb that Benjamin Netanyahu displayed at the United Nations.

  • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

  • A world leader <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1534596/The-wisdom-of-Chavez.html">said</a>, referring to Condoleezza Rice.

  • Hugo Chavez

  • <a href="http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/07/11/netanyahu-military-threats-stop-iran-building-nukes/">Reacting</a> to the idea of participating in an U.N. conference on a nuclear-free Middle East.

  • Benjamin Netanyahu

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  • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

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  • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

  • <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15642201">Declared</a> a former prime minister at the end of a G20 summit in November 2011, as the country was facing the worst of the economic crisis.

  • Silvio Berlusconi

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  • Hugo Chavez

  • Humble <a href="http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-15642201">declaration </a>of a former prime minister in April 2011.

  • Silvio Berlusconi

  • Surprise <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/30/venezuela-election-obama-idUSL1E8KU37A20120930">endorsement</a> for Barack Obama as both presidents were facing tight reelection fights.

  • Hugo Chavez

  • At a EU summit, a former president allegedly <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/nicolas-sarkozy-quotes-france-2012-2?op=1#ixzz2BlJk5dfj">whispered</a> about Merkel's preference for cheese to other European leaders.

  • Nicolas Sarkozy

  • During an interview, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20120926/quotes/">emphasizing</a> the fact that a new world order needs to emerge, away from years of what he called American bullying and domination.

  • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

  • <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/nicolas-sarkozy-quotes-france-2012-2?op=1">Wondering</a> about former president Jacques Chirac's passion for sumo fights.

  • Nicolas Sarkozy

  • <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/iran/7816442/Mahmoud-Ahmadinejad-in-quotes.html">Referring</a> to homosexuals in September 2007.

  • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad