"So if I am able to preserve this writing of mine…I would like you to give it the title 'House of Glass.'"

Where Do You Live Relative to _____ ?

The purpose of this map is to show relative distances in South East Asia (red) compared to relative distances in North America (blue).  Both maps are shown at the same scale and are overlain such that my home town—Dallas, TX—and Peace Corps site—Banyuwangi—are located in the same spot, marked by a gold star.

People in Indonesia often ask me, “How far away do you live from New York?  Your friends?  Etc.?”  Likewise, people in the United States ask me, “How far away were you from the large earthquake?  Singapore?  Etc.?”  Now you can see for yourself.

Blue Stars are places of interest in the U.S. and are plotted on the U.S. map.  Red Stars are places of interest in South East Asia and are plotted on that map.  For example, the recent large earthquake off the coast of Banda Aceh (April 2012) was as far away from my site as the northern coast of California is from Dallas.  This should help you understand why I didn’t feel any vibrations from the shock.  Another example, I attend graduate school almost as far away from my parents in Dallas as the Philippines is away from Banyuwangi.  This helps people at my site understand how far away and ‘independent’ I was before moving half-way across the world.

For further comparison, consider the size difference between the United States (dark blue) and the island of Java (black).  About 300 million people live in the entire United States, and about 140 million people live on the island of Java alone.  Now you understand when I say that Java is the most densely populated island in the world.  The island’s population density is about equivalent with that of the New York City metro area.

Are you curious as to where something is?  Ask, and maybe I will add it to the map (provided I can keep things from getting cluttered).


South East Asia Description North America Description
Equator As projected with SE Asia map (red line) 40o North Latitude As projected with the U.S. map (blue line)
2012 April, Banda Aceh Earthquake Banda Aceh ‘strike-slip’ earthquake (M 8.6) that did not produce a tsunami and resulted in only a handful of indirect fatalities Los Angeles Entertainment capital of the U.S. (California)
2004 December, Banda Aceh Earthquake & Tsunami Indian Ocean earthquake (M 9.1) and tsunami that resulted in over 100,000 fatalities across SE Asia Des Moines, IA Capital of Iowa and largest city near my father’s hometown
Kuala Lumpur Capital of Malaysia Michigan Tech Graduate institution (Houghton, Michigan)
Singapore Economic city-state Green Bay, WI Largest city near my mother’s hometown (Wisconsin)
Krakatau Island volcano that produced the infamous 1883 eruption popularized by Simon Winchester’s Krakatoa Washington, D.C. Capital of the U.S. (District of Columbia)
Jakarta Capital of Indonesia New York City Economic capital of the U.S. (New York)
Jogjakarta Cultural capital of Java; location of infamous Gunung Merapi (not the volcano near my site)    
Bali Hindu island and location of Nyepi    
15,000km from Houghton to Banyuwangi; 16,000km from Dallas, to Banyuwangi

One response

  1. cool facts!

    truthfully Americans has never been my fave bule unless they who have lived in Indonesia (Bali not included!)

    2012 July 20 at 12.51

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