• Jeremy Rutman

Quo Vadis, Startup Nation?


This is a cartogram [1] [2], or map with areas proportional to some value of interest - in this case number of PCT patent applications per million residents. Actually it is both a cholorpleth (color based on a value of interest) and cartogram. In any case, let back up a bit:


There's a nickname bandied about for Israel, namely 'The Startup Nation' (inter alia, 'The Little Satan' and 'The Zionist Entity' being some others). Does the sobriquet hold up to the cold light of quantitative analysis? We herein endeavor to answer the question.


If we look at total PCT applications (in 2018), we reach the following list:

China, US, Japan, Germany, and Russia make up the top five, with Israel coming in at 22nd. If on the other hand we look at the top filers per capita we reach the following:

Japan, China, US, and Germany are still in the top 5 but Russia drops to 15th, right after Israel at 14th, and Luxembourg takes Russia's place. These values are what makes up the animated cartogram at the start of the post...almost. The actual values being plotted are the log of the per-capita patent applications, which I used since otherwise the few high-ranking countries grab most of the color scale. Below is the chloropleth with, scale added.



The same kind of plot can be used for other situations - for instance, the US elections being around the corner, its interesting to show the number of electors per capita.

Here's the original data in a cholorpleth:






And here's another cartogram animation:




[1] Dougenik, J. A, N. R. Chrisman, and D. R. Niemeyer. 1985. "An algorithm to construct continuous cartograms." Professional Geographer 37:75-81


[2] cartogram created using geopandas and cartogram_geopandas







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