The World Factbook

Kudos go out to Peter Vogel for his comment on yesterday’s post “Whatever happened to … PCGlobe“.


His comment jogged a few brain cells here.  I know that there was a time when PCGlobe was the answer to so many questions and, sadly, it stopped updates.  In a connected world where information is but a click away, a software package that requires installation gets quickly outdated.  It’s especially bad in education where you might have your computer imaged once a year to get the latest version of any program. Today, all we think of is “Just Google It” which does provide results that can steer you directly to the results you want.  Wikipedia, in particular, is a common destination as a result of the searches.

But, there was an intermediary resource that I used in workshops to fill in the gap after PCGlobe went away and Peter’s mention of it brought back great memories of its use.  The resource was The CIA World Factbook” or as it’s called now just “The World Factbook“.

Navigation is dead simple.  Either enter your country or narrow things down by selecting a continent.

Once selected, you can narrow things down by country.

If you’re interested in what’s recorded for Canada, you’ll have access to a large amount of information.  Transnational issues are always an interesting read; where does Canada currently have world dispute?

As with all information sources, it’s a wise idea to consider the source and look for other resources to confirm anything that you plan to use in an academic setting.

I always get a kick from checking out world flags.  So often, country official standards are the same size but the flags of countries such as Nepal have always intrigued me.  The colour choice and other things included in design are always interesting.

Many thanks to Peter for this job along memory lane.


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