I went on Post TV's The Fold, along with Beijing-based Washington Post correspondents Simon Denyer and William Wan (Denyer is the former New Delhi bureau chief), to discuss the 40 maps that explain the world.

Here's the video, and below that I've embedded the four maps we discussed as well as links to further reading on each:

1. Where people are the most and least racially tolerant

Click to enlarge. Data source: World Values Survey (Max Fisher/Washington Post)

People in blue countries are more likely to say that they would be OK with living next door to someone of a different race. People in red countries are less likely. The map suggests some big and potentially surprising lessons for how race is treated around the world. But it's an imperfect (and controversial) metric, so do read these five insights from an ethnic conflict specialist on the map and what it tells us.

2. The best and worst places to be born

Click to enlarge. Data source: Economist intelligence unit. (Max Fisher/Washington Post)

Here's how they decided which countries are best to born in and what this map tells us about the world.

3. How the U.S. and China compare on global popularity

Blue countries view the U.S. more favorably than they do China; red countries are the reverse. Data source: Pew (Max Fisher/The Washington Post)

This map is actually mostly good news for the United States. Here's why.

40. The world as seen from space, over a 12-month time-lapse

The Fold's Brook Silva-Braga opened the show with this one, and it's great. This NASA moving image, recorded by satellite over a full year as part of their Blue Marble Project, shows the ebb and flow of the seasons and vegetation. Both are absolutely crucial factors in every facet of human existence -- so crucial we barely even think about them. It's also a reminder that the Earth is, for all its political and social and religious divisions, still unified by the natural phenomena that make everything else possible.

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