In all the news about the Crimea lately, one thing I couldn’t quite figure out was how big a place the Crimea is. I then remembered a website I discovered a while back called “

MAPfrappe allows you to take the outline of one place and superimpose it on more familiar places. It’s clever enough to change scales as you get closer to the poles, which really excites the map geek in me.

Big thanks to MAPfrappe creator Kelvin Thompson for letting me post these examples.

To my surprise, the Crimea is actually a big place. The links below compare it to the New York / New England area (where I live), as well as to London, San Francisco, Switzerland, and Russia. I always find it’s helpful to visualize this kind of thing as I try to absorb the news. The Crimea is right about the same size as Switzerland.

Luckily, there are people out there who know a lot more about the political issues than I do. David Remnick of the New Yorker (last seen at Sochi for the Winter Olympics), had a good article about it the other day. As Remnick writes of Vladimir Putin, “his dreams of staying in office until 2024, of being the most formidable state-builder in Russian history since Peter the Great, may yet founder on the peninsula of Crimea.”

Below are the MAPfrappe maps. Just scroll down to the second image to see how big the Crimea is compared to the place shown at the top of each map.

My next thing to figure out: the Ukraine or just Ukraine? the Crimea or just Crimea? That’s the kind of problem an editor can wrap his head around.


-Bill Siever

Crimea compared to New York / New England

Crimea compared to London

Crimea compared to Switzerland (just about the same size)

Crimea compared to Russia (a LOT smaller!)

Crimea compared to San Francisco




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