Monday, May 14, 2018

The Roundest & Squarest Countries

The continent of Africa contains both the world's most round country and the world's most rectangular country. The roundest country in the world is Sierra Leone. Egypt is the most rectangular.

Back in 2016 David Barry worked out the most rectangular shaped countries in the world. In Rectangular Countries David wrote an algorithm to find the optimum rectangles in a list of shapes. He then applied the algorithm to all the country borders in the world, using the country shapefiles from Natural Earth.

He discovered that Egypt is the most rectangular shaped country. The Vatican and Sint Maarten came second and third. Using his algorithm the Maldives was the least rectangular country in the whole world. David's Rectangular Countries lists all the world's countries in their order of rectangular-ness.

Gonzalo Ciruelos has now carried out a very similar analysis of country shapes to find the world's roundest countries. Like David he has listed all the world's countries, but in this case in their order of roundness. According to What is the Roundest Country? Sierra Leaone is the world's roundest country. Nauru and Zimbabwe are the second and third most round countries. The Marshall Islands is the least round country.

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