Random Color World Subdivisions map
The new World map features all countries divided into their first-level subdivisions (provinces, states, counties, etc.).

You can find the brand new detailed World map here!

Admittedly, this map has been on my to-do list for a really long time. After publishing Europe Detailed, the first in a series of continent subdivisions maps, there has been a constant request from users of MapChart to provide a World map with the same features.

User feedback for a World subdivisions map.
User feedback for a World subdivisions map.

Of course, it wasn’t easy to develop such a map. The detailed maps were already hard to get right (namings/borders) due to the sheer number of subdivisions shown. Likewise, there was also the issue of the size of the final web page; I have found that a MapChart page with a map of over >2 MB size tends to become pretty slow and sometimes stall, especially on lower-end machines or older browsers. As an aside, here are some stats regarding the detailed continent maps:

MapChart PageNo. of subdivisionsFile Size
Europe Detailed1,1671,825 KB
Asia Detailed 1,1601,549 KB
Africa Detailed 9131,522 KB
Americas Detailed5811,049 KB
Oceania Detailed80231 KB

However, this was not enough to stop me from trying to find a way to make the fully detailed World subdivisions map available!

After merging all the continents into one file, I needed to essentially redo Europe as it had been in a different projection from the rest (the final map is in Robinson projection). Then, a series of optimizations were performed to make the file size as small as possible. Namely, you may notice that there are some gaps inbetween some of the provinces, as the precision in the new World map is a bit lower from the other detailed maps. This was the only way to have a file size that would be editable in a web page; some of the largest gaps have already been fixed manually.

Finally, some countries just had too many subdivisions, like Slovenia and North Macedonia. This made coloring their tiny provinces almost impossible, so I decided to redraw them with a different level of administrative subdivisions:

Slovenia and North Macedonia updated with theirs NUTS 3 subdivisions.

After all these steps, the map finally reached a proper balance of detail and size, with 2,954 KB in size and featuring 3,643 subdisions of all countries in the World. Here it is, in all its glory:

world provinces map light theme
The world map showing all countries’ provinces, states, counties, etc.

Of course, to help with the map-making process, it already comes equipped with a set of tools that will make your life easier:

The tools available on the World subdivisions map.

Taking advantage of these tools, you can color or even isolate the subdivisions of one or more countries, as well as perform a search on the map. This gives you the ability to quickly color the map and fully customize it to your needs:

world provinces map dark theme

As usual, the Zoom feature should be a powerful tool in the process of fine-tuning your map. You can also check the tutorial on this blog post on how to create a map focusing on the subdivisions of a single country or region, like Eurasia or Middle East.

My belief is that this map, apart from its traditional use, will be a really great resource for working on alternate history (what if?) scenarios, since it provides the user with a World map template that can fully be customized.

alternate history world map europe war

Moreover, it is now possible to create a travel map showing your travels on the detailed World map scale:

world travel map

In conclusion, I have to say that this map has been my ultimate goal for MapChart. It has been a lot of work to make sure it is designed with the utmost attention to detail and functionality. So feel free to experiment and have fun with the new World subdivisions map on MapChart!

PS.: I would be really interested in checking out maps created with this template, so you are welcome to send me your creations through the Feedback page!