Map Gallery of the Hispanic Caribbean

Outline

  1. General Reference Maps
  2. Population Density Maps

 

  1. Thematic Maps


note: click on any map for a larger view

1. General Reference Maps

Hispanic Caribbean: The Greater Antilles

Political Map of the Greater Antilles

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This is a political map of the Greater Antilles, which are the largest islands in the Caribbean Sea. Included on this map are the Spanish-speaking countries of Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico. The political map highlights the capitals, large cities, and major roadways on each island. Also included on the map are the Lesser Antilles, which are the smaller and less populated islands – many of which are not Hispanic islands. The map does not have a scale or a legend, but it can be assumed that the bold and starred cities are the capitals.

Relief Map of the Hispanic Caribbean

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The relief map of the Hispanic Caribbean highlights the topography of the region. Cuba has a generally flat appearance, with exceptions in the southeastern portion of Cuba and a few random spots in the western half of the country. The Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico’s interiors are of a higher elevation than their coastlines. This map is a cropped portion of a larger map that includes the entire Caribbean, some of eastern Mexico and parts of northeastern South America. The scale of the topography on this map is not evident on the cropped portion nor on the original map, so it is difficult to know just how different the elevation levels are on each island.

Cuba

Political Map of Cuba

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The political map of Cuba is similar to the political map of the Caribbean in color and design. It shows the major roadways that link the country together, as well as large cities including the capital of Havana. Unlike the Caribbean political map, this one does include a scale and legend. The different colored sections of Cuba are meant to represent the fourteen different provinces that Cuba is divided into. The map also has labeled other areas, such as Guantanamo Bay.

Relief Map of Cuba

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Cuba is a relatively flat island, as shown by this relief map.  The map vividly displays the elevation differences with bright colors. However, the legend is hard to read. The green colors represent lower elevations from about 1 – 245 meters. This elevation dominates the central portion of the island and most of the western part of the island. The orange and red colors on the map represent elevations between 300 – 1000 meters. The peaks of the mountains are shown by the brown colors which equal elevations between 1200 and 1695 meters.

Dominican Republic

Political Map of the Dominican Republic

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This political map of the island of Hispaniola highlights the country of the Dominican Republic. The map shows the thirty-one provinces of the Dominican Republic and many major cities, as well as the capital Santo Domingo. The map also shows major roadways that link the country together. There is a legible legend and scale which makes the map easier to read and understand.

Relief Map of the Dominican Republic

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This relief map of the Dominican Republic depicts the topography of the eastern half of the island of Hispaniola. The Dominican Republic is dominated by a mountain range in the center of the island called the Cordillera Central. On this map, the area is labeled and depicted as a light brown area with bumps representing the mountains. There is also another mountain range in the northern section of the island called the Cordillera Septenrional.  This map does not have a legend nor does it show elevation ranges. It only attempts to visually show the differences in topography between the mountain ranges and the flatter areas of the island.

Puerto Rico

Political Map of Puerto Rico

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This map of Puerto Rico covers the cities and roadways that cover the island. The map also shows the rivers that flow throughout the island. San Juan, the capital, is located in the northern part of the island. None of the country’s municipalities are shown on this map, however. Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States so it is not divided into provinces like Cuba and the Dominican Republic. The municipalities are cities and towns that function as secondary governments, much like counties, and are run by mayors.

 

Relief Map of Puerto Rico

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This relief map of Puerto Rico highlights how mountainous the island is. The Cordillera Central runs throughout the entire middle of the island leaving only the coastline at lower elevation. The highest peak in Puerto Rico is around 1300 meters high. Even the great national park, El Yunque, has a high peak – also called El Yunque.

2. Population Density Maps

Cuba

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 The population density map displays the urban versus rural population of the island. Only one city, Havana, has a population over 500,000. Five cities have a population between 200,000 – 500,000 and all are located in the eastern part of the island. Several provinces are highlighted by a light tan shade, indicating a very low population density. The population density of the whole island appears to be relatively low, with a few cities having the higher population densities and generally one area of each province (most likely the capitals) have a higher population density. 

 

Dominican Republic

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This is a very good population density map of the island of Hispaniola. It focuses on the Dominican Republic, but it also allows the reader to see the differences between it and Haiti. The Dominican Republic has a relatively low population density of 75 people/sq km with some areas closer to 150 persons/sq km. In comparison, the entire country of Haiti has a population density of higher than 150 persons/sq km with the capital of Port-au-Prince being the only area of very high population density. The highest population densities in the Dominican Republic exist around major cities and towns, like Santo Domingo, Santiago, La Vega, and San Cristobal.

Puerto Rico

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This population density map of Puerto Rico is interesting in that it highlights the large differences between locations of high and low population centers. The center of the island has a very low population density while areas along the coast have much higher population densities. By comparing this map to the relief map of Puerto Rico, the reader can make the correlation between low population density in the center of the island and the existence of the Cordillera Central. The coastlines are flatter and closer to economic centers such as ports, and areas of tourism along the beaches. It is also interesting to note that in El Yunque, the national park, there is still a high population density.

3. Thematic Maps

Tropical Storms and Hurricanes in the Caribbean from 1851-2004

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This map shows the origins and tracts of all named tropical storms and hurricanes to hit the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea. All of these storms originate off of the Horn of Africa and grow as they cross the warm tropical Atlantic waters. The Greater Antilles are barely visible amongst the tracts of these storms, showing how susceptible the islands are to the devastating forces of tropical storms and hurricanes. Many of the storms that hit these islands move on to affect areas along the Gulf of Mexico, such as the United States southern coastline and Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

Earthquake Risk in the Caribbean

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This map shows the peak ground acceleration rates in the Greater Antilles and the probabilities in which that rate will exceed itself within the next 50 years, causing a slippage or break between plates that would create an earthquake. The highest risks are highlighted in reds and purples. The southeastern portion of Cuba and literally the entire Dominican Republic have the highest rates of the Greater Antilles. Most of Cuba and Haiti, which suffered a devastating earthquake near the capital of Port-au-Prince in early 2010, are at a lower risk of earthquakes. Puerto Rico is at a moderate risk.

Reef Destruction Threat in the Caribbean

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This is one of the more interesting maps on the Caribbean and Greater Antilles. It shows the threat levels of reef destruction due to overfishing. The Greater Antilles are all at a high to very high risk of the loss of reefs due to overfishing, with the entire island of Puerto Rico and the northern part of Hispaniola being the two areas of highest risk. Parts of Cuba have a low risk due to overfishing, and these areas are the only parts of the Greater Antilles not at a high risk. This is an important  concern because coral reefs are the foundation of ocean ecosystems and the loss of them would cause catastrophic damage to these ecosystems around the  world.

 

 

Submitted by: Ashleigh Hartman

Last Updated on 25 April 2010

A selection of maps created for Geography 3070: Geography of South (Latin) America at the University of Nebraska at Omaha