Coding Maps

Sport in the Caribbean

Dominicans Love Baseball

When I did last week’s post about Cricket Pitches in the USA, I spotted that Puerto Rico had some cricket pitches, which I was a bit suprised by as I thought they’d prefer baseball. I re-ran my search just for Puerto Rico for baseball pitchers and saw that, as I suspected, Baseball was much more popular there. I wanted to see if the sharing of Baseball and Cricket was common throughout the Caribbean islands.

Turns out it was not: you can very clearly divide Caribbean islands into Cricket islands or Baseball islands. This is obviously (for anyone who knows about cricket, mind) a function of who was in charge of the island at the end of World War II: British Caribbean islands – collectively along with Guyana referred to as the West Indies – are into cricket in a big way, and everyone else is into baseball, with varying degrees. The Dominican Republic and Cuba are famously massively into baseball, and it shows with both islands disappearing into seas of dots marking each of the pitches. Francophone Martinique and Guadaloupe are much less into it than their northern Spanish speaking neighbours. Haiti also does not appear to have many either, however, given Haiti’s status as international development’s punching bag for 3 centuries, the quality of its OSM data is probably not going to be much good.

Source code is available here:

Plotting the Caribbean using Natural Earth turned out to be a major pain in the arse because areas of the Caribbean are actually tagged as continental Europe, as places like Martinique, Guadaloupe Sint Maaten and others are overseas territories of European countries. Does anyone have any ideas for how to get around this other than the botch job of :

wm = gpd.read_file('../maps/ne_10m_admin_0_countries_lakes.shp').set_index('NAME')

carib = wm[
    (wm['SUBREGION'] == 'Caribbean') 
    | (wm['SUBREGION'] == 'Western Europe') 

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