Which country is the most rectangular? Wait for it … wait for it …
Someone actually coded this out and has a ranking of countries along with images. It seems to work pretty well except for countries made up of many similarly sized islands.
The method is pretty simple. Assume a rectangle with the same area as the country. Overlap them. Take the ratio of the area of the rectangle to that of the country, getting a number between 0 and 1. Then have an optimization algorithm optimize over changing the length and width of the rectangle.
For Egypt, that ratio is 0.955. For the U.S. it’s only 0.735 (mostly because of Alaska). Even Canada is more rectangular than the U.S., because it’s northern archipelago is closer in to the central region of the country than Alaska is to ours.
Gee. I wonder if you did this for states if Colorado and Wyoming would tie at 1.
The vXboy is a bit of an online geography quiz nut. I can’t wait to show him when he gets up in 3-5 hours.†
† I wonder if vXboy is an appropriate code word for someone who’s going to be 18 next winter.