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There are almost 200 sovereign states in the world today; in 1950 there were only 82. Over the last half-century national self-determination has been a driving force for many states with a history of colonialism and oppression. As more borders have been added to the world map, the number of international border disputes has increased. In many cases, where the impetus toward independence has been religious or ethnic, disputes with minority groups have also caused violent internal conflict. While many newly-formed states have moved peacefully toward independence, successfully establishing government by multiparty democracy, dictatorship by military regime or individual despot is often the result of the internal power-struggles which characterize the early stages in the lives of new nations.

World Route Planner provides a searchable Europe gazetteer based on Google Maps, Driving Directions and Google Street view in the cities of Europe. World Route Planner and Google Maps together are the most comprehensive Online Satellite Imagery ever available on the Internet. Thousands of cities in Europe divided into countries, counties, administrative regions and cities. World Route Planner also provides detailed Time Zones and Daylight map for Europe. Google Maps is here for you, do not wait, explore Europe now!

The Google Street View service, i.e. to activate Street View on any city of Europe, drag above the Zoom feature the yellow little man in the map.

Facts of Europe

Europe is the world’s second smallest continent, covering 4,053,309 sq miles (10,498,000 sq km). It comprises 46 separate countries, including Turkey and the Russian Federation, although the greater parts of these nations lie in Asia.

  • Greatest extent, North–South: 2700 miles / 4300 km
  • Greatest extent, East–West: 3500 miles / 5600 km
  • Most northerly point: Ostrov Rudol’fa, Russian Federation 81° 47’ N
  • Most southerly point: Gávdos, Greece 34° 51’ N
  • Most westerly point: Bjargtangar, Iceland 24° 33’ W
  • Most easterly point: Mys Flissingskiy, Novaya Zemlya, Russian Federation 69° 03’ E
  • Highest recorded temperature: Seville, Spain 122°F (50°C)
  • Lowest recorded temperature: Ust ‘Shchugor, Russian Federation -67°F (-55°C)
  • Largest lake: Lake Ladoga, Russian Federation 7100 sq miles (18,390 sq km)
  • Highest point: El’brus, Russian Federation 18,510 ft (5642 m)
  • Lowest point: Caspian Depression, Russian Federation -92 ft (-28 m) below sea level

Physical Europe

The physical diversity of Europe belies its relatively small size. To the northwest and south it is enclosed by mountains. The older, rounded Atlantic Highlands of Scandinavia and the British Isles lie to the north and the younger, rugged peaks of the Alpine Uplands to the south. In between lies the North European Plain, stretching 2485 miles (4000 km) from The Fens in England to the Ural Mountains in Russia. South of the plain lies a series of gently folded sedimentary rocks separated by ancient plateaus, known as massifs.


Europe experiences few extremes in either rainfall or temperature, with the exception of the far north and south. Along the west coast, the warm currents of the North Atlantic Drift moderate temperatures. Although east–west air movement is relatively unimpeded by relief, the Alpine Uplands halt the progress of north–south air masses, protecting most of the Mediterranean from cold, north winds.

Shaping the continent

Successive Ice Ages have left many relict landforms across Europe. Present glaciers continue to carve peaks and valleys in the northern Atlantic Highlands and Alpine Uplands. Tectonic activity, both past and present, has shaped southern Europe and Iceland. Active volcanoes and earthquakes still occur in Italy and Greece. Europe’s extensive coastline, particularly in the northwest, is constantly modified by wave action and fluvial deposits.

Political Europe

The political boundaries of Europe have changed many times, especially during the 20th century in the aftermath of two world wars, the breakup of the empires of Austria- Hungary, Nazi Germany and, toward the end of the century, the collapse of communism in eastern Europe. The fragmentation of Yugoslavia has again altered the political map of Europe, highlighting a trend toward nationalism and devolution. In contrast, economic federalism is growing. In 1958, the formation of the European Economic Community (now the European Union or EU) started a move toward economic and political union and increasing internal migration.


Europe is a densely populated, urbanized continent; in Belgium over 90% of people live in urban areas. The highest population densities are found in an area stretching east from southern Britain and northern France, into Germany. The northern fringes are only sparsely populated.


There are three main European language groups: Germanic languages predominate in central and northern Europe; Romance languages in western and Mediterranean Europe and Romania; while Slavic languages are spoken in eastern Europe and the Russian Federation. Isolated pockets of local languages, such as Basque and Gaelic, persist and frequently provide a focus for national identity.


Despite its fragmented geography and many natural frontiers, communications in Europe are well developed. Extensive highway links allow rapid road transportation. High-speed rail connections like France’s TGV (Train à Grande Vitesse), and the Channel Tunnel have improved rail travel. Outdated communication infrastructures in parts of eastern Europe, and insufficient transportation links across the Alps, however, remain weak parts of the network.

European resources

Europe’s large tracts of fertile, accessible land, combined with its generally temperate climate, have allowed a greater percentage of land to be used for agricultural purposes than in any other continent. Extensive coal and iron ore deposits were used to create steel and manufacturing industries during the 19th and 20th centuries. Today, although natural resources have been widely exploited, and heavy industry is of declining importance, the growth of hi-tech and service industries has enabled Europe to maintain its wealth.


Europe’s wealth was generated by the rise of industry and colonial exploitation during the 19th century. The mining of abundant natural resources made Europe the industrial center of the world. Adaptation has been essential in the changing world economy, and a move to service-based industries has been widespread except in eastern Europe, where heavy industry still dominates.

Standard of living

Living standards in western Europe are among the highest in the world, although there is a growing sector of homeless, jobless people. Eastern Europeans have lower overall standards of living – a legacy of stagnated economies.

Mineral resources

Fossil fuels are Europe’s main mineral resource, although fuel demand far outstrips production. Sizeable coal reserves remain in the Donbass in Ukraine, Germany’s Ruhr Valley and Poland. Oil and gas reserves are found mainly in the North Sea, the Volga Basin and the Caucasus.

Environmental issues

The partially enclosed waters of the Baltic and Mediterranean seas have become heavily polluted, while the Barents Sea is contaminated with spent nuclear fuel from Russia’s navy. During the later stages of the 20th Century acid rain caused by unchecked emissions from factories and power stations was actively destroying northern forests. However, since then international efforts to reduce pollution have brought significant improvements in many areas.

Using the land and sea

Europe’s swelling urban population and the outward expansion of many cities has created acute competition for land. Despite this, European resourcefulness has maximized land potential, and over half of Europe’s land is still used for a wide variety of agricultural purposes. Land in northern Europe is used for cattle-rearing, pasture, and arable crops. Toward the Mediterranean, the mild climate allows the growing of grapes for wine; olives, sunflowers, tobacco, and citrus fruits. EU subsidies, however, have resulted in massive overproduction and a land “set-aside” policy has been introduced.

Countries in Europe with Google Maps and Gazetteers

Browse the most comprehensive and up-to-date online directory of countries and administrative regions in Europe. Regions and Google Maps with places in Europe are sorted in alphabetical order from level 1 to level 2 and eventually up to level 3 regions. Google Maps and Driving Directions to Europe are here for you, do not wait, explore Europe and the beautiful countries of this continent now.

Albania (12 google map locations)
Andorra (7 google map locations)
Austria (9 google map locations)
Belarus (7 google map locations)
Belgium (11 google map locations)
Bosnia and Herzegovina (3 google map locations)
Bulgaria (28 google map locations)
Croatia (21 google map locations)
Czech Republic (14 google map locations)
Denmark (5 google map locations)
Estonia (15 google map locations)
Faroe Islands (170 google map locations)
Finland (6 google map locations)
France (22 google map locations)
Germany (16 google map locations)
Gibraltar (4 google map locations)
Greece (32 google map locations)
Guernsey (22 google map locations)
Holy See (Vatican City)
Hungary (40 google map locations)
Iceland (415 google map locations)
Ireland (34 google map locations)
Isle of Man (35 google map locations)
Italy (202 google map locations)
Jan Mayen
Jersey (33 google map locations)
Latvia (31 google map locations)
Liechtenstein (11 google map locations)
Lithuania (386 google map locations)
Luxembourg (3 google map locations)
Macedonia (1945 google map locations)
Malta (266 google map locations)
Moldova (37 google map locations)
Monaco (5 google map locations)
Montenegro (3355 google map locations)
Netherlands (12 google map locations)
Norway (19 google map locations)
Poland (16 google map locations)
Portugal (20 google map locations)
Romania (42 google map locations)
Russia (122 google map locations)
San Marino (9 google map locations)
Serbia (487 google map locations)
Slovakia (9 google map locations)
Slovenia (289 google map locations)
Spain (19 google map locations)
Svalbard (7 google map locations)
Sweden (21 google map locations)
Switzerland (26 google map locations)
Ukraine (27 google map locations)
United Kingdom (203 google map locations)

The nature of politics

Democracy is a broad term: it can range from the ideal of multiparty elections and fair representation to, in countries such as Singapore, a thin disguise for singleparty rule. In despotic regimes, on the other hand, a single, often personal authority has total power; institutions such as parliament and the military are mere instruments of the dictator.

The changing world map

Decolonization In 1950, large areas of the world remained under the control of a handful of European countries. The process of decolonization had begun in Asia, where, following the Second World War, much of southern and southeastern Asia sought and achieved self-determination. In the 1960s, a host of African states achieved independence, so that by 1965, most of the larger tracts of the European overseas empires had been substantially eroded. The final major stage in decolonization came with the breakup of the Soviet Union and the Eastern bloc after 1990. The process continues today as the last toeholds of European colonialism, often tiny island nations, press increasingly for independence.

The determination of international boundaries can use a variety of criteria. Many of the borders between older states follow physical boundaries; some mirror religious and ethnic differences; others are the legacy of complex histories of conflict and colonialism, while others have been imposed by international agreements or arbitration.

Post-colonial borders

When the European colonial empires in Africa were dismantled during the second half of the 20th century, the outlines of the new African states mirrored colonial boundaries. These boundaries had been drawn up by colonial administrators, often based on inadequate geographical knowledge. Such arbitrary boundaries were imposed on people of different languages, racial groups, religions, and customs. This confused legacy often led to civil and international war.

Physical borders

Many of the world’s countries are divided by physical borders: lakes, rivers, mountains. The demarcation of such boundaries can, however, lead to disputes. Control of waterways, water supplies, and fisheries are frequent causes of international friction.

International disputes

There are more than 60 disputed borders or territories in the world today. Although many of these disputes can be settled by peaceful negotiation, some areas have become a focus for international conflict. Ethnic tensions have been a major source of territorial disagreement throughout history, as has the ownership of, and access to, valuable natural resources. The turmoil of the postcolonial era in many parts of Africa is partly a result of the 19th century “carve-up” of the continent, which created potential for conflict by drawing often arbitrary lines through linguistic and cultural areas.

This Europe map is for informational use only. No representation is made or warranty given as to its content. User assumes all risk of using Google Maps and Google Driving Directions. World Route Planner assumes no responsibility for any loss or delay resulting from such use of free Europe map.

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