Variance in Location by Country

The Country Similarity Index attempts to quantify how similar countries are to each other relative to other countries. The index is a statistically-based way to measure this. 20% of the index is based on geography. 20% of a country’s geography score (4% of the overall Country Similarity Index score) is allocated for the country’s location. The following are the factors that were included:

Latitude

Difference in latitude can have a huge effect on the seasons in a country. While in the Northern Hemisphere it is winter in December, January, and February, it is summer in the Southern Hemisphere. Furthermore, countries near the equator do not have as extreme temperature differences, although there may be large differences in rainfall and humidity. The centroid of the country was used to determine its latitude (discounting territories not connected to their main landmass).

The CIA Factbook was the source of the information:
https://www.indexmundi.com/factbook/fields/geographic-coordinates

Countries were categorized into the following latitudes:
0-5, 6-11, 12-17, 18-23, 24-34, 35-45, 46-56, 57-67
(-)0-5, (-)6-11, (-)12-17, (-)18-23, (-)24-34, (-)35-45, (-)46-56, (-)57-67

Time Zone

The time is different depending on which country you are in. It is mostly based on their longitude. While in one country it may be the afternoon, it is the middle of the night in another country. Countries were categorized into different time zones. If a country has more than one time zone, an average of the time zones was used.

The CIA Factbook was the source of the information:
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/attachments/docs/original/standard_time_zones_of_the_world.pdf?1574343292

Continent

There is no strict definition of a continent. Some people consider Europe and Asia to be just one continent: Eurasia, while other people do not separate North and South America. Many also consider Zealandia to be a continent, despite the fact that most of its surface is now submerged. The broadest definition was used for the purposes of this exercise.  

Wikipedia was the source of the information:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continent#/media/File:Seven_continents_Australia_not_Oceania.png

The following were considered to be continents:
North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, Zealandia

Tectonic Plate

Tectonic plates divide up the world into even smaller groups than continents (with the exception of the Eurasian plate which contains parts of both Asia and Europe). They do not always directly correspond with the continents. Israel is an interesting example of a country that is one the continent of Asia, but is actually located on the African plate. Another interesting fact is that a major part of Japan is actually on the North American plate.

Wikipedia was the source of the information:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tectonic_plates#/media/File:Tectonic_plates_boundaries_World_map_Wt_180degE_centered-en.svg

The following were considered to be major tectonic plates:
North American, South American, Caribbean, Arabian, African, Eurasian, Pacific, Australian, Indian

Coast

While two different countries may be located on the same continent, they could be adjacent to completely different oceans. For instance, Somalia and Ghana are on the same continent, yet they border completely different oceans. Furthermore, Central African Republic is landlocked. Adjacency to a particular ocean certainly can affect the character of a place. The major oceans were used along with the major bodies of water between continents.

Wikipedia was the source of the information:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drainage_basin#/media/File:Ocean_drainage.png

The following bodies of water were considered:
Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Arctic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Timor Sea

Drainage Basin

In addition to countries bordering different coasts, they also have different watersheds. While Austria is not adjacent to the Mediterranean, most of its water flows into the Danube which flows into the Black Sea, and then into the Mediterranean. Although Peru borders the Pacific Ocean, most of its water actually flows into the Amazon River and then into the Atlantic. Generally these drainage basin are separated by mountain ranges. There are also some areas that do not drain into any major body of water. These are known as endorheic drainage basins.

Wikipedia was the source of the information:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drainage_basin#/media/File:Ocean_drainage.png

The following drainage basins were considered:
Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Arctic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea, Timor Sea, various Endorheic basins

Obviously there is no one clear way to determine how similar one country is to another. How would you quantify how similar one country is to another?
Please leave any thoughts in the comments section.

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