We have been through a lot with Dave. Lately, he is a bit strange. He always looks like he's trying to tell me something -- maybe some sort of confession.

Today he sent me these maps. I know that those are the maps of Brazil, France, Australia, Turkey, Sweden, Brazil (again), Germany, and Holland.

However, I could not figure out why on Earth he would send me a bunch of maps. What is he trying to tell me? Why are some territories marked? Can you help me?

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Partial answer: from images to codes

In Brazil (first time), the coloured regions are

Roraima (RR), Rondonia (RO), Tocantins (TO), Piaui (PI), Rio Grande do Norte (RN), Paraiba (PB), Goias (GO), Bahia (BA), Sergipe (SE), Minas Gerais (MG), Rio de Janeiro (RJ), Espírito Santo (ES), Rio Grande do Sul (RS). These are according to the official states of Brazil and the ISO standard codes.

In France, the coloured regions are

Pays de la Loire (PDL), Centre-Val de Loire (CVL), Ile-de-France (IDF), Nouvelle-Aquitaine (NAQ), Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes (ARA), Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur (PAC). Again these are according to the official regions of France and the ISO standard codes.

In Australia, the coloured regions are

Northern Territory (NT), South Australia (SA), New South Wales (NSW), Victoria (VIC). Again these are according to the official states/territories of Australia and the ISO standard codes.

In Turkey, the coloured regions are

Yalova (77), Nevşehir (50), Sivas (58), Artvin (8), Van (65). These are according to the ISO standard codes, this time numbers instead of letters.

In Sweden, the coloured regions are

Skåne (M/12), Blekinge (K/10), Östergötland (E/5), Örebro (T/18), Södermanland (D/4), Harjedalen, Medelpad, Angermanland, Vasterbotten, Norrbotten. This is complicated as there are different ways of dividing Sweden and the map shown in the OP here doesn't actually correspond to the counties used for ISO codes but instead to the historical provinces, which as far as I can tell don't have nice neat codes like ISO.

In Brazil (second time), there are no coloured regions.

In Germany, the coloured regions are

Schleswig-Holstein (SH) and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania (MV), according to the states and their ISO codes.

In the Netherlands, the coloured regions are

South Holland (ZH), Utrecht (UT), and Limburg (LI), according to the official provinces and their ISO codes.

Now we have (more or less) a list of ISO codes. It remains to figure out what order to put them in and how to extract meaning from these sequences of letters and numbers.

  • $\begingroup$ Great effort! There is one thing I should mention, though. I think Dave considered provinces instead of Counties in Sweden. $\endgroup$ – padawan Aug 2 '20 at 13:00
  • $\begingroup$ @padawan Sweden was the puzzling one indeed ... but using provinces rather blows my hope that the ISO codes would resolve to a nice cipher thing. Maybe I need to order all the subregions of each country in some way (area? population?) and allot them numbers accordingly, again to get some kind of ciphertext. The second Brazil is still puzzling though. $\endgroup$ – Rand al'Thor Aug 2 '20 at 13:01
  • $\begingroup$ That's a clever take on puzzle, but maybe we can leave ISO codes out of it. $\endgroup$ – padawan Aug 2 '20 at 13:17

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