In Focus: Trade Inside the European Union

Featured

Political InsightThe outcome of the referendum over the United Kingdom’s membership of the European Union raises some crucial questions over the country’s economic relationship with the remaining 27 member states. Economic issues over trade were among the most heavily debated issues throughout the campaign. Now that the decision has been made, existing ties with the EU need to be carefully considered in any future trade relationship with the European Union. In a contribution for the “In Focus” section of Political Insight (December 2016, Volume 7, Issue 3) I mapped out Britain’s complex trading relations with the rest of the European Union and created a series of cartograms from the underlying statistics:

Continue reading

Nuclear Energy and Risk

Featured

Nuclear power contributes only a small share to the global energy production. According to the World Energy Statistics 2015 published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) nuclear power accounts for 4.8% of the total primary energy supply worldwide, far behind oil (31.1%), coal (28.9%), natural gas (21.4%) and even behind biofuels and waste (10.2%).
Of the producers of nuclear power, the United States are by far the largest with 33.2% of the world’s total, followed by France (17.1%) and Russia (7.0%). The United Kingdom’s production accounts for 2.9%. In contrast, France generates the largest share of its domestic electricity generation from nuclear power (74.4%). It is followed by Sweden (43.4%), Ukraine (43.0%) and South Korea (25.8%), while the United Kingdom comes fifth with 19.2%.

Cartogram of Nuclear Power Plants in the World
(click for larger version)

Continue reading

Global HIV Prevalence

Featured

As part of the new Sustainable Development Goal 3 which aims to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages” the UN concludes, that “the incidence of [HIV] has declined globally since 2000. […] The incidence of HIV was highest in sub-Saharan Africa, with 1.5 new cases per 1,000 uninfected people.” Despite longer term positive trends, a recent UNAIDS report stated that “new HIV infections among adults have stalled, failing to decline for at least five years.” This shows that HIV remains a global challenge that needs continuing prevention efforts and ongoing awareness and education. In 2015 it was estimated that globally 34.0 to 39.8 million people are living with HIV. The following cartogram shows the countries of the world resized according to the adult population (aged 15-49) living with HIV, complemented by two maps showing the corresponding relative percentages:

HIV Prevalence Map / Cartogram
(click for larger version)

Continue reading

Out of Africa: Humanity’s Journey around the Planet

Featured

It took a long time for humankind to move out of Africa and inhabit the rest of the planet. Archaeological research and genetic studies based on fossils found in plains of east Africa suggest that modern humans evolved nearly 200,000 years ago. Palaeontological findings and genetic footprints are also the basis for current theories of how modern humans (Homo sapiens) started spreading around the globe. Such models and timings keep changing, with new discoveries being made on a fairly regular basis.
The below map illustrates the migration of humanity across the Earth with all movement originating in Africa and with the estimated dates of arrival shown at key directions and locations. The dates are based on a number of scientifically validated estimates. They build upon the ‘Out of Africa’ model that assumes the spread of modern humans from their African origins across the globe, superseding any other human species that had lived in parts of the planet before (and sometimes as) Homo sapiens arrived.

Map of Human Migration
(click for larger version)

Continue reading

US Presidential Election 2016

Featured

The electorate of the United States of America has come to a decision about who is to become their next president. But not quite the whole electorate went to the polls: Turnout was at a long-term low with about 55% of voting age citizen having cast their ballot in the 2016 presidential election. Long gone are the days in which up to around 80% of the electorate went to the polls: This was last seen in the 19th century.
60,265,858 votes (47.3%) were cast for Donald Trump, while Hillary Clinton received 60,839,922 votes (47.8%). Other candidates put together reached 6,226,950 votes (4.9%). The following cartogram shows the distribution of votes for the two main candidates. Shown in diverging colours is each respective candidate who received the largest share of votes in each county. The cartogram itself shows an equal-population projection (gridded population cartogram) where each grid cell in the map is resized according to the total number of people living there. The main cartogram is accompanied by a second cartogram showing the distribution of votes that went to neither of the two candidates, and a ‘conventional’ reference map that also shows the states of Alaska and Hawaii:

Gridded Population Cartogram of the US Presidential Election 2016
(click for larger and labelled version)

Continue reading

A Lonely Planet: Á hverfanda hveli?

This is the Icelandic version of a poster on mapping wilderness and remote areas created for the the 2016 Science Day at the University of Iceland (Vísindadagur Verkfræði- og náttúruvísindasvið, Háskóli Íslands):
Víðerni og afskekkt landsvæði ná yfir margbreytileg svæði á yfirborði jarðar. Slík svæði eru strjálbýl og eru að hluta til afsprengi af skipulagi sem hvetur til þéttingar byggða. Yfir helmingur jarðarbúa í dag býr á svæðum sem skilgreind eru sem borgir, og meira en 95% jarðarbúa býr á um 10% af yfirborði lands. Hin 90 prósentin eru þó fjarri því að vera einsleit víðernissvæði, Það eru mismunandi skoðanir á því hvort og þá hvernig eigi að nýta hin óbyggðu svæði heims.
Aðeins um 15% fólks í ríkari hluta heimsins býr í meira en klukkustundar fjarlægð frá næstu borg. Í fátækari hluta heimsins er hlutfallið 65%. Hér er kynnt nýstárleg nálgun á myndrænni framsetningu og skilningi á hinum afskekktu landsvæðum jarðar sem eru að líkindum hennar síðustu víðerni. Notuð er tækni sem kalla má „bjöguð hnitvörpun“ (gridded cartogram transformation). Tæknin er notuð til kortleggja hversu fjarlæg svæði eru í hugum meirihluta mannkyns. Niðurstöður sýna umfang afskektra svæða eins og það birtist með tilliti til ferðatíma til næstu borgar, hvort sem er yfir land, vötn eða sjó. Stærð hverrar svæðiseiningar byggir á útreikningi þess tíma. Kortið gefur afskekktum svæðum aukið rými og veitir nýja sýn á svæðisbundið umfang afskekktra svæða í hlutfalli við þéttbýl svæði.

Wilderness - Icelandic
(click for larger version)

Continue reading