London 2012 means a busy year for the British capital. Not only are the 2012 Olympics coming up, but also will London be part of the Diamond Jubilee celebrations, and on the more serious side, the current economic crisis will continue to have considerable impact on the people living in a city that is heavily reliant on the global financial markets. Although London is “by far the richest part of Britain and the engine of the national economy [, yet] it also has the highest rates of poverty and inequality” (more on these issues are highlighted in the latest release of London’s Poverty Profile). In the dawn of all these events, Londoners are also electing a new mayor and assembly to decide whom they want to see in the driving seat for the next four years.
The world of cartography and maps is paying its own contribution to this city with the London Mapping Festival. “The London Mapping Festival 2011–2012 is an 18 month programme of activities designed to promote the unique range of mapping, innovative technologies and applications that exist for the Capital. The festival will showcase all mapping-related disciplines including cartography, surveying, GIS, GPS and remote sensing” (quoted from the LMF website). As part of the cartographic community, the Sasi Research Group of the University of Sheffield is an active supporter of the LMF, and we have contributed one of our maps to the new book London in Maps: a changing perspective. It brings together a wide range of contributions to the LMF’s London Map Exhibition that was on display at a wide range of events during the last months, including the Mapping Showcase 2011 early December in the Emirates Stadium. The book has a wide range of highly detailed maps, charts and cartograms, artist impressions as well as aerial and satellite images ranging from the modern day back to the 17th century. A particular focus is made on maps and images from the last 20 years, giving it a modern cartographic flavour.
Our map of the Human Shape of London is a gridded population cartogram giving every person living in the city the same amount of space. Smaller grid cells indicate fewer people living there, while larger grid cells refer to the same amount of space in the real world, but with a much higher number of people living there. And although London is generally characterised by a very high urban population density,
the grid pattern shows some significant variation in the crowdedness between the London boroughs, and even within them. The following map is a simplified version of the original map printed in the book with a lower-resolution grid that provides a more generalised overview of the population patterns:
More cartographic impressions from the book can be found in this selection of sample pages (1.8 MB PDF). The book can be ordered vie the London Mapping Festival website:
London in Maps: a changing perspective, (ISBN: 978-0-9545270-2-0, pp 200, RRP £29.99 + p&p), is available online at http://www.londonmappingfestival.org/london-in-maps. Contributions on all sales will go to the the LMF charity, Map Action, in support of the excellent work they carry out in mapping disaster zones or in support of humanitarian programmes.
We created the gridded population cartogram of London for a wider range of socioeconomic mapping of the current state of London as part of a new research project of the Sasi Research Group where we look into geographical patterns of inequality in London. The project is funded by the Trust for London and the project will continue through 2012 to 2014.