Beyond fire and ice: Mapping Iceland in the 21st Century

Iceland and maps have a long tradition in the history of cartography. From the first maps of the country in the 16th century (including works from cartographers such as Ortelius and Mercator, also featuring some nice sea monsters) to today’s advanced digital mappings of Iceland’s diverse natural environment (such as this innovative mapping of water in Iceland or this quite beautiful representation of contour lines), Iceland never really had a lack of quite good cartographic works. Much less covered than the natural environment are the social landscapes of the country, such as this just recently updated version of a gridded population cartogram of the country where each grid cell is proportional to the number of people living in that area:

Gridded Population Cartogram of Iceland
(click for larger version)

When I created the original version of this map in 2009 for the Worldmapper Population Atlas, it was the first cartogram of Iceland that was every produced, although the original version was a less detailed one, based on a less accurate population grid (and also being more ignorant with very few labels on the towns and cities, which is a bit more detailed in the above map).
Other human cartographic representations are very rare, so that I used this theme to look into the future of mapping (in) Iceland in the 21st century for a talk at the 30th Anniversary Symposium of the Association of Icelandic Geographers (Afmælisráðstefna Félags landfræðinga 2016) which took place last month in the National Museum of Iceland (Þjóðminjasafns Íslands) in Reykjavík. These were the slides that I showed during the talk – with a lot of maps from the past, present – and a little bit of where the future could be heading towards:

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  1. Pingback: Maps of the day: Two different views of Iceland | eats shoots 'n leaves