This map is part of this weekend’s Map Marathon at the Royal Geographical Society in London. It is an event of Serpentine Gallery and was conceived by curator Hans Ulrich Obrist (here an interview with him talking about the event) . This is a quote from the official announcement:
The Serpentine Gallery Map Marathon will bring together an unprecedented group from diverse fields to showcase possible maps for the coming decade. The Map Marathon will explore all forms of mapping, of data, space and time, multiple dimensions, language and the body. The event will uncover the influence and possibilities of mapping in our world today.
A similar version of this map has already been shown in some of my presentations (and those of the Sasi Research Group), and it is also a contribution for the forthcoming “Maps for the 21st Century” book to be published in 2011:
And this is part of the caption that goes along with the map: The new world map creates an unprecedented view on the world’s population which allows new perspectives for mapping the social dimension of our planet. The projection creates space in areas that matter most in a human world. Mapping the physical terrain onto this map reveals at which elevation most people live on earth. Most people living at high elevations live in East and South Africa, whereas in East Asia the densely populated coastal plains become apparent.
Note to this cutout from German DIE ZEIT: The geologist mentioned here would rather describe himself being a geographer