Mapping people, not sheep: Why our planet’s well-being can look so different

Today I held a talk at the IDEA CETL Applied Ethics Research seminar at the University of Leeds. My talk was titled ‘Mapping people, not sheep: Why our planet’s well-being can look so different’ and focused on issues of mapping well-being in new ways. Continue reading

People powered maps: Geovisualisierung im Zeitalter der Globalisierung

Unlike the post-apocalyptic scenario in infamous Waterworld, what would a world without oceans look like? An oceanless world, so to say, but not like one of the supercontinents that we already had. Instead, more like our today’s continents in the shape of the living space of humankind. In the digital era of cartography, this kind of map is just a few clicks (and much processing time) away, and results in this map curiosity: The image of the world as an oceanless population planet:

gridded population cartogram of an oceanless world
(click for larger version)

The map has been presented first at my talk for the DGfK‘s (German Cartographic Society) colloquium at the University of Applied Sciences in Karlsruhe (a German summary can be found here). In 2013 it has been published as a E&P A feature (see here).
As it was all about visualisation (and maps, of course), I used the Prezi presentation tool to visualise this talk. Here it is:

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Gridded Cartograms and the World Population Atlas

For this year’s 46th Annual Summer School of the Society of Cartographers I recalled the making of the World Population Atlas and wrapped all material up for some contributions for the meeting. The outcome are two new posters and a presentation for the delegate’s session:

The World Population Atlas: Showing the Human Shape of the Planet
Poster: The World Population Atlas
Poster: Gridded Population Cartograms: Drawing the Human Shape of the Planet
Poster: Creating Gridded Cartograms

The content on this page has been created by Benjamin D. Hennig. You are free use the material under Creative Commons conditions (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0); please contact me for further details. I also appreciate a message if you used my maps somewhere else. High resolution and customized maps are available on request.

Magnificent Maps: Changing Perspectives

Magnificent Maps: Power, Propaganda and Art is an exhibition showing “80 of the largest, most impressive and beautiful maps ever made, from 200 AD to the present day”. The free exhibition still goes until 19 September 2010 at the The British Library in London.

The following map has been shown by Danny Dorling in one of the accompanying events. The lecture Changing perspectives: mapping global injustice by changing the view? introduced a series of maps using the gridded cartogram technique, some of which were shown to a wider audience for the first time. This map is a reprojection of the world according to the population distribution based on an equally distributed grid. The grid size in this map equals a 0.25° raster on a conventional map and a composite satellite raster image of the world has been transformed accordingly, so that the map reflects the population distribution in relation to the landscapes on which people are living:

Composite satellite image projected on a gridded world population cartogram
(click for larger view)

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The Real World at Night

The night view of the earth has become a very popular depiction of this planet. Although the NASA itself says that “The brightest areas of the Earth are the most urbanized, but not necessarily the most populated” many people mistake this view as a representation of the inhabited places on the globe. Our gridded population cartogram can help to get a better understanding of the relation of people and light. The following map is a reprojection of the earth at night that shows the nightview in relation to the population distribution. The gridlines are kept in a light colour and thus allow to identify those areas where the lines converge (representing the unpopulated regions). In contrast, the populated areas are given the most space, so that one can easily see which populated areas are literally illuminated at night – and where there are people living in darkness. The resulting map is an impressive picture of an unequal world, with large parts of Africa living in darkness, and the affluent countries in Europe and North America glowing in the dark:

The Earth at Night projected on a gridded population cartogram(click for large image)
See here for an updated and more detailed version of this map

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