The Worldmapper Rainbow

A question often asked about Worldmapper is in regard to our choice of colours for the different regions and countries. On the website we briefly explain that the colours used on the maps group the territories into 12 geographical regions, and allow for an easier visual comparison between the maps than would otherwise be possible. The shading of each territory within a region is consistent throughout all of the maps.” But there is a little bit more to the colours which tell a story about the unequal fortunes of the world which follow a general pattern along the major regions.
The colours of the world’s regions are chosen very consciously, and have a deeper sense behind their distribution. We split the world into twelve contiguous geographical regions of population groups, with every region being roughly symmetrically balanced and having at least a population of one hundred million people. This is how the world’s population is distributed:
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One world, many faces: A brief look at map projections

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Each and every map represents a distorted view of reality. Therefore, cartograms are not as unusual as they might appear at a first glance. Map projections are a central aspect of the Worldmapper project because the maps (respectively cartograms) featured in the project are basically not different from some sort of re-projection of the world, albeit in a different way than conventional projections used in cartography. Rather than trying to solve the conflicts of distortion when drawing a three dimensional surface on to a two dimensional area (be it a screen or a paper map), the worldmapper cartograms distort our image of the world on purpose and show each country in proportion to a specific topic. This is reason enough to reflect a little bit on what map projections are and in what way they create a distorted view of the world.

Worldmapper map using different projections

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