Whereas standard maps offer an approachable means of visualizing the world, Worldmapper’s striking cartograms work the other way, de-stabilizing the earth as we know it while focusing upon some of the planet’s most vital topics. From population density to oil consumption and CO2 levels, these radically redefined maps incorporate data and figures to create a shifting series of unfamiliar landscapes that form excellent visual metaphors of their content.
The proportion of people that will start living in urban areas between 2002 and 2015
By making their maps malleable, Worldmapper trades cut-and-dried boundaries and delineations for a radically altered series of worldscapes that leave an immediate impression. Take a look at the map above and you can see our production of CO2 in 2000 – notice the bloated beasts of the industrial world are busting at the seams as they spew carbon into the atmosphere.
Data can be easy to manipulate, so the folks at Worldmapper are very upfront in providing the sources for their information and are open to opinions on how to better represent it. According to their website:
“We are not experts on many of the subjects that we map but are aware that international data can be unsatisfactory and inadequate. By making such data more accessible, we hope to encourage the provision of good quality international data. If you have advice on how to improve it, please approach the organisation, given in the technical notes, providing our data. We would like to be told of secondary sources of data for territories where we have had to make estimates.”