September 6, 2007

Worldmapper: The world as you've never seen it before

I love graphs. A well thought out graph that displays multiple pieces of information just knocks my socks off. (OK, so I'm barefoot. But you get the idea.)

In college I came across a book called Target Earth that turned each country into a rectangle and then sized that rectangle according to the data that was being addressed. For example, a graph regarding populations by country wouldn't show the size of the country's rectangle based on land mass, but on total population. So China and India ballooned out and the USSR (that tells you how old this book is) shrunk to a bitty strip.

I've never seen another book like it, until now. (Well, I suppose I'm using the term "book" lightly here.) contains a marvelous series of maps that are very similar to the ones in Target Earth, except that the countries are allowed to retain at least a vestige of their proper shape (helping to more easily identify them on the map).

The picture to the upper right represents the population of the world in 1 AD Gregorian calendar (3761 Hebrew calendar, Mayan calendar, 544 Buddhist calendar).

Other maps cover such data as: resources, housing, education, disease, communication, transportation, manufacturing, and so on.


  1. Fascinating! I kept waiting for Canada to show up for something - apparently, their forte is Hydroelectric Power.

    Go USA! (Prisoners) : (

  2. Pretty interesting. Took me some time though to figure out what the sources were...and actually still not entirely certain.

  3. that's weird. it's not loading for me anymore, either.

    hmmm, you'd think they'd at least put up a "we're updating the site" kind of sign or something.

  4. By the way, it's not entirely unheard of for a university to decide that it no longer wants to provide bandwidth for sites that get too popular. At my university, a pair of grad students put a catalog of their favorite links on a web site accessible to the entire Internet. I was on campus when the university decided to shut down the site (called "akebono" back then) because it was getting too much traffic. The grad students who ran the web site decided that their site was way too useful to just give up and let the university shut them down, so they went off campus and founded a company to capitalize on the popularity of their web site. They called their company "Yahoo!"

  5. % whois -h
    Registrant Phone:+44.1142227964

    Or, if you wanted to see the site as it looked like yesterday...*/

    Aloha mai Nai`a!

  6. well, clicking on the original link seems to be working again. i suppose that means Hippo is feeling better?

  7. It's interesting I guess, but I'd rather have hard data. I can't tell what most of the countries are just by looking at the map.

  8. In a way... Acheron is definitely better now. It looks like there's actually a stealth master after all (called Psylocke), so maybe Hippo wasn't actually sick but was supposed to defer to Psylocke. Maybe the problem was on Psylocke, and Hippo never had any problems all along. Debugging Internet problems is more fun than a good mystery novel. :)

  9. This looks great, thanks. Very interesting.


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