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.