World Mapper
October 2, 2008 3:21 PM   Subscribe

Worldmapper is a collection of world maps, where territories are re-sized on each map according to the subject of interest. There are now nearly 600 maps.
posted by y2karl (28 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
Also see:'s Atlas of the Real World.
posted by ericost at 3:36 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

Toy exports
Forest loss
HIV Prevalence
Voter turnout

Interesting stuff, y2karl.
posted by cortex at 3:42 PM on October 2, 2008

I like these, side by side: this (imports) and this (exports).
posted by rtha at 3:46 PM on October 2, 2008

Australia becomes positively petite on the Total Population map.
posted by JaredSeth at 3:54 PM on October 2, 2008

And it took me a minute to realize what that skinny nation over China was.
posted by JaredSeth at 3:57 PM on October 2, 2008


The religious distribution maps are cool; who knew that Pagans were so sparse in the U.S.ofA.? Somebody's been lying to me... again.
posted by wendell at 3:57 PM on October 2, 2008

For a really interesting side by side comparison: the richest fifth and the poorest tenth look almost identical.

Ok, I'm done now. Really.
posted by JaredSeth at 4:15 PM on October 2, 2008

Why is Canada so consistently emaciated? Are all the stats just raw totals rather than a more sensible per capita?
posted by Sys Rq at 4:15 PM on October 2, 2008

Wow, cool! Thanks, k-man.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:22 PM on October 2, 2008

I don't understand why Australia is so shrunken in the voter turnout map. We have compulsory voting. You have to vote or you get fined or jailed.
posted by Jimbob at 4:36 PM on October 2, 2008

Nice, a vast improvement over the blocky State of the World atlases from the 80's-90's
posted by Zangal at 4:37 PM on October 2, 2008

The technical term for these kinds of maps is cartogram. One of the most famous uses of cartograms is in recasting results from American elections to reflect population size rather than geographic area. Some more interesting stuff here.

Thanks, y2karl. And welcome back to the front page!
posted by googly at 4:46 PM on October 2, 2008 [2 favorites]

As seen on metafilter?
posted by Wet Spot at 4:47 PM on October 2, 2008

Jimbob: I wondered the same thing, it's the average from 1945-1998, but that still doesn't make sense because voting has been compulsory there since the 20s.

Perhaps it's because of the low overall population density? It looks practically identical on the "total population" map.
posted by blasdelf at 4:52 PM on October 2, 2008

As much as I love cartograms, they make a lot more sense when the thing your measuring is somehow related (or surprisingly unrelated) to the land area. Anything that is more useful or interesting when compared against population (# of people in category x, # of units of resource y used, etc.) kinda loses its impact in this format because the most stunning feature is mostly due to the population skew. Of course, the population cartogram itself is fantastic for precisely this reason. Also, when you have to read the caption to figure out that the giant blob taking up most of the map is, say, Taiwan, then it's not really very useful to be using a map to present the data.

I guess I'm just saying that I'd rather see more of the cartograms about natural resources, ecology, and weather than the ones about human demographics.
posted by ErWenn at 5:00 PM on October 2, 2008

Awesome. Just awesome. Thank you, y2karl.
posted by joe lisboa at 5:03 PM on October 2, 2008

Fruit Exports
Fruit Imports

Wonderful visualization aids, thanks. If it was posted before under the other URL, I missed it, so thanks again.
posted by mediareport at 5:14 PM on October 2, 2008

Jimbob, blasdelf: That's basically what I was referring to re: shriveled Canada.

Take this map, for instance. You might assume that the map, labeled "Men's Income," reflects each territory's average male income. Nope. Total male income. It's the total amount of money earned by each territory's male population.

That's weird.

It seems like all the maps are like that for some reason. It means that the most densely population areas are generally going to be big, and the less densely populated ones small, except when something like really super extreme poverty comes into play.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:17 PM on October 2, 2008

hrrrr drooool.... MAP PR0N
posted by not_on_display at 5:20 PM on October 2, 2008

Nice post, thanks y2karl!
posted by carter at 5:40 PM on October 2, 2008

Map of the week: Global wealth.

Previously and previously.
posted by nickyskye at 8:49 PM on October 2, 2008

World related:

If the world could vote.

World statistics updated in real time.

Worldnames: Search for a Surname to view its Map and Statistics.
posted by nickyskye at 8:57 PM on October 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

This site is absolutely amazing. Not only the graphs, but the data explaining each graph.
posted by xorry at 11:04 PM on October 2, 2008

Most excellent.
posted by dg at 5:23 AM on October 3, 2008

This reminds me of the old maps that used to have parts of Europe appear considerably bigger than India. Perhaps they were cannon cartograms.
posted by ersatz at 6:01 AM on October 3, 2008

Wow...just wow...There are more shipping containers loaded and unloaded off the coasts and rivers of China, than travel to or from all other territories put together. Great post.
posted by adamvasco at 7:03 AM on October 3, 2008

That's great information!
posted by lrkuperman at 8:21 AM on October 3, 2008

A selection of cartograms in blog form (self link)
posted by Jaltcoh at 4:51 AM on October 6, 2008

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