Atlas of the Real World: The Planet as You've Never Seen It

Known as ‘cartograms’ these images are kind of like a hybrid of a map and a pie chart. They retain political boundaries, whilst indicating a relative weight of statistics comparing countries. For example the cartogram above shows world meat consumption. Notice how the African continent has shrunk as others like Britain and Japan have expanded considerably. We’re also told that China chews down on a 25% of world’s meat, while only having 20% of the population.

We’ve shown maps like these before from the Worldmapper website, but now they’ve compiled over 360 of them into a book called Atlas of the Real World, mapping the way we live. More images below.

This one indicates the species that have gone extinct, and as the map clearly shows the United States holds the record for the most species recently becoming extinct. ( the United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda and Mauritius stand on the runners up podium).

For our final example we have picked a cartogram representing the proportion of all annual mineral depletion, defined as the loss of potential future income, at current prices. Australia is rather obviously on a minerals extraction binge, which is one of the reasons it has not been, as yet, so impacted by the global finance shakedown.

The book, Atlas of the Real World, published by Thames and Hudson is, of course also available through the likes of Amazon, but maybe the greener option is to encourage you local library to invest in a copy. We found the examples used here at New Scientist.

But we first noticed reference of the new book via a site that used the same cartogram technology to plot the recent US elections, and that link came via Daring Fireball

Tags: Agriculture | Australia | Books | China | Extinction | United States

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