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Does My Country Look Fat In This? More Cartograms

December 2, 2009

If you played with that cartogram site I posted earlier but don’t like things that are that awesome, then here is this way more detailed, but only ever-so-slightly-less-awesome site called Worldmapper, a collaborative human cartography project mainly based in the University of Sheffield. If you haven’t seen a cartogram, it’s a little bit like reading the World Atlas after about sixteen whiskeys. As is fitting and to be expected, in many of the areas where one would not wish one’s own country to look portly, the United States looks positively obese.

Check out this map of global fuel increase between 1980 and 2001.

Global Fuel Increase 1980-2001. Source:

There’s something about a cartogram’s ability to take information that might be wholly unsurprising and make it register in a much more profound way. For example, these maps relating to primary education around the world (although, again this data is a couple of years old, but still relatively current).

First, there’s the map showing global primary educational enrollment.

Primary Education. In 2002, 5 out of 6 children were enrolled in primary education (though this doesn't mean they necessarily attended). Source:

And now, a map showing girls not at primary school.
Girls not at primary school. Source:

So now you wanna tell me that women are equal?

Oh, and did I say that that site was slightly less awesome? I lied. You can make a printable PDF of every single one of the maps, and if you click on the index, that’s basically all of your day and all of your ink and all of your life, gone. Wave it goodbye because it’s been blown out of your hands like a tourist’s map in a Ha’penny Bridge gust. Ha!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 2, 2009 9:49 am

    Yes, it’s a marvellous site — not just maps, but maps that morph! I will not be visiting the site today, because I’m too busy, but I’ll happily second your recommendation to anyone unfamiliar with it.

    • Jane permalink*
      December 2, 2009 10:53 am

      It’s pretty great. Morphing maps really are like opening all the presents under the tree. Only you never run out of presents. Also definitely a timesink. Cripes! Where has my week gone!?

      • December 2, 2009 10:58 am

        I think I saw it fall through a wormhole just off the Bahamas.

      • Jane permalink*
        December 2, 2009 11:00 am


        *Madly googles various locations in the Caribbean*

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