I just came across the website “worldmapper” and I love it. Of course, I’m predisposed to love maps. But this one makes me think of Edward Tufte and others who manage to pack a lot of information into a simple visual display. At worldmapper, the information load is enhanced by comparisons between maps.
Here’s the “regular” map, the one indicating land area for each of the marked nations or territories:
But here are a few in which additional data is used, and represented by skewing the size of the territory to reflect that info. In order, top to bottom, they represent nuclear power production, housing prices, personal computer ownership, and deaths of males aged 95-99. These all loosely correlate with national wealth, I guess, which is in the fifth image in this set.
To be sure, the skews are not identical, but when you compare them to some of the others maps, their similarity to one another seems more striking. Contrast them with this one of the total number of children:
Or this one of the number of deaths due to epilepsy:
In a way, these remind me of some of the maps in the series “Mappa Mundi,” by NYC artist, Kim Baranowski. Hers are more wry, but they similarly take the convention of a map and render it provocative through the addition of new data. Check ‘em out!