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Cartograms Again

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Mark Newman, of the University of Michigan’s Department of Physics and Center for the Study of Complex Systems, has put together a series of cartograms of the world accompanied by a simple explanation of how they work. The maps are clear and simple and cover such themes as population, gross domestric product, energy consumption and child mortality. The maps are based on data provided by the United Nations or the World Health Organization.

More cartograms are available at Worldmapper and cover additional topics as aircraft flights and tourist destinations. Currently there are about 40 such maps. Maps are available in png format or as a pdf poster that comes with some descriptive text. There are also Excel spreadsheets containing the relevant data for each map.

The cartograms are based on a variant of the algorithm produced by Newman and Michael Gastner. There are also links to other pages that provide the algorithm in a format useable in ESRI’s ArcMap (another version is available here). If you don’t have access to ESRI products or if trying to run code is too much for you, you can also use this Java-based program that takes any appropriate shapefile and distorts it into a cartogram.

See also previous cartogram-related entries: Mapping Election Results and World Pouplation presented in a New Map.

By way of the Institute for Analytic Journalism.

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