Just feeling the need to share my nerdy love with everyone I know, here is my favorite website:

Worldmapper

“The world as you’ve never seen it before”

I can, and have, spent an enormous amount of time browsing through their maps. And these are no regular maps. The geniuses of the statistics, sociology, and cartography worlds have joined forces with the geeks in the computer programming labs. Each of the maps changes the normal size and shape of every country in the world based on a statistic. For example:

Regular old world map (land area):

© Copyright 2006 SASI Group (University of Sheffield) and Mark Newman (University of Michigan)

Population map:

© Copyright 2006 SASI Group (University of Sheffield) and Mark Newman (University of Michigan)

I find the difference shocking, just look at Australia, Japan, India . . . they’re totally different than their land area. If you go to the website, you can watch an animation of the transformation between these two maps, you can really see where the changes happen.

The truly amazing maps are the ones morphed based on GDP, infant deaths, petroleum use, and there are so many more. I’m going to email this out to as many teacher friends as I have. As much as we try to inform our students about the disparities that exist in the world, I’ll admit I didn’t truly understand a lot of them until I could see the animated income map.  To watch the world completely change around from those who make $1 a day to those who make $200 a day is incredible.

Today I just saw the maps of each country that are gridded and then changed based on the population. Each big city makes a bubble in the grid and the unpopulated areas turn to black. Canada turns into just a few big cities:

© Copyright 2006 SASI Group (University of Sheffield) and Mark Newman (University of Michigan)

The world is a big place and I think we usually just feel overwhelmed by the numbers we hear in statistics. It is too easy to just take a number like 1,000,000 and reduce it to 1 mil, forgetting about all the zeros.  But when you see the map of the 67,453,000 children who are child laborers or the 26,171,000 teenage mothers and where they live, I think it is a different experience.

So, please, check out this website, it will blow your mind!!!

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