Monday, August 19, 2019

1% of the World Lives Here

If you've ever visited Map Porn on Reddit you will do doubt have seen the endless maps which highlight the most densely populated areas of a country and which have a title along the lines of '...% of this country lives here'. These maps can be quite interesting but on the whole their ubiquity is a little tedious.

Having said that I do really like this World Population 3D globe. Spin this globe around and the red dot will shrink or grow to show you where 1% of the world's population lives in the current map view. Move the globe over Siberia and the red circle grows to cover half of Russia. Center the globe over India and the red dot shrinks to just a small speck on the map.

You can adjust the percentage of the population shown within the red circle simply by using the slider control bar provided. One thing the map misses is an underlying layer showing population density. However if you switch to the night view you can see a night light layer, which does provide a very rough idea of population density across the globe.

Last year The Pudding created an impressive interactive map which visualized the world's population in 3D. The Pudding's Human Terrain interactive map shows population density across the globe using 3D population pyramids. The taller a pyramid block on The Pudding map then the more people live there.

The Pudding used its own map to explore in more detail the pattern of population density around the world. In Population Mountains The Pudding examines how unevenly the world is populated and how population density can take different forms in different parts of the world.

For example The Pudding compares the pyramid population maps of some European cities to Kinshasa, DRC. In Kinshasa poor transportation infrastructure has led to a densely populated city center, whereas European cities tend to have less densely populated centers and more densely populated suburbs. Because of poor transportation in Kinshasa the population pyramids in the city center fall sharply away, while in European cities there tends to be a more gradual slope from the center out into the suburbs.

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