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Find out more about the past, current and future world population
in a new interactive map feature and our gridded country cartogram series:

Rediscovering the World: Map Projections of Human and Physical Space

Wor(l)d Map

The work on a Leverhulme Trust-funded three-year postgraduate research project on the improvement of the visualisations of the worldmapper project is now completed. The PhD thesis by Benjamin Hennig explains the creation of gridded cartograms, which have also been integrated in the Worldmapper website in form of the gridded population cartograms in the online World Population Atlas. The thesis explains the technique, presents a number of examples and case studies and discusses the implications for cartographic practice and potential wider applications. The work is now available as a book (published 2013 by Springer).

A Military World
March 2013

The current issue of the German-language academic journal Wissenschaft & Frieden, a publication dealing with issues related to peace research, looks at the theme of international geopolitics. For a contribution in that issue we created a series of updated maps of various relevant topics, including a new look at the global military expenditure according to the most recent data by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Cartogram of Global Military Expenditure

On the grid: Worldmapper and beyond
February 2013

Cartograms and Gridded Cartograms compared

A blog post on Views of the World explains the evolution of Worldmapper explaining the differences between a conventional map and the different types of cartograms used in the Worldmapper project.

The Worldmapper Rainbow
February 2013

A blog post on Views of the World explains what is behind the colours of the Worldmapper maps:

The Worldmapper Rainbow

World Map of Organic Agriculture
December 2012

World Map of Organic Agriculture

A paper published in the European Journal of Social Sciences (Vol. 24, Issue 3) shows a new world map of organic agriculture that presents countries as proportional in size to their share of the total of world organic hectares.

World Population Cube
November 2012

Cubic globes are quite handy when wanting to explain different conecpts of maps and map projections with a little practical element. They are much less work than creating a spheric version of the earth, and (as said by Carlos Furuti on his online cube globe collection) the cube is an ideal introduction to folding one’s own pseudoglobes. We have created a print template of a cubic globe showing a gridded world population cartogram that brings together the worlds of cubic globes and cartograms. Print and assemble your own cube here:

World Population Cube

Global Publishing Markets
October 2012

Map of Global Publishing Markets 2012

The International Publishers Association (IPA) made a report on the development of the international publishing markets using a new approach to estimating the size of publishing markets based on market value by consumer prices. For the report we created a map from their new data estimates.

Olympic and Paralympic Medals 2012
September 2012

In the last of our 2012 Olympic/Paralympic map series we completed the medal maps with a look at the success of the partiocipating nations at the 2012 Paralympics. We also looked back and created a map animation comparing the Olympic and Paralympic medal distributions.

Map animation of the medals at the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games

Global Spaces of Food Production
September 2012

Gridded Cartogram of Global Croplands
Water Risk in global Croplands

As part of a contribution to the 48th Annual Conference of the Society of Cartographers we presented a map series that looks at the distribution of agricultural lands. We used these maps to demonstrate how issues of water insecurity can be visualised in alternative ways.

Athletes at the 2012 Paralympics
August 2012

Adding to our Olympic mappings, we created a cartogram of the countries of origin of the participating athletes at the 2012 Paralympic games.

Map of participantion at the 2012 Paralympic Games

Olympic World(s) 1896-2012
August 2012

Map of the all-time participantion at the modern-era Olympic Games

A series of six maps visualising all-time statistics from the modern-era Olympics since 1896 concludes our cartographic view of the games.

Olympic legacy: London 2012 medal maps
August 2012

The overall picture of Olympic success stories is of little surprises when seen from a perspective of won medals. Olympic inequalities already started with an imbalance of participating athletes from around the world (as shown our earlier map, see below) which hardly reflects the global population distribution. That pattern is carried forward to the winner’s podium, where in large the wealthier parts of the world are represented, as our cartograms of the final results shows.

Map of the medals at the 2012 London Olympics

An inspired generation: London 2012 athletes
July 2012

Map of the participants at the 2012 London Olympics

With the opening of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London we looked at the countries that the over 10,000 participating athletes are coming from. The map shows that the Olympics are not a fully fair game in terms of equal representation of the world, but instead also reflects the capabilities of countries to participate in such a global event.

Global refugee trends
June 2012

UNHCR have released their latest report on the situation of refugees. On Worldmapper, we have mnapped this topic before, but released an updated version to these maps now using the report's latest data.

Mapping refugees

Finding the Final Fifth: Inequalities in Immunisation
May 2012

Map of unimmunised children

A new report by Save the Children identifies the final fifth of unimmunised children and why they aren’t being reached. Worldmapper contributed some of the maps featured in the report, highlighting the prevailing inequalities in access to health care across the globe.

Mapping the Anthropocene
March 2012

As part of a Plenary Speech at the AAG Annual Conference in New York City we showed a new map that has been made in collaboration with the Globaia project. Aim of the project is a new cartography of the Anthropocene, which stands for the considerable impact of humans on the environment since industrialisation started. The wWorldmapper-version of Globaia's signature map shows some of the key elements of human interaction on the planet on an equal population projection.

Anthropocene Cartography

German exports 1991-2011
March 2012

AKTIV Wirtschaftsmagazin

For the German magazine AKTIV we took a closer look at the changing shares of exports from Germany between 1991 and 2011 using Worldmapper cartograms.

A Lonely Planet
February 2012

A Lonely Planet

The new Lonely Planet book 'How to land a Jumbo Jet' features some maps created by Worldmapper. Amongst the maps is a cartogram showing the remotest places on the planet using a gridded cartogram technique:

The World in the news
January 2012

We have mapped the distribution of news items published on the Guardian website in 2011:

British Views of the World 2011

Material Flows
December 2011

Total resource extraction

We have teamed up with to create a series of cartograms that visualise the shares and dimensions of global resource exploitation:

Landmine Casualties
November 2011

We have mapped the casualties from the recently published Landmine Monitor 2011 report showing the global distribution of deaths from mines, explosive remnants of war (ERW) and cluster submunition:

Landmine Casualties 2010

Nuclear Planet
November 2011

Nuclear Weapons 2011

We have updated our cartogram of the worldwide strategic nuclear weapons that a territory is suspected of having using the most recent available data. Read more at the following links:

Global Population shifts
October 2011

The world population is estimated to cross the 7 billion line this month. We have mapped the world's population as it looks this year, and also created an animated series of cartograms that show the changing distribution of the world's population from 1950 to 2100 (using UN population estimates).

Public Debt 2011

Open Access Week
24-30 October 2011

World Population Cartogram 2011

Worldmapper supports the activities of the Open Access week promoting Open Access as a new norm in scholarship and research. In collaboration with the organisers of the event we have created a map according to the number of planned activities to be organised by country during the Open Access Week this year:

Debt around the World
August 2011

With global financial markets in turmoil once again we took a worldmapper-look the issue of debt:

Public Debt 2011

World Population Day
11 July 2011

World Population Cartogram 2011

To mark this year's World Population Day and the expected arrival of the world's 7th billion citizen we updated our population cartogram with the latest estimates for 2011. We also included the new country of South Sudan in the new map:

The World on British TV
June 2011

Factual Programmes on British TV

In collaboration with the University of East Anglia we mapped the factual programmes on British television for a media report of the International Broadcasting Trust:

World Malaria Day
April 2011

In collaboration with UNICEF we created an updated version of the Malaria Deaths map:

Worldwide Malaria Deaths

Capital Punishment
April 2011

Map of Death Penalty Executies

We used data from the latest Amnesty International Report on practices of death penalty to map the prosecutions and execcuties that were recorded in the period of 2007-2010:

World Water Day
March 2011

We created a new set of maps about bottled water for World Water Day:

Global Bottled Water Consumption

International Year of Forests
February 2011

Map of the World's Forests

The United Nations General Assembly declared 2011 as the International Year of Forests (IYF). Worldmapper mapped the forest distribution, forest gains and forest losses look on a global scale for an article in the Natural Inquirer, a school science educational journal.

2010 in Review
December 2010

A worldmapper-style map shows the news coverage from the Guardian newspaper website, visualising which countries were written most about in 2010. See a British view of the world in 2010:

British Views of the World in 2010

Why some countries get a better deal at UN climate talks - Worldmapper mapping the Cancun summit
December 2010

UNfair play is a group of young people who set out to challenge the unfair balance of power in UN climate change negotiations. For the 2010 summit in Cancun/Mexico we created a map for them that shows the delegate sizes from around the world.

UN Fair Play

"Pillen und Pipetten" - Worldmapper featured at the Deutsches Technik Museum Berlin
August 2010

Pillen und Pipetten

"Pillen und Pipetten" (Pills and Pipettes) is the title of a newly published book accompanying an exhibition about the chemical and pharmaceutical industry at the German Musum of Technology, Berlin. The chapter on rare diseases includes some worldmapper maps and has been kindly permitted to be published on our website. The document can be downloaded as pdf via the following link. Please do also notice the museum's website:

July 2010

We used Worldmapper maps to illustrate the song Money by N.A.S.A. feat. David Byrne, Chuck D, Ras Congo, Seu Jorge & Z-Trip (Grant Phabao Remix):

Water|Craft showing designs for the ecological city
14 July 2010

Worldmapper has made some contribution to the latest release of the Urban Infill series by the Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative. The book Water|Craft has just been released (photo from the official book launch) and is available for purchase from Amazon.
"Water|Craft is a collection of essays that looks at urban and regional water issues and new design approaches. The impetus for this volume was the CUDC's experiences in working with the volatile urban situation of Cleveland; a fragile economy, aging infrastructure and damaged ecosystem. Water plays a critical role in revitalization efforts for the region. Water|Craft highlights water-related best practices, particularly about water infrastructure made visible as a form-giver and a design driver." (Source: GCBL)

True Stories of Fake Things
May 2010

Worldmapper is collaborating with Sheffield-based performance group Third Angel on the project What I Heard About The World. The show will premiere in Sheffield Theatres' Studio May, 29, and then tour in Portugal, in autumn 2010. Further dates in 2011. More information can also be found on the Third Angel blog at

Worldmapper in BBC series on Maps
25 April 2010

BBC4 series: Maps

Worldmapper is featured in the second part of the BBC series Maps: Power, Plunder and Possession. The second part Spirit of the Age is also available online via the iPlayer:

Worldmapper in Klimatmagasinet Effekt 2/2010
March 2010

Klimatmagasinet Effekt magazine from Sweden used a worldmapper map to illustrate the location of their stories in the contents page in issue 2/2010.
See the full page here.

Mapas del món at Balearic Schools
23th February 2010

Mapes del mon

The exhibition "Worldmapper" has launched its foray into the Balearic schools and has been warmly welcomed by teachers and pupils:

Worldmapper featured on SlideShare
1 February 2010

The SaSI Research Group, which stands behind worldmapper, started to assemble a repository of some lectures and talks on SlideShare, also featuring some slideshows with worldmapper maps.


Worldmapper design for Firefox
25th January 2010

Firefox theme

If you are browsing the web with Firefox 3.6 you can now do this with our worldmapper world population cartogram as your very own Firefox style, using the new Personas feature:

Gridded cartograms coming alive on BBC
2nd October 2009

We've made some animations showing the transformation of the latest grid-cartograms for the BBC News Magazine. The Flash-based animations and a story on our maps can be viewed at the BBC website:


Gridding the world's population
2nd October 2009

We added a new series of maps which show grid-based cartograms showing each territory shape according to its population distribution. Those can be found at our new Country Cartograms.
The territories can be selected via an interactive map or over a list of the new maps.

The description of the techniques and data used in our new maps are decribed here.


Worldmapper maps in German TV webfeature on the economic crisis
19th May 2009

Brits Abroad Map

Some new Worldmapper maps, depicting several economic indicators, have been used by the German broadcaster WDR for a webfeature on the economic crisis. The feature was put online for the latest episode of TV science magazine Quarks & Co. See following link:

Zoom in and interact!
March 2009

The first six maps now allow you to zoom and click territories for information.

The interactive maps use SVG. If you are using Internet Explorer, you will probably need the Abobe SVG plugin.

Choose a map from the top menu, and click the map for the interactive version.Try, for example: Map 1: Population

Worldmapper in a book!
23rd September 2008

The Real World Atlas cover

The Atlas of the Real World: Mapping the way we live
by Daniel Dorling, Mark Newman and Anna Barford

366 digitally modified maps – known as cartograms – depict the areas and countries of the world not by their physical size, but by their demographic importance on a vast range of subjects ranging from population, health, wealth and occupation to how many toys we import and who's eating their vegetables.

High-resolution files available

We have made 300 dpi TIFF files available of each map. These are intended for non-commercial use. Please see the page on copyright for more details.

New map Series: Religion
26th March 2008

Map 564: Muslims

There is a new series of Worldmapper maps available on the subject of Religion. The maps use data from the World Christian Database.

This series does not have the accompanying PDF posters that were available with the first 366 maps.

Worldmapper animation on display at exhibition in Sheffield
19th January 2008

Millennium Galleries, Sheffield

We have created an animation from twelve of the static Worldmapper images, to be displayed at the Millennium Galleries in Sheffield, in an exhibition entitled On the Map, from the 19th January 2008.

The exhibition is free, and open until 15th June 2008.

The animation is also available to view from the link below. Please note it is a large file (14MB), and requires Flash Player. We hope to make a smaller, animated gif version available soon.

New map Series: Age of Death
7th November 2007

All infant Deaths map
Map 529: All Infant Deaths

There is a new series of Worldmapper maps available on the subject of Age of Death. The maps use data from the World Health Organisation's (WHO) Global Burden of Disease (GBD) statistics for 2001.

This series does not have the accompanying PDF posters that were available with the first 366 maps. The data files on which they were based will be available soon.

New map Series: Cause of Death
19th October 2007

Often Preventable Deaths map

There is a new series of Worldmapper maps (118 in all!) available on the subject of Cause of Death. The maps use data from the World Health Organisation's (WHO) Global Burden of Disease (GBD) statistics on death and disability worldwide in 2002.

A huge debt of gratitude is owen to David Dorling for his contribution to this series (and Worldmapper in general); these revealing maps, and especially the information that goes with them, would not have been possible with out him. Thanks also to Anna Barford, who put many hours of work into this series before she left the project to start her PhD.

This series do not have the accompanying PDF posters that were available with the first 366 maps. The data files on which they were based will be available soon.

Goodbye Anna!
20th September 2007

Image of Anna


Anna Barford has worked full-time on the Worldmapper project for two years, writing the information that accompanies the maps, promoting Worldmapper, and doing many other things besides. In October 2007, she leaves the project to begin a PhD.

The Worldmapper team would like to thank her for all of her hard work and professionalism she has made a huge contribution to the project.

To mark the occasion, we have asked Anna a few questions about her experiences with Worldmapper (link below).


Four Worldmapper posters are now available in Spanish (Cuatro Worldmapper carteles están disponibles ahora en español)
23rd August 2007

Worldmapper poster in Spanish


Four Worldmapper PDF posters, all relating to water resources, have been translated into Spanish for us by Ana Lopez Garcia and Ethel Pirola Igoa.

Further Spanish posters may become available in the future, and we are also going to add posters translated into Chinese in the near future.


Worldmapper Scout map on display at Jamboree
1st August 2007

Worldmapper scout map

A Worldmapper map of Scouts is on display at the 21st World Scout Jamboree, along with several other Worldmapper maps relating to the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The maps have been used in an interactive stand in the Global Development Boulevard area. The activity, which involved responding to the variety of maps, has raised a lot interest.

The Jamboree is being attended by  over 32,000 young persons and 12,000 leaders and staff from over 150 countries, as well as up to 10,000 visitors daily.

The MDGs and related maps used are listed below:

MDG 1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger: Map 174 human poverty
MDG 2. Achieve universal primary education: Map 199 Primary education
MDG 3. Provide gender equality and empowerment of women: Map 181 gender empowerment
MDG 4. Reduce child mortality: Map 261 infant mortality
MDG 5. Improve maternal health: Map 258 Maternal mortality
MDG 6. control HIV/Aids/Malaria: Map 229 cases of Aids/hiv
MDG 7. Ensure Environmental sustainability: Map 322 Ecological footprint
MDG 8. Develop a global partnership for development: Map 336 internet use, Map 135 child labour, Map 173 HDI

Click on the scout map for a bigger version. The full poster version, together with the data, will be available at a later date. Thanks to Robert Lang for the scout data which he obtained from the World Scout Bureau scouting census 2005.

Further Information:

Worldmapper gets muddy
3rd July 2007

Worldmapper posters depicting nuclear waste, carbon emissions and HIV/AIDS were displayed at the recent Glastonbury festival. They were used as part of the 'Give Geography its Place' campaign. The photos were taken by Daniel Raven-Ellison, one of the campaign members.



Worldmapper maps used in ActionAid report
1st June 2007

Action aid report image

A new report from ActionAid, entitled Merkel’s moment: The G8’s credibility test on Africa, has been released, and contains Worldmapper maps. The report calls for G8 leaders at the forthcoming summit to honour the commitments made at the 2005 summit in Gleneagles of increased aid to Africa.



Underlying Data files added to Worldmapper
25th May 2007

Four of the datafiles that are a souce of the data for many of the Worldmapper maps have been made available on the website. They show original data, and the calculations required to provide the data necessary to make the maps. They can be found under the heading 'Larger Underlying Data Files' on the data page.

Three maps relating to plants and botanical gardens added
16th May 2007

Plant Species

Maps commisioned by David Aplin, of the National Botanic Garden of Belgium, have been added to Worldmapper. They are botanical gardens, plant species, and the ratio of the two.


Land Area to population map animation now available
30th April 2007

Population map image

We have added an animation, which shows the Land Area map morphing to the Population map (it can also be viewed in the opposite direction).

It is likely that more of these animations, showing different maps, will be added in the coming months.


Anti-war demonstrations February 14/15/16 2003: Appeal for help
27th April 2007

Worldmapper anti-war demonstration map

Did you attend an anti-war demonstration in February 2003? After a lot of research on the web, we have records of demonstrations, and estimates of demonstrators numbers, for many towns and cities. However, we would like to improve the dataset and the map, so we are asking for people who attended a demonstration on the weekend of 14/15/16 February 2003 to check this list to see whether the demonstration that they attended is listed, and get in touch if not.

Danny and Anna receive award
19th April 2007

GA Awards

Congratulations to Worldmapper team members Anna Barford and Danny Dorling, who recently received an award from the Geographical Association in the UK, for an article they wrote about Worldmapper for Teaching Geography.

The title is 'Award for Excellence in Leading Geography'

Action Maps Added
27th March 2007
Maps 357-366 have been added. You can get to them through the thumbnail Map index pages, or the category lists - the new maps fall into the category of 'Action'. Please note that errors may be present in the new maps and associated text and files, so they may be subject to change. This is the last of the 366 maps in our main series. Technical notes for the later categories will be added soon.

Girls not at Secondary School map painted!
19th March 2007

e a r t h number one

The Worldmapper map "Girls not at Secondary School" has been painted by the German artist Annegret Poschlep. The painting is titled "e a r t h  number one". More details and a larger image are on the link below:

Worldmapper Featured in The Times (UK newspaper)
26th February 2007
Several Worldmapper maps accompanied an article on Worldmapper in The Times newspaper today, covering three pages. The full article will be available soon, and a link to the article on The Times website is below.
The Times online article

Maps Delayed ... New target set!
20th February 2007
We have again missed out target for finishing the 366 maps. This is due to the data in the later series of maps being more difficult to work with than we expected. We now aim to finish the 366 maps by 21st March: International Anti-racism Day. Some of the categories should be appearing over the next few weeks.

Worldmapper featured on Japanese TV
1st January 2007
Worldmapper was featured on Japanese public broadcasting TV station NHK on new year's day, on a programme called "Chikyu Map 2007" ("World Map 2007"). The programme featured 9 Worldmapper maps. The synopsis is as follows:

"As rapid globalization has led economical disparity among the nations, the program delves in further to the basic question of how we can
overcome the problems in this world."


For older news items, see the News Archive

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