Worldmapper: a map anamorphosis tool for information visualization

The maps presented on this website are cartograms, otherwise known as density-equalising maps. The maps of the world you are used to seeing attempt to represent countries according to their land area. A cartogram re-sizes each country (or other geographical unit) according to some other variable – for example population, GDP, number of people with AIDS, etc. In the population example, densely-populated country such as the UK will appear much larger than it does on a standard map, and sparsely populated countries will appear smaller.

In the picture below, the map of Crude Petroleum Import.


Singapore imports (net) more crude petroleum than anywhere else, when this is measured per person. The value of imports per person is US$ 1808 per year. Burundi has the lowest value of net imports of crude petroleum per person: 0.02 US cents worth is imported per hundred people that live there.

One explanation for this difference between Singapore and Burundi is as follows. Singapore is a rich island well positioned on trade routes, so can afford to receive large amounts of oil per person. Burundi is a poor landlocked central African territory, so there are many barriers to imports.

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