New World Population Cartogram

GEOGRAPHY

A new map resizes countries based on their population. It’s simple: Each square represents 500,000 people. (NPR)

Use our resources to learn how to read strange maps like this one.

Teachers, scroll down for a short list of key resources in our Teachers’ Toolkit, and thanks to Dana J. for the heads-up on this great current event connection!

Map by TeaDranks, courtesy Imgur

Map by TeaDranks, courtesy Imgur

Discussion Ideas

  • The fantastic new image by TeaDranks is not actually a map. It’s a cartogram. What is the difference between a map (like the one above) and a cartogram?
    • A traditional map is a flat-surface representation of a region that displays the size and shape of an object in relation to land area. (To learn more about the dilemmas of converting a 3-D object like a globe onto a flat surface, watch this video!)
      • A traditional political map of the world displays the size and shape of countries in relation to land area.
    • A cartogram is a representation of a region that displays the size of an object in relation to an attribute rather than land area.
      • The new cartogram displays the size of countries in relation to their population.

 

  • What mapping feature do both a traditional world political map and the new cartogram have in common?
    • They both use grids.
      • The traditional grid in a political map is formed by the intersection of latitude and longitude.
      • The grid in the new cartogram is simpler: Each square represents 500,000 people.

 

TEACHERS’ TOOLKIT

NPR: India Grows, Canada Disappears: Mapping Countries By Population

TeaDranks: Countries by Population

TeaDranks: Countries by Population: Bonus Maps

Nat Geo: Between the Lines: Learn to read maps like a pro

Nat Geo: 1-Page Maps

Worldmapper Index

2 responses to “New World Population Cartogram

  1. Pingback: This Week in Geographic History: World Population Day | Nat Geo Education Blog·

  2. Pingback: What Did You Read in 2015? | Nat Geo Education Blog·

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