Sunday, 18 October, 2009

A whole new world: The amazing map based on population that shows Britain is still a big player

A new world atlas which concentrates on population rather than land mass has been published today - and it shows that Britain is still a big player.

The atlas has been redrawn to show which cities are the largest, how all urban areas compare, and whether many of few live in the countryside.

Researchers from the University of Sheffield created the online atlas of 200 maps using population distribution data so viewers can understand how many people make up each nation.

The new world guides break with the 500-year tradition of conventional cartography, which shows compass directions as straight lines.

Benjamin Hennig, a postgraduate researcher at the University's Department of Geography, was part of the team that created the maps by using the gridded population of the world database of the Global Rural-Urban Mapping Project.

Mr Hennig said the new projections give an 'interesting insight into different countries'.

He added: 'The map of Afghanistan, for example, shows a country dominated by Kabul and a few other urban centres.

'The UK on this new global projection is a tale of London and the other cities.

'The United States, on the other hand, has much more variety to its human geography, while the new projection of China shows a sea of humanity bubbled up into a thousand cities in the Eastern part of the country.

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