Roger von Oech

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Most of the world population is in the Northern Hemisphere (although that may sound "obvious", given the land proportion that is already in the Northern; actually, Wikipedia says about 90% of world population lives there).

From a graphic point of view, when thinking about the actual land layout, countries with the most people look like bubbles; a 3D map may render this more obvious, perhaps.

Saurabh Garg

First thing that comes to mind is that there is a disparity in terms of area of a country and their populations.

Second thing is the question why. Why is that India and China have large population than other places? Both these are inferior to quite a few countries in terms of quality of life and opportunities etc.

Maria Helm

These may not be very profound, but here goes:
1. Nobody likes to live in the cold. Canada and Russia are both pretty tiny. It'll be interesting to see if global warming changes their population.
2. Australia would be a good place to buy land right now. The population is low , but their popularity and technology are growing, so their population will probably grow and create a demand for land.
3. Italy isn't a good place to visit if you don't like crowds.

It would be interesting to map some of the other traits of countries against these sizes. (Political systems, religions, businesses, exports, incomes, etc.) Also interesting to compare to X years ago.

Roger von Oech

Romain: I agree: a 3D rendering would be fascinating. It would make the information simply to apprehend.

Saurabh: "Both [China, India] these are inferior to quite a few countries in terms of quality of life and opportunities." I think some of that is changing with liberalization of their economic systems.

Maria: "Nobody likes to live in the cold. Canada and Russia are both pretty tiny. It'll be interesting to see if global warming changes their population." Actually, it seems like the only person who is cheering for "Global Warming" is Putin.


This makes me think of the shifting of resources and the problems of "early" industrialization or growing pains from shifting to a more industrialized society. The US and Europe absolutely went through the polution stages with the "Industrial Age" that China, for example, in now going through with its mechanizing, but with billions less people.

Roy Jacobsen

That's a great map! I'm interested in different ways of visualizing information, so I'd like to know more about where it came from.

Stephen Howe


I dont think Antartica is correct.
The population must be near zero, therefore, it should be a thin horoizontal line at the bottom. You should not see the Larsen Ice shelf and Graham land sticking out towards Argentina.

Roger von Oech

Jen: Good points. Societies tend to focus much more on the "luxuries of clean air and clean water" more later in their industrial phase and certainly in their "post-industrial phase."

Roy: I found it on an old post of

Stehpen: You are no doubt correct about Antarctica. It "should" be thinner than one of those lines of latitude!

Free to think free to believe

My, rather meager, offering is following the Australian stream - virtually all of the population lives within 6 miles of the coast - it looks like the map takes out the unpopulated land... and so much import for the coastal stretch - doesn't look good for rising sea levels - a map which showed what would be left given an increase in metres 0.5 intervals perhaps could be interesting.

Stephen Howe

One interesting point.
There are plenty of Islands in the World that have 0 people as a population.

On this map this would mean the Islands would never be drawn!!!

Mark McGuinness

It's just as I thought. The UK is too small. We need to stretch it.

Bob Abramms

The map above was developed by Mark Newman and his colleagues, and can be seen at -- Another fascinating version is at
and was developed in 2005. There are also postcard versions ( )
and a magnet version ( ).


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