Strange Maps has a “news map” of the US today, with the size of the states adjusted according to how many news wire stories, from various sources, originated in each of them over a four-year period. Unstartlingly, Washington, New York and California are the three biggest news generators, and all three are vastly oversized in the map, although of course California is just really big, so it doesn’t increase as dramatically as the other two. I’ve never been to California, but I’d like to think that everything about it is just really big.
They link to an article in Science News which talks more generally about the art (or science, or both) of representing more than simple geographical facts using maps. It’s interesting, if you have time to read it.
All of which reminded me of that picture of the earth at night which is still one of the best things I’ve ever found on the internet. Apart from being – well, pretty, it gets more interesting the more you look at it. My favourite things about it are:
- How bright all the big cities are, but especially Paris and Tokyo
- How defined the Nile is – it looks like it’s been drawn on in a single brush stroke
- How empty Australia is
- The fact that North Korea is so dark that South Korea looks like an island. That one’s a bit terrifying, for various reasons, but it’s still interesting.