Infographic of the Day: Ballooning Population Maps

The BBC reported this weekend on a new program by Sheffield University researchers that distorts geographic maps with population data. The series of cartographic designs emphasizes areas with concentrated populations and diminishes areas that are less densely populated.


According to the BBC, “National census data from countries around the world have been combined with UN data to compile the most accurate picture for population distribution around the world.”

United States

Though a significant chunk of the Unites States’ population is concentrated along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, we have a fairly evenly distributed cross-section of major cities throughout the lower 48 states. Notice how Alaska is demoted to thin wisps on the top left of the map.


At 127 million residents, Japan is the tenth largest nation the world. Tokyo is its most populous city, with Osaka running a not-so-close second.


Since the middle desert portion of Australia is virtually uninhabited, the population density of the country is centered in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane in the east and Perth and Adelaide in the west.


On a conventional geographic map, Russia dominates the Eurasian land mass with the largest nation in the world. Here, the population map shows the dominance of Moscow and the scant population of Western Russia and Siberia.


Running Turkey’s population date through the program yields a creature with a large head to the west and a trailing tail to the east–Istanbul is the largest city by far, eclipsing Ankara, the Turkish capital.

Found via Quipsologies, a link-heavy online publication measuring the creativity of everyday.