Mapping the Human Perspective

A new form of maps has made its way to the masses! This map shows the land area of the world in relation to the population. In other words, each person is given the same amount of land where s/he lives, consequently giving these maps their distorted look. Small countries but with large populations are blown up in dimension while mountain rages like the Himalayans are seen as disproportionally smaller.

Long gone are the days when maps were only a useful tool to help us navigate from point A to point B. This type of map gives us new insights and helps us understand the environment that we humans inhabit. As the creator of the map,  Benjamin Hennig, states, these maps are useful in the 21st century because “We start to realize that there are people far less connected to the global flows of money, goods, or air traffic in this so-called interconnected world.” It also helps us understand the impact that we humans have on our earth and it becomes obvious the places where human activity affects nature.

By keeping some semblance to the world image that we easily recognize, the maps also give us important data that most anyone can interpret and then use. For instance, Hennig took a map from Conservative International  and looked at the effect that we humans have on the biodiversity hotspots around the world, therefore exemplifying which are most at risk. For example it helps us understand that a big portion of Brazil’s population sits exactly where the Atlantic Forest is also located. You can find the complete article here.

Henning’s map can give us much more then just the simple view of the planet, it can help us understand where we are now, say politically, economically, and even environmentally, and where we are heading in the future. I find this map a great tool that helps us understand the urgency for action needed in order to safeguard our planet. With proof such as this at our disposal there is no excuse not to act now!

For more information on Hennig’s project or Hennig himself, feel free to check out his website.