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Beautiful and Interesting Maps Of The World

October 8, 2014

Maps are wonderful, not only for navigation and travel, but simply to look at too. We’re all familiar with regular world maps, but when some clever-clogs manipulates these to show something unique, they take on a whole new meaning.

Interesting Angles – Maps Of The World

Here, we’ve selected some brilliant examples of mapmaker genius from around the web. Some deal with demographics, some with economics, but all are unique and, we think, very interesting.

Let’s start with a tricky one to get your head around, which looks at the traditional maps we’re all used to seeing on walls and textbooks.


The most common interpretation of the earth’s lines is the Mercator projection, originally devised to make navigation a little easier. The downside, however, is that this method distorts the relative sizes of land masses closer to the poles. In some cases, Africa and Greenland looked similar in size, where the latter is really 14 times bigger.

Check out the original image of Africa’s real size – or click on the image below for the Economist article.


Continuing with the theme of alternative map projections, this next one from turns it on its head altogether, and views the world using a different centre point (Greenland) but the same method as the most commonly known maps. It may look weird and confusing, but it’s totally legitimate from a cartographers point of view!


Next up is a map which highlights just how many people live in South East Asia, with China and India being the two most populated countries on earth. According to the Washington Post, more people live inside the highlighted area than outside of it – quite surprising indeed!


Time now for some eye-candy.

First up, earthquakes. While they may not be the most beautiful natural event to witness first hand, they definitely remind us just how insignificant we all are, and this map clearly shows the planet’s tectonic plates in action. It combines the last 100 years of tectonic activity in a glowing, almost haunting image.


Our next fancy map is a clever idea by the crew. With air travel getting cheaper and more efficient with every passing year, they took the world’s most popular and dense routes, removed the world from the equation resulting in this pretty picture.


The Southern Oceans are feared for their strong winds and dangerous waves, and it’s clear why from this next map of the world’s predominant wind patterns. The brighter the lines, the stronger the winds, making the south Pacific and Indian oceans completely terrifying to all but the hardiest of vessels.

No wonder the Vikings stayed up north.


Now we’ll get back to some data, beginning with the percentage of young people in the EU aged 25-34 who are still living with their parents. Scandinavia shows the lowest levels, while Greek, Bulgarian and Slovakian parents seem more than happy to entertain their offsprings well into their adulthood.


Staying in Europe, common surnames are the focus of this next map.

The top ten most common in the world are Garcia, Wang, Zhang, Li, Smith, Müller, Gonzalez, Smirnov, Nguyen, and Hernandez, but only two of which (Garcia and Müller) are featured here.


Finally, have you ever wondered why North is North? Who decided that, and why?

According to Al Jazeera America, it’s as simple as “the Europeans made the maps and they wanted to be on top”.

Not a very convincing argument really, so here’s a map of the world which turns everything we know on its head. Based on McArthur’s Universal Corrective Map, it gives us an idea of how we might view the world if Australia had invented the map first!


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