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Posted by on Aug 18, 2014 in Featured Maps, Slideshow, Visualisation | 11 comments

Population Lines Print

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20% off (normal UK price £30) until Christmas! 


I recently produced a map entitled “Population Lines”, which shows population density by latitude. The aim was to achieve a simple and fresh perspective on these well-known data. I have labelled a few key cities for orientation purposes but I’ve left off most of the conventional cartographical adornments. I am really pleased with the end result not least because it resembles Joy Division’s iconic Unknown Pleasures album cover, which in itself is a great example of data visualisation as art.

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The data, from NASA SEDAC, have been mapped many times before and in many beautiful ways but none seem to me quite as compelling as the simple approach here of using only black and grey lines across the page. What amazes me about this map (from where I sit in London) is just how jagged the lines become throughout India, East China, Indonesia and Japan in comparison to “the West” – evidence that we are definitely in the “Asian Century”.

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Following quite a lot of interest in the map, I’ve had some A2 prints produced for those who’d like to own a copy. Each print is produced with vegetable-based inks on 170 gsm 100% recycled Cyclus Offset paper. This is slightly off-white and does a great job of producing crisp lines and giving the print a quality feel. I have signed and numbered each print for this first print run. If you would like to own a copy please click below.

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Frame not included

Small print: Print is unframed. Orders from outside of the EU may be subject to local taxes.

europe_smlindia_smlFor those interested Ryan Brideau has produced a version of the code for how to do this here.

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11 Comments

  1. It’s gorgeous, James. How many prints do you intend to do? Can you mail to Mexico City?

  2. Stunning!

  3. pretty innovative, always like to see a new slant on data visualisations that actually work!

  4. Perhaps I misunderstand what the lines are supposed to represent, but why is there no major peak for Saint Petersburg (Russia)? Not quite as populous as Moscow it is more than twice the size of Paris, for example…

    • Hi there, it is population density so its how tightly packed people are rather than their total number.

  5. Lo mejor es la proyección de la tierra.

  6. Is there an HD version of this I could use as a desktop background? Preferably 1920×1200?

  7. A 3D print of this would be pretty cool (expecially, if the sticking up bits still had the coloured lines on them)

  8. I’d love a larger print of this if you could make one available. It’s a shame not to show off the detail.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. News by Design | Population density – by latitude - […] Ahhh, the world is a beautiful place – in real life, and sometimes, in visualisation form. […]
  2. Open Data as Art: Data Windows | Spatial.ly - […] spite of an increasing range of more abstract art and print projects on the go,  Ollie and I chose to play …
  3. Mapping Where We Live | Spatial.ly - […] of “Big Data” we in the “West”  are now becoming accustomed to. The first map (above) one I …
  4. Monthly Maps: September & October 2013 « geohackers - […] awesome James Cheshire has created a visually striking map titled “Population Lines” that uses wavy lines to depict population …
  5. Somewhere else, part 88 | Freakonometrics - […] Lines” http://spatial.ly/2013/09/population-lines/ … via @spatialanalysis‘s http://geohackers.in/2013/11/ … […]
  6. The Ultimate Christmas List for Map Lovers | Spatial.ly - […] This Population Lines print is one I have produced showing world population density. Each A2 print is produced with vegetable-based inks on …
  7. The Hidden Meanings of Maps: Design and Colors | Geo Pickmeup - […] Source: Spatial.ly, Population lines, by James […]
  8. MapCarte 7/365: Population Lines by James Cheshire, 2013 | Commission on Map Design - […]  Global population density drawn as horizontal lines…almost like a cardiograph of the pulse of the world’s populus. Not the …
  9. The World's Most (And Least) Populous Places Revealed In A Single Map | Gizmodo Australia - […] a geographer at University College London, created this map last September. As Cheshire notes on his blog, Asia immediately …
  10. Ecco quali sono i luoghi più popolati del mondo! - […] James Cheshire, geografo presso l’University College di Londra, ha creato questa carta lo scorso settembre. Come ha fatto notare …
  11. The World’s Population Distribution Is Like Skyscrapers | DanNation.org - […] a geographer at University College London, created this map last September. As Cheshire notes on his blog, Asia immediately stands …
  12. Interactive Population Lines Visualization - Facing Energy - […] interactive visualization of James Cheshire’s “Population Lines”, a global population map rendered similarly to Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures […]
  13. Improving R Data Visualisations With Design | Spatial.ly - […] population of London (we are showing nighttime here). It copies the code I used to produce my Population Lines …
  14. The Mapping London Christmas List 2014 | The Mapping London Blog - […] has designed two – London North/South and Electric Tube for £20 each, and James designed Population Lines which is …
  15. This beautiful population map shows why we are in “The Asian Century” - […] Know more […]
  16. Karta över världens folkmängd | Jonas Gustafsson - […] Snygg karta där man ser världens befolkning och ju fler som bor på samma ställe desto högre toppar är …
  17. World Population Mapped As Peaks And Valleys - - […] Cheshire mapped the world’s population in a new way. Omitting any shorelines or country boundaries, he drew horizontal latitude …
  18. Digital Geography - […] a nice cartographic work is sold by spatial.ly by James Cheshire. He sells a poster with population […]
  19. Programmers | WORLD POPULATION MAPPED AS PEAKS AND VALLEYS - […] Cheshire mapped the world’s population in a new way. Omitting any shorelines or country boundaries, he drew horizontal latitude …
  20. WORLD POPULATION MAPPED AS PEAKS AND VALLEYS | Equal World - […] Cheshire mapped the world’s population in a new way. Omitting any shorelines or country boundaries, he drew horizontal latitude …

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