Today I stumbled upon Worldmapper, a fascinating website that collects world census data on various and sundry things (population, emissions, AIDS, income, infant mortality, exports, etc.) and creates cartograms, or maps with rescaled geopolitical boundaries to reflect not actual landmass, but some other property.

I had to try to figure out how to make my own! It took me all day, but I finally did it… and it’s not trivial. Here is a cartogram I generated of the European countries I’ve visited in my life thus far, mostly on this 2000 trip and this 2003 one. The countries are scaled relative to how long I’ve spent visiting that country (estimated in days). Obviously, England is now the largest… followed by France, Germany, and Italy. I spent a week at a conference in Switzerland in 2004, so that’s why it’s so big. The grey countries are ones I’ve not been to as yet:

Burr's European Travel Cartogram

Next Day Edit: This morning I showed the map above to Natalie and she got really excited to see what a cartogram for her European travels would look like:

Natalie's European Travel Cartogram

Musings about life across the big pond by Burr and Natalie Settles. More »