World Population Mapped As Peaks And Valleys

One of our 15 favorite recent data visualizations

James Cheshire mapped the world’s population in a new way. Omitting any shorelines or country boundaries, he drew horizontal latitude lines that zigzag upward in black according to the population at that spot, with spikes at major cities colored gold. The approach highlights Earth’s densest areas—crowded Asia stands out particularly—more clearly than a table of numbers ever could.

See all 15 of our favorite recent data visualizations here.

This article was originally published in the November 2014 issue of Popular Science, under the title, “Dawn of the Data Age.”

lines of population density create peaks, valleys, and a map of Earth