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10 Inspiring Maps That Reveals New Perspectives On The World

[Estimated read time: 5 minutes]

Geography is not only the study of physical features of the earth and its atmosphere but is also investigating human interaction with the nature over a period of time. Well, today, we will try to find some answers related to our collective past while unblocking the future at the same time geographically. With the help of exclusive works done by the famous cartographer Benjamin Hennig, we will try to understand how we got where we are today and where we are actually headed. Interesting, huh! So let’s get started.

10. Where do We Come From? Where Did We Go?

migrationCourtesy of Benjamin Hennig

Why are we here? Where did we come from? Do these questions ever fascinate you? Well, this map will give you a pretty clear answer. As you can see, the earliest of human movement originated from the African continent and later spread to the other parts of the world. The map is drawn over a base map of the human population density. The color coded arrows show the direction of migration with their estimated dates of arrival.

9. Renewable Energy

Renewable EnergyCourtesy of Benjamin Hennig

Renewable energy is an energy that is driven from renewable resources which can be replenished with the passage of time. It includes biofuels, solar, biomass, hydropower, wind, heat pumps, biogas and tidal power. The following map gives you an overview of the operational renewable energy capacity worldwide in 2015, according to the IRENA.

The illustrious world map shows the total power capacity of four major renewable energy, namely hydro-power, wind, solar, and bio energy of the major regions of the world. The faded grey circle in the background indicates the actual capacity of the region, which is also accompanied by text labels.

8. The World of Water

rainfallCourtesy of Benjamin Hennig

Water is an essential resource for us not just to survive but to thrive. In ancient times, early civilizations relied on major water sources to provide them with basic resources like food, agriculture and transportation. Even though, water bodies constitute more than half of the earth’s surface, drinking water is scarce and unevenly distributed over the world.

You can understand the situation more easily with the help of the map shown above. This map was created after careful superimposing annual precipitation data to on population density map. By studying the unique relationship between population and precipitation, it is easier to identify world region, which are affected with acute shortage of water. Apparently, it’s North Africa and West Asia.

7. Our Food

our foodCourtesy of Benjamin Hennig

The food is equally important as water. And just like the water, there is an unequal distribution of crop lands in the world. The map illustrates the proportion between the area of an arable land to the total amount of food crops produced. The world’s major agricultural areas are the Midwest USA, the Eurasian plains, the south Indian plateau and the Northern plains of China. With more than three billion people in these areas, the map perfectly illustrates the importance of maintaining the ecological stability of the soil and climate in these regions of the world.

6. Mapping Rural-to-Urban Migration

migrationCourtesy of Benjamin Hennig

According to the United Nations World Urbanization Prospects, the world’s rural populations will reach its climax by 2022 with approximately 3.38 billion people living in rural areas. Now if you look at the data of 2015, nearly 70% of the total population of developing countries are living in rural areas. This percentage is expected to rise in 2-3 years, but according to long-term projections this number will slightly down to 3.2 billion people by 2050. Keep in mind that it will not affect developed nations in particular, but the entire world as a whole.

5. The Lines That Connect Us

connecting worldCourtesy of Benjamin Hennig

It is a distorted version of the world map in which countries with bigger populations occupied much larger space in which India and China dominates. The map shows how the world is closely connected. The bright colored lines on the map indicate major roadways, railways, shipping routes, pipelines and flight paths and yes underwater cables.

These are the actual life lines that drives any nation’s economy. The highlighted route from Dalian, China to Rotterdam, is the first marked voyage of the MSC Oscar, the world’s largest container ship, via Singapore and the Suez Canal.

4. Our Earth at night

earth at nightCourtesy of Benjamin Hennig

Wealth is unevenly distributed over the world which also defines the level of technology available. With the help of this map, we can actually find out the where the wealth actually resides. The bright spots on the map in Eastern USA and London,  for example, shows you where people live who can afford to spend money on lights to shine up enough for satellites to capture things like this. On the other hand, the dark areas are either regions where people do not have the means to access much energy, or where people do, but they have learned to conserve due to any number of reasons.

3. The Best Places To Get Away From Everyone

get awayCourtesy of Benjamin Hennig

Do you ever feel that you have to get away from everyone just to a have a quiet place to stay for sometime? Well, don’t worry, this might help. This map is designed in a way that will point out the most sparsely populated or lonely regions in the world. The bigger the region, the further away it is from the people. So, as you can see Greenland and Antarctica are probably your best options.

2. Nuclear Energy and Risk

nuclear powerCourtesy of Benjamin Hennig

Do you know that Nuclear power only contributes a small fraction to the global energy production? According to the World Energy Statistics, nuclear power only produces 4.8% of the total energy, far behind oil (31.1%), coal (28.9%), natural gas (21.4%) and even biofuels (10.2%).

But they do create a mortal danger to the humankind. No, we are not talking about nuclear weapons. This map illustrates the locations of the every nuclear power plants along with a buffer area of 20/30 and 80 km to mark the immediate risk zones. It also includes all the major radiation accidents above the INES level 5.

1. Modern Mappa Mundi

mappa mundiCourtesy of Benjamin Hennig

A mappa mundi is designated to any map from the European middle ages drawn on a piece of cloth or paper. According to an estimation, more than 1,000 mappa mundi are known to have survived from the era.

The above shown map is a modern version of the mappa mundi in which the land area is proportional to human occupancy, or in the other terms its shows the relationship between land and human population.

Read: 14 Amusing Geography Fails

Here you are observing the 7.4 billion people in the world in which India currently dominates, but only for now Soon, it is going to change as the focus of the global population is gradually shifting toward a more rapidly growing African continent. Another important thing to notice is the minimal contribution of Europe and the Americas in the world total population.