Thursday, April 05, 2007

Global visions of the world

How can we convey global visions of the world?

A fantastic visual tool I've started using with my primary students is worldmapper: the world as you've never seen it before - a joint project of the Univ of Sheffield (UK) and the Univ of Michigan (US).

Statistics about the world are presented on a world map where each country or area swells or shrinks in proportion to the data being represented. A picture is worth a thousand words -- start with the basic land area, then move on to population, then look at the estimates of the distribution of the world's wealth in the year 1 (yes, 2000 years ago) and in the year 2015. There are 366 maps so far, covering pollution, disease, resources, violence, education, etc. It's a site to watch.

Then there's the Breathing Earth website which shows you births, deaths, and carbon dioxide emissions in real time around the globe.

On a more artistic note, see Jonathan Harris's Universe project which "reveals our modern mythology" using input from the news portal Daylife.

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