Lonely Planet Writer

Mapping the world with data; this new book offers a fresh perspective on planet Earth

A new book wants to give a fresh perspective on the world by creating new maps made out of different data points.

The world’s air traffic by map. Photo by New Views. Data source: Licensed under CC-BY-SA

‘New Views’ aims to map the world “like never before” and touches off everything from globalisation, Twitter, asteroid strikes, languages and world trade. The maps were brought to life by Alastair Bonnett, a professor of social geography at Newcastle University.

The map of the world’s happiness. Photo by New Views. Data source: Helliwell, John F., Richard Layard, and Jeffrey Sachs, eds. 2015. World Happiness Report 2015. New York: Sustainable Development Solutions Network

The first part of the book looks at the more natural elements of land, air and sea. One colourful graphic details the history of asteroid strikes on Earth, emphasising the random nature of the natural phenomenon. It also maps out the incredible depth of the world’s unexplored oceans.

Asteroid strikes mapped. Image by New Views. Data source: Planetary Defense Coordination Office, NASA Headquarters

The second part looks at trends and data from the human and animal world. From the diversity of birds to ants, all the way to the number of venomous animals in the countries you may want to avoid. There are also illustrations of the issues we may face in our daily lives, including the index of fertility rates, happiness and even obesity.

How peaceful is the world? Photo by New Views. Data source: Institute for Economics and Peace

The last third of the book is dedicated to visualising the trends brought about by globalisation. The world’s Twitter relationships are mapped out, as well as US fast-food franchises, sugar consumption and the various problems societies face. A colourful map also tracks out all the world’s air traffic patterns.

Yes, these are the world’s twitter relationships. Image courtesy of Kalev Leetaru

The end result is a book that elegantly demonstrates how the planet has been changing and how it may continue to do so in the future through a collection of 50 maps. New Views: The World Mapped Like Never Before is available from 26 October from Aurum Press.

Many of the earth’s oceans remain unexplored. Image by New Views. Data source: Ocean Biogeographic Information System. Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO. www.iobis.org, Accessed 2017-01-12