How much our maps are distorted?

Last week Neil Kaye tweeted: Animating the Mercator projection to the true size of each country in relation to all the others. Focusing on a single country helps to see effect best.#dataviz #maps #GIS #projectionmapping #mapping pic.twitter.com/clpCiluS1z — Neil Kaye (@neilrkaye) October 12, 2018 This, of course, provoked me to ask: is it reproduclible? And more specifically, can it be reproduced in the open source statistical programming language, R?

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The world (population) is changing

Last month, Max Roser presented a cartogram of the Earth’s population in 2018. He also provided some perspectives on its spatial distribution in an article on the worldinourdata.org, which I recommend. Links to the article were shared in many places, including in the blog post A Map of the World Where the Sizes of Countries Are Determined by Population. The author, Jason Kottke, concluded with a wish: “I would love to see an animated version of this cartogram from like 1950 to 2100”.

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Life (expectancy), animated

Global socio-economic data is easily accessible nowadays. Just type the indicator of interest and the name of the country in your preferred search engine and you can find its value, sometimes also an additional plot or a map. But what about when you want to go further and (for example): Want to compare many countries? Get data just for a specific year? See changes in time? Just want to create a very specific plot or a map?

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Making maps of the USA with R: alternative layout

Introduction Maps of United States often focus only on the contiguous 48 states. In many maps Alaska and Hawaii are simply not shown or are displayed at different geographic scales than the main map. This article shows how to create inset maps of the USA, building on a chapter in the in-development book Geocomputation with R that shows all its states and ensures relative sizes are preserved. It requires up-to-date versions of the following packages to be loaded:1

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