This satellite photo from NASA spans a 24-hour period showing the entire surface of the Earth in darkness. The lights obviously show the highest areas of concentration of civilization.
Note the Nile River delta, the Siberian Express railway route, the Australian coastal cities, and Africa, literally "the dark continent".From Princeton's International Networks Archive, the old project of Jonathan Harris.
Entries in earth (61)
Found on VisualComplexity.com, this disturbing poster examines global human trafficking.
"It depicts each country's level of involvement (from Very High to Very Low) as either a country of destination or origin. The project concentrates on the smuggling of people from one country to another - mainly illegally. In many cases these people are forced to do work that is illegal, such as prostitution or child labor."The poster was created by Taulant Bushi, and the original image is here.
This last December was the 10th anniversary of Carl Sagan's death. One of his most popular episodes of Cosmos was titled The Dragons of Eden where he first described his Cosmic Calendar. This website from discovery.com has a simple image showing the Cosmic Calendar as Carl described it. A few websites are selling posters of the Cosmic Calendar, like AllPosters.com.
The premise is that if you compress the entire history of the universe into a calendar year, homo sapiens only exist in the last 6 minutes, and the last second represents the last 400+ years of human history.
You can see Cosmos, and hear Carl describe it on YouTube here:
This is a prime example of how seeing the data visually is better than reading numbers. Here is a population density map from Wikipedia.
We have heard that China and India have most of the human population in the world, but here you can really see and understand how much. Reading that China's population is four times that of the U.S. is much harder than really seeing it on a map.
The Wikipedia page on World Population has some other great information too.
From drinkingmap.com, this map shows the legal drinking age by country. For the vast majority of the world 18 is the legal age. There are only a few countries like the U.S. that have a drinking age as high as 21.
Here's part two, when Hans Rosling followed-up his 2006 presentation with updated software in 2007. It looks like he's been able to get more data from the UN also.
He gets really excited while describes what's happening as the software animates the data about world health.
Hans Rosling is a professor from Sweden who is an expert in world health, but has pioneered some amazing ways to look at massive amounts of data. I mean truly AMAZING. I can think of at least a dozen uses for this software to help visualize changes over time. Don't let the topic scare you, this is incredible to watch.
The Trendalyzer software (recently acquired by Google) turns complex global trends into lively animations, making decades of data pop.This video is one of the TED Talks videos from the 2006 TED Conference.