Fast Co. Design has an article showcasing a great infographic by graduate student Derek Watkins.

Graduate student Derek Watkins has created a map that’s shaped by its populations. Based upon William Bunge’sThe Continents and Islands of Mankind, Watkins created a blob-based view of the world, all shaped by population density. His resulting project takes over where Bunge left off. It’s an interactive map (you can toggle population densities with a simple slider), allowing you to see, very simply, the most dense places on the planet, and how these areas relate to one another. So the most dense cities in the world are depicted as land while the sparsely populated spaces sink into the oceans.

Areas with population density over 5 people per square kilometer.

Areas with population density over 5 people per square kilometer.

I think the clean simplicity and relative vagueness of the map makes the information all the more compelling. Like an ink blob, the maps have bigger splotches where the density is higher, and empty canvas where the world is less populated. In this dead-simple way, it’s easy to make out India and China, and the growing density of places like Nigeria.

Areas with population density over 190 people per square kilometer.

Areas with population density over 190 people per square kilometer.

At 190 people per square kilometer, things get simpler still. Nearly the whole western hemisphere disappears, leaving the remnants of megacities. Watkins’ website has a slider that lets you play with the density, and watch the world change.

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