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I found something sort of cool that I thought worth sharing in this weekend’s (belated) Open Thread. Pretending that you haven’t already seen the headline above, see if you can figure out what it is.
It’s (most of) Orange County, with the top tilted about 45 degrees to the left so that I-5 and the shoreline look more or less horizontal. But it may be unlike any map you’ve seen — like Soylent Green, it’s made of people. And it’s not the entire map — the entire map from which I extracted this includes every person in the U.S. and Canada, based on the most recent census census. Zooming out at far as possible, and leaving out anything north of Calgary, east of the Canadian Maritime Islands, and west of Washington’s San Juan Islands, it looks like this:
Sure, you’ve probably seen a population map before. But this one’s different: it zooms in. A whole lot. I gave South County short shrift before, so here’s maximum magnification (with a true north orientation) of San Clemente. (The white diagonal stripe is, I presume, I-5.) Some readers might, quite seriously, be able to find their own dots.
And you can do this for all of North America north of the Rio Grande. As the author writes: “The map presents one dot for every person counted by the 2010 US and 2011 Canadian censuses.” In case you’ve lost count, that’s 341,817,095 dots.
This amazing time-sink can be found at this website. The map is the work of Brandon Martin-Anderson, based on block level data. He wanted “an image of human settlement patterns unmediated by proxies like city boundaries, arterial roads, state lines, &c.” Yes, it was computerized; he wrote the script and a friend provided extra server capacity. You can read more at the link.
Talk about this or talk about something else, as you please. This is 2013’s first Weekend Open Thread.