This is pretty neat. They call it a population cartogram. Basically, it's a world map distorted so that the size of each country is proportional to its population. Click the map for a bigger image.
I like this because it helps me to quickly "intuitivize" data that would take lots of thinking and head scratching to otherwise grasp. Some interesting tidbits on the cartogram:
- check out the relative sizes of Australia and Indonesia, Mexico and Japan.
- or look at Nigeria. It's freaking huge!
- and speaking of huge... check out China. Now compare that to Russia. Tell me again why I used to think of the Soviet Union when I thought of communism?
Thanks to strangemaps for showing this to me!