When it comes to maps, there is no one better in the world, in making and explaining them, than Oxford University Geographer Danny Dorling.
A pioneer in the methods of creating and understanding the world though maps, his Ted Talk – Maps That Show Us Who We Are, Not Just Where We Are – is a must watch for any intrepid explorer with a thirst for knowledge.
British social geographer Danny Dorling presents a fascinating view of the world with some incredibly revealing maps. The focus looks to inform us of how the world is changing and how it looks relevant to the human population; historically, geographically and to a degree socially.
Using beautiful and unfamiliar world maps created by Benjamin Hennig, Danny Dorling shows us that in many ways life is slowly getting better and there’smuch to be optimistic about, as long as we continue to connect with each other. We need new ways of viewing the world, its future, and how we can avoid fearing the other; other people, countries, races etc, we often are focussing on the differences, rather than focusing on how similar we actually are. We currently fear people from other countries too much, we fear what we do not know. Instead, these visuals can breakdown these limiting views and we can begin to see the world as a whole.
This TED talk provides a much more relevant and clearer interpretation of the world than the mainstream media depicts for us, which is heavily fear based. We are shown the terrible aspects of humanity on the news every night but we are not shown what is far more important; we are not told that world population is slowing down, we are not told about how we are beginning to use less and waste less.
The sheer scale of progress that’s been made by humans in a short space of time isn’t always easy to comprehend, but by using the language of the mind; context, statistics, with the language of the eye; maps, data visualisations, we are able to sow the seeds for a perspective shift, of the world as a whole. Data visualisation is truly powerful. Data is now the new oil.