Here are four links to maps that perfectly illustrate the principle There are many ways to see the world. We promise they'll open your mind.
A few comments
Maps can effectively present information. If you don't believe that, just try setting forth the same information without these visual aids!
Those people who see maps primarily as a way to guide us from Point A to Point B have not even caught up with the 20th century, much less the 21st. Maps like these were unknown to previous generations; they represent cartography's cutting edge.
To those who still suppose that one map -- typically Mercator-based -- is the only one they need to know about -- don't maps like these help you see reality in a new way?
These four map sets perfectly illustrate the principle There are many ways to see the world. What's the "best" map? It all depends on what you're intending to make clear!
Even persons skilled in visually presenting information and whose work is highly useful can be less than perfect. For example, the Global Peace Index information (#4 on our list) would be more effectively shown on a less size-distorted projection than the Mercator. An area-accurate map such as the Peters, the Hobo-Dyer or Goode's Homolosine would offer a value-added approach.
Seeing these maps in relation can produce further insight. For example, set the Global Peace Index alongside the World Population map; suddenly Canada -- with its enviable record. -- no longer dominates the global scene... its relative peace is reserved -- in realistic terms -- for a tiny, tiny slice of all humanity.
Concerning the World Population map, the publisher's press release is illuminating:
“From 2005, when there were 6,446,131,400 people on Earth to 2015 of about 823 million additional people (projections)...7,265,501,297; a 12.7% gain. When the numbers were converted to visuals, the result was truly astonishing. Conventional wisdom says that a picture is worth 1,000 words…and in this case it was clear that putting the 2005 Population Map side-by-side with the 2015 map was worth an entire encyclopedia,” says ODT’s President Howard Bronstein.
Cartographer Paul Breding says, “I thought there would be a few countries that might have lost population in that time, such as Afghanistan, Iraq, North Korea, Haiti, and Sudan. But surprisingly they all gained population. The only countries that lost population were in Eastern Europe!” Breding was astonished to learn The Middle East is growing significantly and that India will soon surpass China in population …probably between 2023 and 2028.