School of Earth and Environment Seminar Series

Mapping the Anthropocene: Reimagining the world using cartograms


Benjamin Hennig


University of Iceland

Time & Place

Mon, 02 Dec 2019 12:00:00 NZDT in ER263


Cartograms have a long history in being  used as an alternative approach to visualising quantitative data in human geography and other social sciences. The Worldmapper project is an example for a comprehensive use and application of this cartographic technique which helped to make cartograms known to a broader general audience around the globe. This talk introduces gridded cartograms as an alternative map projection which were developed as part of the underlying methodological research of the Worldmapper project. Gridded cartograms provide unique insights into highly detailed datasets from social as well as environmental sciences. They can be used to depict correlations between spatial dimensions in a different way than conventional maps do. While the results are sometimes very unusual depictions, these techniques have the capability to provide new perspectives on our planet and reimagine the complex dimensions that shape the world in the age of humankind. This can be relevant in communicating science to the public as much as increase understanding of the data that we are working with as scientists.


Benjamin Hennig is a professor of Geography in the Faculty of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Iceland. He is also an honorary research associate in the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford and is involved in the Worldmapper project. His research interests include social inequalities, humanity’s impact on the planet, global sustainability and the development of concepts for analysing, visualising and mapping these issues.