Cartographic Distortions

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Cartogram / Chartogram


How does Priestley's New Chart of History represent geographic space?

Priestley's chart divides the world into 16 geographic regions, shown below in both chart space and map space. The contrast between the two views highlights which geographic regions matter most in Priestley’s account of history. In the history chart, some regions are allotted much more or much less space than they actually take up on earth.

The map below shows the world divided up into those 16 regions on a standard Mercator map. We have created a map called a cartogram to resize the geographic regions to reflect their relative weight in Priestley’s chart. In the chart and cartogram notice, for example, how small America, China, and Africa are compared to France and Germany.

Priestley Chart Representation
Areas and sizes as drawn by Priestley
Chartogram Representation
Region areas re-sized by actual geographic sizes

Cartogram Representation
Areas re-sized by area of region on chart
(Mollweide-based projection)

Geographic Representation
by region (Mollweide Projection)


Interactive cartogram display

Hover over the chart or map to highlight the corresponding regions. e.g. America, Russia, or India
Click the button to distort the map, showing geographic space as represented in Priestley's chart.

Designed by the University of Oregon InfoGraphics Lab