26 July 2007

Innovation: Worldmapper Ecological Footprint Map

Worldmapper, a collection of world maps, where territories are re-sized on each map according to the subject of interest, has developed an "ecological footprint" map showing the area needed to support a population’s lifestyle.

Variables include consumption of food, fuel, wood, and fibers. Pollution, such as carbon dioxide emissions, is also counted as part of the footprint.

No surprises here: The U.S., China, and India have the largest ecological footprints.

Worldmapper offers a caveat: "Without knowing population size we cannot understand what this means about individuals’ ecological demands. Large populations live in China and India. In both territories resource use is below the world average. The per person footprint in the United States is almost five times the world average, and almost ten times what would be sustainable."

Check it out: Worldmapper Ecological Footprint

Also, there are 366 maps to choose from...have fun, poke around...check out the Botanical Gardens map or the map of Population or Access to Electricity.

The world as you've never seen it before, indeed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nor the foot print map neither the population one are totally relevant for future studies. What would be relevant is the footprint divided by the arable land avaliable in each country.
It would show for instance that many countries, particularly in Africa, are in a dangerous situation, because the population has grown over the carrying capacity of their territory.